The 2021 Formal Application Process is set to begin January 25, 2021.  Please note the dates for our Formal Application period listed below.


Becoming an Operating Engineer

Who is an Operating Engineer?

Operating Engineers build roads, bridges, and dams, and assist in construction of large buildings and other structures. The work of an Operating Engineer is divided into two general classifications: OPERATING EQUIPMENT used in construction such as bulldozers, motorgraders, backhoes, pavers, and cranes, and REPAIRING THE EARTH-MOVING EQUIPMENT used in the building of roads, bridges, dams, and large buildings.

Advantages to becoming an Operating Engineer

Working as an Operating Engineer is an excellent career for men and women who want to acquire diverse skills, work outdoors, and be creative; Operating Engineers can do all of this, while earning a decent wage.

Requirements for becoming an Operating Engineer

To become an Operating Engineer, a person must complete four (4) years of apprenticeship training which includes a minimum of 640 hours of classroom and related instruction, a minimum of 4,000 hours of employment and the successful completion of the written and machine performance tests.

Facts about the Operating Engineers’ Training Program

The Ohio Operating Engineers Training Program is an INDUSTRY-SPONSORED AND FUNDED registered Apprenticeship Training Program. The sponsors are the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Ohio Contractors Association, and the Ohio Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. The Ohio State Apprenticeship Council and Training, as well as the United States Department of Labor, who provides assistance and regulation.

Apprentices will attend 160 hours of related instruction each year, on their own time, for which they are not paid. Classes are given in the following manner: weekly blocks of forty (40) hours in the fall,  and forty (40) hours in the spring, as well as eighty (80) hours in the winter.  The related instruction includes classroom instruction along with equipment operation, maintenance, and repair.

Apprentices are required to work a minimum of 4,000 hours during the four-year period. This employment is considered an on-the-job training program, where the apprentices are employed by union contractors on construction projects and are paid wages and benefits.

Employment Practices and Rates of Pay for Apprentices

Apprentices are employed through our union hiring hall and are dispatched to work in accordance with the union-referral system. The Journeyperson Class A pay rate as of May 1, 2020 is $38.24 hourly. The apprentice pay scale is based on the Class A rate for the area in which an apprentice works and is as follows:

  • 1st-year apprentices receive 50% of Class A rate
  • 2nd-year apprentices receive 60% of Class A rate
  • 3rd-year apprentices receive 70% of Class A rate
  • 4th-year apprentices receive 80% of Class A rate

There will be a 10% increase for the apprentices in addition to the percentages listed above, provided the apprentices are operating mobile equipment.

Basic Qualifications Required of Applicants

  • Applicants must be eighteen (18) years old by May 1 in the year they apply.
  • Applicants must be able to read and do arithmetic well enough to progress in the classroom training and understand oral/written instruction.
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Applicants must be interested in working outdoors in any type of weather conditions and be able to travel to distant work sites if required.
  • Applicants selected must have dependable transportation to get to both urban and rural construction job sites and have a working telephone where they can be contacted.
  • Applicants must show proof of a valid drivers license before the beginning of the pre-apprentice orientation.
  • Applicants who do not have a current CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) must show proof of (at a minimum) a current Class B CDIP (Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit) with air brakes endorsement prior to beginning of the Pre-Admission Orientation.
  • Applicants will receive a criminal background check. Any applicant having a felony conviction or having been under community control for a felony conviction within 7 years of applying will not be eligible to enter the Apprenticeship Program.
  • Applicants will be drug-tested during the application process at some point prior to indenture and must show a negative drug screen. Additionally, all indentured applicants shall be subject to random drug testing as outlined in the Apprenticeship Standards and the negotiated Union Contracts.
  • To receive credit (points) for educational achievements, applicants must have all high school transcripts, diplomas, or GED certificates in the hands of the Training Program staff by February 22, 2021.
  • Those persons claiming American Indian status must meet O.D.O.T. requirements for verification. Birth certificates, tribal certifications, or tribal registrations are acceptable means of verification, as well as any State or Federal certification or enrollment.


Application Locations

Applications may only be completed at one of our training centers, during the official application period.

The dates and times applications will be taken are as follows:

Applications accepted on these days only: January 25, 26, 27, 2021  from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and February  4, 5, 6 , 2021  from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Application locations


For those APPLYING IN PERSON (On Specified Application Dates)

You MUST bring with you

  1. A state/ government issued i.d. WITH Photograph
  2. A copy of your high school diploma/ G.E.D. or transcripts.
  3. If you are a veteran, a copy of your discharge papers (DD214)


Applicant Selection Process

The Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship & Training Program will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship, and will operate its Apprenticeship Program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, and Equal Employment Opportunity Regulations of the State of Ohio.

The number of actual apprentice openings will vary for each district.

Owens Community College located at Tracy Road, P.O. Box 10000, Toledo, Ohio 43699-1947 will assist the Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship and Training Fund in conducting outreach, administering and scoring tests, and ranking applicants’ test scores.


Test Day Materials Needed:

1.Twenty-dollar ($20.00) cash, non-refundable Testing fee.

2.A valid state/ government photo id.


The following are the qualifying points available for award during the first step (testing) in the application process:

50 High School Credit or GED

30 PSI Visual Pursuit

40 Reading Comprehension Test

40 Arithmetic Test

68 Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test

10 Veterans
NOTE: Applicants who have applied in the previous year and have completed all required application processes for entry into the Apprenticeship Program, but were not indentured, will be awarded ten (10) bonus points for each consecutive year they have applied, not to exceed thirty (30) points.


The individuals who will be interviewed will be selected from those applicants who have, during the first step in the application process, accumulated the most qualifying points above 70% of the possible score.


This program will interview three candidates for each apprentice opening.

The following are the qualifying points available for award during the second step of the application process:

50 points for the Interview.

Pre-Admission Orientation

Those who accumulate the most qualifying points during the first two application steps, from within the three selection categories, will be eligible for the 136-hour Pre-Admission Program; selections will be made from this pool of applicants.

The Pre-Admission Orientation Program will introduce prospective apprentices to the Ohio Operating Engineers work functions, What it takes to be an Operating Engineer. The Program will provide classroom instruction, in-the-seat training of heavy equipment operation, safe work practices, along with proper maintenance and repair of equipment. The participants will be evaluated on their attendance, attitude toward the subject matter, productivity, initiative, workmanship, and punctuality. They must also maintain at least a 70% grade level during the 136-hour course in order to be indentured. The participants may be compensated $7.50 per hour for every hour they attend. The Pre-Admission orientation will be given prior to indenture and will offer the participants a more realistic insight into what it takes to be an Operating Engineer.

Those who successfully complete the Pre-Admission Program will be indentured.



Application Locations



Richfield Training Center (Districts 1 and 6)

4675 Newton Road

Richfield, OH 44286

(330) 659-4115 or (800) 842-9419


Miamisburg Training Center (Districts 4/5)
4250 Soldiers Home Miamisburg Road Miamisburg, Ohio 45342

(937) 859-5211 or (800) 635-4928


Cygnet Training Center (District 2)

9435 Cygnet Road

Cygnet, Ohio 43413

(419) 655-3282 or (888) 634-6880


Logan Training Center (District 3)

30410 Strawn Road

Logan, Ohio 43138

(740) 385-2567 or (888) 385-2567



**For any additional information, please call one of the TRAINING SITES listed above, or you may email us at: