Heavy equipment operators are well compensated and in-demand both in Manitoba and throughout Canada. From 2017-2026, it is estimated that there will be a requirement to fill roughly 22,000 jobs in this field across Canada.

The six-week in-class program provides students with a combination of training in fundamental heavy equipment operator skills as well as related training in surveying, safety and equipment servicing. Using high-end computer simulation equipment, students gain experience and confidence, before moving to hands-on heavy equipment operating.

Following the in-class program, students are required to complete 120 hours or practicum. Practicum may be paid or unpaid at employer’s discretion, students are covered by Worker’s Compensation while on practicum. While Assiniboine strives to find practicum placements for students, the responsibility to find a practicum placement ultimately lies with the student.

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  • A minimum of Grade 10 or equivalent
  • Valid Class 5 Driver's License

If you don’t meet these admission requirements please visit our adult learning page for more information on assessment of special circumstances.

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 


The majority of the work in this trade is outdoors. It is important that people entering the trade have strong mechanical aptitude, communication skills, mathematical ability, excellent visual and depth perception and a high degree of hand-foot-eye coordination.

Next Step

Apply online by visiting the Apply to a Program page. Choose “On-Campus and Distance Education programs for domestic students”. Create an account and select Heavy Equipment Operator in your program choice.


Careers & Connections


Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, buildings and other structures, in surface mining and quarrying activities and in material handling work.

Interested to see what jobs are available in the industry? Click here to see current opportunities throughout Manitoba.

Tools & Supplies

Students learn using high-end computer simulation equipment as well as in-seat practical training, focuses on specific equipment to meet industry demand such the following:

  • Excavator
  • Wheeled loader
  • Bulldozer
  • Backhoe loader
Required Personal Protection Equipment:
  • High visibility vest
  • Safety glasses (CSA approved)
  • Hard hat (CSA approved)
  • Coveralls
  • Leather work gloves
  • Steel toed boots (minimum 8 inches high and CSA approved)
  • Hearing protection (CSA approved)

At-Home Computing

For this program, you are expected to have access to a computer at home. It should have a webcam, microphone and internet access to enable remote learning for the theory portions of your programs.

At-Home Computing Information

Courses & Costs

To receive a Heavy Equipment Operator certificate of achievement, students must successfully complete 240 academic hours and 120 practicum hours.

The tuition cost for the program is $9,995. All fees are subject to change without notice.

A non-refundable tuition deposit of $2,000 must be paid to hold your seat, upon acceptance into the program, and will be deducted from the total tuition cost.

Are you eligible for training through employment services? Click here for more information.

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Heavy Equipment Operator program?

The program is six-weeks in-class with 120 hours of practicum.

Do I need textbooks for the Heavy Equipment Program?

No, books are included in the cost of tuition.

Are there any physical requirements of the Heavy Equipment Operator program?

The majority of the work performed in this trade is outdoors and involves going up and down equipment frequently. It is important to have excellent visual capacity, depth perception, and a high degree of hand-foot-eye coordination.

How many seats are available in the Heavy Equipment Operator Program?

There are only 8 seats available in the program.