Heavy Equipment Operator | Bismarck State College

to the top of the page
Home Page

Heavy Equipment Operator

Pending HLC Approval

Enrollment into this program will open for Fall 2023.



Program Description

The Heavy Equipment Operator Program is an industry-led program designed to prepare students to enter the construction industry as heavy equipment operators. Students will be introduced to various pieces of equipment, including (but not limited to): dozers, backhoes, utility tractors, excavators, skid steers, etc. Students will learn the essential operation of these pieces of equipment, including start-up and shutdown procedures, controls, uses, and basic maintenance techniques. Students will also be introduced to other valuable skills for a job sight, including basics surrounding safety, hand tools, first aid, and primary work-site considerations.


Students should be comfortable with manual labor and working outdoors. Basic math skills will be required. Familiarity with essential tools and pieces of equipment may be beneficial.

Prospective students should be prepared for the physical demands of entry-level technician positions. Typical industry requirements include passing a physical exam, which may entail lifting 50+ pounds, climbing ladders, and working in confined spaces or heights. Job applicants may also be required to pass a drug screen and eye exam, including accurately distinguishing colors.

Program Requirements

Students who complete the curriculum requirements receive a Program Certificate or Associate in Applied Science degree.

Career Opportunities

Heavy Equipment Operators are valuable members of the construction industry and are needed in various work projects including new home construction and renovation, commercial projects, infrastructure improvement and maintenance, etc. Expansion in the Bismarck/Mandan area and other areas throughout the nation ensures there will always be a need for people with this skill set. 
Interested in the Heavy Equipment Operator degree? Fill out this form and someone will reach out to you soon with more information.