Apprentice Application Information Fact Sheet

Who is an Operating Engineer?

Operating Engineers build roads, bridges, and dams, and assist in construction of large buildings and other structures. The work of an Operating Engineer is divided into two general classifications: OPERATING EQUIPMENT used in construction such as dozers, graders, backhoes, pavers, and cranes, and REPAIRING THE EARTH-MOVING EQUIPMENT used in the building of roads, bridges, dams, and large buildings.

Advantages to becoming an Operating Engineer

Working as an Operating Engineer is an excellent career for men and women who want to acquire diverse skills, work outdoors, and be creative; operating engineers can do all this while earning a decent wage.

Requirements for becoming an Operating Engineer

To become an Operating Engineer, a person must complete four (4) years of apprenticeship training which includes a minimum of 640 hours of classroom and related instruction, a minimum of 4,000 hours of employment and successfull completion of the written and machine performance tests.

Facts about the Operating Engineers' Training Program

The Ohio Operating Engineers Training Program is an INDUSTRY-SPONSORED AND FUNDED registered Apprenticeship Training Program. The sponsors are the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18, the Ohio Contractors Association, and the Ohio Building Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. The Ohio State Apprenticeship Council and Training, United States Department of Labor provides assistance and regulation.

Apprentices attend 160 hours of related instruction per year on their own time, for which they are not paid. Classes are given in the following manner: weekly blocks of forty (40) hours in the fall,  and spring, and eighty (80) hours in the winter.  The related instruction includes classroom instruction along with equipment operation, maintenance, and repair.

Apprentices are required to work a minimum of 4,000 hours during the four-year period. This employment is considered an on-the-job training program where the apprentices are employed by union contractors on construction projects and are paid wages and benefits.

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Employment Practices and Rates of Pay for Apprentices

Apprentices are employed through the union hiring hall and are dispatched to work in accordance with the union-referral system. The Journeyperson Class A pay rate as of May 1, 2015 is $33.34 to $34.83 hourly. The apprentice pay scale is based on the Class A rate for the area in which an apprentice works and is as follows:

  • 1st-year apprentices receive 50% of Class A rate
  • 2nd-year apprentices receive 60% of Class A rate
  • 3rd-year apprentices receive 70% of Class A rate
  • 4th-year apprentices receive 80% of Class A rate

There will be a 10% increase for the apprentices in addition to the percentages listed above, provided the apprentices are operating mobile equipment.

Basic Qualifications Require of Applicatints

  • Applicants must be eighteen (18) years old by May 1 in the year they apply.
  • Applicants must be able to read and do arithmetic well enough to progress in the classroom training and understand oral/written instruction.
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Applicants must be interested in working outdoors in any type of weather conditions and be able to travel to distant work sites if required.
  • Applicants selected must have dependable transportation to get to both urban and rural construction job sites and have a working telephone where they can be contacted.
  • Applicants must show proof of a valid drivers license before the beginning of the pre-apprentice orientation.
  • Applicants who do not have a current CDL (Commercial Driver's License) must show proof of a current Class B CDIP (Commercial Driver's Instruction Permit) with air brakes endorsement prior to beginning of the Pre-Apprentice Orientation.
  • Applicants will receive a criminal background check. Any applicant having a felony conviction or having been under community control for a felony conviction within 7 years of applying will not be eligible to enter the Apprenticeship Program.
  • Applicants will be drug-tested during the application process at some point prior to indenture and must show a negative drug screen. Additionally, all indentured applicants shall be subject to random drug testing as outlined in the Apprenticeship Standards and the negotiated Union Contracts.
  • To receive credit (points) for educational achievements, applicants must have all high school transcripts, diplomas, or GED certificates in the hands of the Training Program staff by February 22, 2016.
  • Those persons claiming American Indian status must meet O.D.O.T. requirements for verification. Birth certificates, tribal certifications, or tribal registrations are acceptable means of verification, as well as any State or Federal certification or enrollment.