Our Program

Opening the Doors to the Heavy Equipment Operator Trade


The Need

Our program began in 1965, to meet the demand for heavy equipment operators in the construction industry. If accepted, you will receive intensive training in many areas that will assist you on your journey.


The Requirements

To become a journey level heavy equipment operator, a person must complete four (4) years of apprenticeship training. There is a minimum of 640 onsite training hours required, which will include classroom, field, shop, and other related training. There are written and machine performance tests that will be included.


The Work

Our apprentices are employed through the union hiring hall and are dispatched to work in accordance with the union referral system. Apprentices work with our signatory contractors performing equipment operation duties and some maintenance as required.


The Cost

The is no cost to the member for the training. The Ohio Operating Engineers Training Program is an INDUSTRY SPONSORED AND FUNDED registered Apprenticeship Training Program. The sponsors of this program are the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Ohio Contractors Association, and the Ohio Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors.


The Benefits

When you become an indentured Apprentice with the Ohio Operating Engineers, IUOE Local 18, of The International Union of Operating Engineers, you gain many benefits. You will receive negotiated wages that will increase as you advance through the program. You will receive training at no cost to you. You will receive health benefits for yourself and your dependents. We have a retirement fund, as well as an educational fund. We also have negotiated conditions for employment. All of these benefits together offer you an opportunity to make a decent living and have the ability to provide for the needs of you and your family.


How Do You Receive All of This?

You begin by applying to the Apprenticeship and Training Program through our website. We take applications 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Holidays included. As we have opportunities opened up by the need of our contractors, we look to fill the open slots as soon as possible. You will begin by taking an entrance examination, and depending on how you do, you may be invited to the next step, which is an interview.

Application Process

Thank you for your interest in the Ohio Operating Engineers Apprenticeship Program.

The process for applying to become a student in our training program is as follows:

  1. Fill out the online application.
    • Make sure your name is spelled correctly
    • Make sure your email address is correct
    • Make sure your phone number is correct
    • Make sure your “Last Four” (SS#) are correct

2. We will contact ALL applicants to schedule their entrance examination by phone,  email, or both.

    • Make sure your voicemail is set up and able to receive messages
    • Make sure to watch your email (spam folder included)

3.  Each of our training sites is actively contacting and testing applicants.

**On average, it will take 3-4 weeks after you apply to be contacted.  Each site has a different schedule and various numbers of applicants.**

4. Once you have completed your test, you will be scored.  Those who “pass” the test, will be contacted for an interview.

    • Again, please make sure to check your email, and your phone, as these are the methods we will use to contact you.


 **For those who have already applied:  There is no need to re-apply.  If you have an update such as a new address, a new email, or a new phone number, you may contact the training site where you have submitted your application, and update your contact information with that site.

Looking for the Application?

Click on the button below to go directly to the Apprenticeship Application.