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Oregon Apprenticeship Guide
Job Description
An equipment operator works with heavy construction equipment such as bulldozers and trench excavators. A light grade/paving operator runs heavy construction equipment such as paving machines, pick-up machines, paving and motor graders and backhoes. Some traffic control work is also required.
Working Conditions
Workers in this field spend most of their time outdoors, so conditions depend on the weather. The work may also involve strenuous conditions.
Depending on the position, beginning apprentices start at approximately 60 to 70 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase, usually every six months, until the journey-level rate is achieved.
Length of Apprenticeship
The apprenticeship lasts two to three years for equipment operators. Equipment operator apprentices must complete a minimum of 140 related classroom hours per year and 6,000 on-the-job training hours. Light grading/paving equipment operators require 3,675 on-the-job training hours and 93 related classroom hours per year.
Minimum Qualifications
Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent.
Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.
These programs are only open to employees of training agents already registered with the local apprenticeship committees. Requirements vary among local apprenticeship committees.
Apprenticeship Committees 
ID# 2035 Knife River Oregon JATC
Area 1, 2, 3
ID# 7019 Deschutes County Certified Equipment Operators JATC
Area 7