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Heavy Equipment Operations

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AOS Degree ā€“ Code #1908

Mark Payne, Program Coordinator
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This program will provide you with the hands-on skills and expert training required by heavy equipment operators for the light construction and heavy highway industries. Instruction is provided in heavy equipment operations theory, as well as grades, soils, blueprint reading, safety, and supervision.

You will spend approximately 25 percent of your lab time operating real, industry-standard equipment; the balance of the lab time is spent on equipment inspection, maintenance, grades, lot layout, operation support, and estimating.


Programs leading to an AOS degree are hands on and do not include liberal arts and sciences courses. Offered at the School of Applied Technology Campus in Wellsville, heavy equipment operations is geared toward a person who would like to enter the heavy equipment operation industry following graduation.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Select the correct piece of equipment and demonstrate the proper use for an earth moving or excavation project.
  • Select and use the necessary PPE for a given construction project.
  • Demonstrate the proper set-up and use of various types of survey equipment.
  • Read and interpret blueprints.
  • Accurately estimate materials for a project.
  • Demonstrate essential problem-solving and supervisory skills.
  • Perform common mathematical calculations.
  • Demonstrate how to excavate to meet construction and OSHA standards, based on the soil type.
  • Safely operate various equipment utilized in the construction industry.
  • Perform computer-based research and communication.

Direct Entry Into Baccalaureate Degree Program

Alfred State heavy equipment operations graduates may enter directly into the technology management BBA degree program. Graduates who have credit for freshman composition, statistics, literature, history, and speech may complete the BBA program in two additional years; others may complete the BBA program in two-and-one-half years.

Occupational Opportunities

  • Town, village, or county department of public works
  • NYS Department of Transportation
  • Highway and heavy construction companies
  • Mining companies
  • Logging companies

Employment Statistics

Employment and continuing education rate: 100 percent ā€“ 87 percent are employed; 13 percent continued their education.

Related Programs

Entrance Requirements/recommendations

Recommended: Algebra 

Students will be accepted for the heavy equipment operations program based on the strength of their application. Criteria for consideration will include high school average, regents exam scores (if a New York State student), grades in related course work, results of standardized tests (if available), and additional information provided through letters of recommendation, a personal essay indicating career goals, and a resume. 

Technical Standards

Applicants in the heavy equipment operations program must meet the following physical requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds to shoulder height.
  • Must be able to perform safely in the laboratory.
  • Must be able to communicate orally with a person 20 feet away.
  • Must be able to climb a ladder and/or able to climb, un-aided, onto and off equipment using three points of contact.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to visually read from a blueprint or drawing.
  • Must be able to hear a backup warning alarm.

Heavy Equipment Operations - AOS Degree




BLCT 1053 Safety & Ident of Hvy Equip 3
BLCT 1044 Blueprint Reading & Grades-Par 4
BLCT 1016 Operations - Part I 6
BLCT 1043 Introduction to Earth Moving 3
BLCT 1052 Soils - Part I 2


BLCT 2023 Equipment Safety - Part II 3
BLCT 2034 Grades & Blueprint Reading II 4
BLCT 2033 Equip Preventive Maintenance 3
BLCT 2036 Operations Part II 6
BLCT 2092 Soils Part II 2


BLCT 3003 Advanced Equipment Safety 3
BLCT 3002 Blueprint Reading Part III 2
BLCT 3005 Operations Part III 5
BLCT 3013 Paving Part I 3
BLCT 3012 Soils - Part III 2
BLCT 3023 Supervision Part I 3


BLCT 4002 Below Grade Const(Hvy Highway) 2
BLCT 4012 Earth Moving (Hvy Highway) 2
BLCT 4022 Finish Operations 2
BLCT 4032 Finishing & Grading 2
BLCT 4004 Operations Part IV 4
BLCT 4003 Paving Part II 3
BLCT 4013 Supervision Part II 3


A student must successfully complete all courses in the prescribed four-semester program and earn a minimum cumulative index of 2.0, which is equivalent to a ā€œCā€ average.