Bridgewater: (902) 530-3606

Heavy Equipment Operator

South Shore Career Training CentreHeavy Equipment Operator

Course Details

Duration: 10 weeks

Tuition: $9990.00

Books: $200.00

Safety Equipment: $150.00

Available in: Sydney Bridgewater

NOTE: Students must have a grade 10 or equivalent level of education.

Course Description

SSCTC’s Heavy Equipment Operator Program is designed to provide students with the essential skills needed to operate the four main pieces of heavy equipment used on a commercial worksite; Backhoe, Bulldozer, Excavator and Front End Loader. Heavy equipment operation is a job that is in good demand province wide in Nova Scotia and across the country, specifically the oils sand development in Alberta and hydroelectric power development in Newfoundland.

Career Opportunities
Heavy Equipment Operators move construction materials such as dirt, rocks and heavy materials often found in construction sites, road work, demolition and oil and gas production. Equipment such as bulldozers, backhoe’s, excavators and front end loaders are among the most commonly used equipment on a construction site. Essential on almost any construction job site, the number of different machines for various applications is large enough that heavy equipment jobs are almost always available.

For students who are specifically seeking employment with smaller construction companies or some municipal public works departments, we might suggest our Earthmoving Operator program. Earthmoving offers training in Class 3, dump truck, backhoe and mini excavator. Having a Class 3 license greatly increases employability with smaller companies who need employees who can multitask with driving and equipment operation.

What makes our program unique?
We offer a 10-week program that includes extensive worksite experience and hands on training in 4 pieces of heavy equipment, Backhoe, Dozer, Loader and Excavator. Compare our program in-seat equipment hours and operational time to other programs across the Maritimes.

This program is ideal for students who have an interest in working in the local construction industry or the oil and gas industry in Alberta.

This program is available at the Sydney Campus and South Shore Career Training Centre. Programs are available every second month through the construction season. McKenzie College provides a modern learning environment that includes both in class and online educational resources. Professional instructors with real world experience guide the class through their daily learning process.

Program Modules

  • Basic Heavy Equipment Operation
  • Diesel Engines
  • Hydraulic Components
  • Loading and Unloading Equipment
  • First Aid
  • OHS
  • Fall Protection
  • Ground Disturbance
  • On-site Operation
  • Advanced On-site Operation
  • Loader
  • Dozer
  • Backhoe
  • Excavator
  • Construction Math



  • Grade 10 or equivalent
  • Completed Application Form
  • $50.00 registration fee (will be applied to Tuition)
  • Personal Resume
  • Able to perform moderate physical activity Provide a NS medical examination report.


Frequently Asked Questions
How much seat time is given students in each piece of equipment?
A. Students are given 56 hours in the Backhoe/Loader, 28 hours in the Dozer, and 36 hours in the excavator for a total of 120 hours of in-seat time.

Q. Is the Heavy Equipment course recognized out west?
A. The Heavy Equipment course meets the safety and training requirements of most employers in the Oil and Gas industry in Western Canada. Most employers in Western Canada give preference to employees who have some Oil Patch Experience, so prospective employees who have limited resume’s and employment backgrounds, without Oil Patch experience, might be asked about there prior work experience. It is very common for employees with Oil Patch experience and Heavy Equipment training to be considered for open positions.

Q. Where is the Heavy Equipment course delivered?
A. The program provides two weeks of in class instruction and 120 hours of operation over eight weeks in the field. In Bridgewater, the field/pit location is in Rhodes Corner, and in Sydney the field location is located on Beachmount Road.

Q. What protective equipment to I need to provide to take the Heavy Equipment course?
A. Students are responsible to provide their own Personal Protective Equipment while on site. This includes, hard hat, several pairs of gloves, eye and ear protection, steel toe boots, work clothes/coveralls, and reflective vest.

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