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Heavy Equipment Operations

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AOS Degree ā€“ Code #1908

Clinton Gray, Department Chair
Email address:

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 construction supervision BTech or technology management BBA degree program. Graduates who have credit for freshman composition, statistics, literature, history, and speech may complete the baccalaureate program in two additional years; others may complete the 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
  • Energy industry
  • Self-employment
  • Equipment operator
  • Construction foreman
  • Construction superintendent

Employment Statistics

Employment and continuing education rate of 100 percent ā€“ 97 percent are employed; 3 percent continued their education.

Related Programs

Heavy Equipment, Truck & Diesel Technician

Required Tools/Equipment

A list of required tools, equipment, PPE, etc. for the program mentioned above can be found at

A tier 1 laptop computer is required for students entering this degree program. Laptop specifications are available at

Entrance Requirements/recommendations

Required:  Letters of recommendation, essay, and resume indicating related work experience and/or knowledge of field

Recommended: Algebra and Geometry

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. 

Office of Accessibility Services

Students who believe they need a reasonable accommodation to properly participate in this program may contact Melanie Ryan in the Office of Accessibility Services. This office may be contacted by email at  or by phone at 607-587-4506. Please keep in mind that some accommodations may take time to implement, so students seeking accommodations are encouraged to contact OAS as early as possible.

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 effectively communicate with a person 20 feet away.
  • Must be able to climb a ladder and/or able to climb, unaided, onto and off equipment using three points of contact.
  • Must be able to safely respond to a backup warning alarm.

Heavy Equipment Operations - AOS Degree 



BLCT 1002 Intro to Construction Safety 2
BLCT 1302 Blueprint Reading & Grades I 2
BLCT 1312 Introduction to Earth Moving 2
BLCT 1322 Preventive Maintenance Checks 2
BLCT 1222 Construction Math 2
BLCT 1332 Operations Part I 2
BLCT 1306 Heavy Equipment Lab I 6


BLCT 2302 Work Zone Safety 2
BLCT 2312 Blueprint Reading & Grades II 2
BLCT 2322 Equipment Preventative Maintnc 2
BLCT 2332 Operations - Part II 2
BLCT 2342 Soils 2
BLCT 2352 Compaction & Stabilization 2
BLCT 2306 Heavy Equipment Lab II 6


BLCT 3302 Blueprint Reading & Grades III 2
BLCT 3312 Introduction to Grading 2
BLCT 3322 Advanced Operations 2
BLCT 3332 Highway Surfaces 2
BLCT 3342 Construction Proj Supervision 2
BLCT 3352 Tracked Finishing & Grading 2
BLCT 3306 Heavy Equipment Lab III 6


BLCT 4002 Below Grade Construction 2
BLCT 4402 Wheeled Finishing & Grading 2
BLCT 4412 Finish Processes 2
BLCT 4422 Project Management & Support 2
BLCT 4432 Advanced Safety 2
BLCT 4442 Machine Control Technology 2
BLCT 4406 Heavy Equipment Lab IV 6


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.