Operating Engineers operate and repair heavy equipment such as dozers, scrapers, loaders, blades and backhoes. They work in quarries and plants that produce rock, sand and gravel products. They operate all types of cranes, pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers and concrete pumpers. There are nine branches of training: Construction Equipment Operator, Crane, Heavy Duty Repair, Rock Sand & Gravel, Dredge, Vertical Horizontal Driller, Lubrication Technician, Grade Checker and Mobile Concrete Pumper. Operating Engineer grade checker and Operating Engineer inspector provide exact measurements at all jobsites.

Operating Engineer heavy duty repairers maintain and repair construction equipment. Successful operators possess good hand-eye coordination and a high level of physical stamina. They work outdoors under all weather conditions in work that is sometimes hazardous and that sometimes exposes the operator to equipment that is noisy and physically jarring. The nature of construction work may require an operator to live away from home, travel long distances, and cope with irregular hours and meals. When a job is going strong and the weather is good, working 10-hour days, six days in a row is not uncommon.


We have 80 acres of land to train on with 85 various pieces of equipment ranging from loaders to cranes as well as 20 equipment simulators. An eight acre campus includes dorms, class rooms a complete mechanics shop, and a cafeteria. Hands-On instruction will include specific work task necessary for gradesetting and the operating of dozers, compactors, loaders, scrapers and forklifts.

All apprenticeship programs consist of on-the-job (OJT) training hours where the apprentice is paid to learn. Apprentice wages are based on a percentage of journeyman wages. Apprentices receive a pay increase with completion of each period of training until they reach Journeyman status. There are five periods for each branch of training. Starting wage rate is $21.05 and by the time an apprentice reaches Fifth period they'll earn $32.54. On top of the wage rate is an additional $29.33 per hour Apprentice Fringe Benefit package that includes Vacation pay, Health & Welfare, Pensioned Health & Welfare and Pension etc. For a total of $50.38 for an entry level apprentice.

The programs range anywhere from two years & three months (4400 hours) to four years & three months (8400) hours depending on the economy and hours worked.

  • Drilling Machine Operator, Concrete Pumper, Dredge Operator, Grade Checker, Lube Technician each require 4,400 OJT hours.
  • Construction Equipment Operator, Plant Operator each require 6,400 OJT hours.
  • Crane Operator, Heavy Duty Repairer each require 8,400 OJT hours.
  • There are also supplemental related training hours required depending upon the program, which is conducted at the Rancho Murieta Training Center.


  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Possess a current California driver license
  3. Maintain valid DMV record
  4. Reside in Northern California
  5. Meet physical requirements for a Class 1 driver license
  6. Provide legal evidence of employment eligibility in the US (such as your Social Security Card).

To obtain an application you can get an application from any of the Dispatch Offices, or visit our website at www.oe3.org and click on the Training section. Read the entire page, at the bottom of the page you can access our application. When it is completed, return it to:

14738 Cantova Way
Sloughhouse, CA 95683
Website: www.oe3.org

Organized Labor


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