Heavy Construction Equipment Technology: Operator Emphasis

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
Student operating heavy equipment

About this program

When it comes to operating heavy construction equipment, there’s more than meets the eye. This comprehensive program lays the foundation for success—digging into everything from tools, hardware, and safety to site engineering and layout. And thanks to built-in electives, you can customize your experience with things like a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) license prep course, quarry operation courses, or business management and marketing lessons.

Next steps...

You're on your way to becoming a tomorrow maker.


Machines for Student Use


Acre Operations Site


Square Feet of Lab Space


  • Heavy construction equipment operator
  • Field sales representative

At Penn College, we believe your educational experience should go beyond specialized skills. Real-world ready means taking a broader approach that builds communication skills, inspires collaboration, and encourages exploration of arts, history, and science.

​​Specialization requires in-depth knowledge and high-level proficiency. Students learn and apply major-specific concepts, skills, and methods.

  • Tools, Hardware & Basic Safety (HEO100)
  • Diesel Engine Fundamentals & Maintenance (HEO111)
  • Heavy Equipment Electrical Systems (HEO141)
  • Earthwork Site Preparation (HEO131)
  • Site Engineering & Layout (HEO120)
  • Introduction to Heavy Duty Powertrain & Brake Systems (HEO152)
  • GPS for Earthmoving (HEO161)
  • Hydraulics for Operators (HEO171)
  • Safe Operating Techniques for Heavy Equipment (HEO181)
  • Blueprints & Grade Stakes for Earthwork (HEO202)
  • Bulldozer & Track Loader Operation (HEO211)
  • Operation of Trenching Equipment (HEO220)
  • Haul Truck & Final Grade Equipment Operation (HEO231)
  • Directed Elective Heavy Construction Equipment Technology (HYE)
  • Forklifts, Mobile Elevated Work Platforms & Scissor Lifts (HEO204)

​Perspectives are points of view, offering a variety of ways of understanding, interacting, and influencing the world. Students identify, explain, and utilize the approaches used by academics and professionals to study, analyze, or understand problems, and offer solutions.

  • Environmental Science (SCI100) or
  • Physics Survey (PHS103)
  • Core Arts Perspective (ARP) or
  • Core Applied Arts Perspective (AAP) or
  • Core Global & Cultural Diversity Perspective (CDP) or
  • Core Historical Perspective (HIP) or
  • Core Social Science Perspective (SSP)

​​Foundations are the practical, intellectual, and social skills: communication, collaboration, critical and ethical thinking, quantitative thinking, and technological literacy that are crucial to every student at every stage of education and at every stage of life.

  • Information, Technology & Society (CSC124)
  • Technical Algebra & Trigonometry I (MTH123) or
  • College Algebra & Trigonometry I (MTH181)
  • English Composition I (ENL111)
  • Technical & Professional Communication (ENL201)
Featured Videos

Being a heavy equipment operator is more than just moving dirt. In this virtual tour, you’ll meet instructor Ryan Peck, dig into program details, check out the latest equipment, and get a bird’s eye view of the 125-acre worksite.

Check out how students develop their skills at our 125-acre worksite featuring 45-plus machines. And learn how the hands-on nature of the degree makes graduates prime candidates for enriching workforce opportunities.

Tour Schedule

Seeing is believing.

Think Penn College might be a good fit for you? Make plans to visit and discover what hands-on learning is all about.

Feb 24

Undergraduate Open House

Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM - 3 PM

Apr 7

Undergraduate Open House

Sunday, April 7 8:30 AM - 3 PM

More tour dates are on the way.

But let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.

Need a different date?

Let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.


Admissions Office

Industry Partners

Work with experts to become an expert

Penn College's strong partnerships impact every step of your journey – from your first day in the classroom and labs, to career placement (oftentimes before graduation) and beyond.

Komatsu logo
Volvo logo
CAT logo
Anderson logo
Hands-On Tomorrow

Hands-On Tomorrow

You will have plenty of space to hone your skills on our 125-acre heavy-equipment operations site

Student Life

Lead and put your skills to the test

Service and Operation of Heavy Equipment Club (S&O)

Service and Operation of Heavy Equipment Club (S&O)

S&O expands learning and leadership opportunities, giving students a chance to connect with and contribute to the College and the local community.

Student Organizations at Penn College

Student Organizations at Penn College

Your college experience is about more than the classroom. Join one of 65+ clubs and organizations, or create your own.

Penn College News

Transformation for Baja competition underway at training site

Work has begun at Pennsylvania College of Technology's heavy construction equipment operations training site in readiness for the estimated 1,000 competitors expected for the international Baja SAE competition next spring. The college will host about 100 teams – each with single-seat, all-terrain vehicles that they've designed and manufactured – that will converge there from May 16-19 for Baja SAE Williamsport.


College's diesel drag truck: a 25-year 'overnight' sensation

For 25 years, a vintage Mack road tractor – appropriately nicknamed “Accelerated Learning" – has served as a rolling lab that continually reflects the latest industry technology available to diesel students at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. And while there have been periods of highs and lows in enthusiasm during that quarter-century of transforming the vehicle into a drag truck, the current level of excitement and activity is off the charts.


ESC provides fertile ground for latest Recruitment Day

More than two dozen employers were at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday for another in Career Services' series of program-specific Recruitment Days. As the morning chill burned off under welcome sunshine, the day heated up with productive dialogue about full-time, part-time and internship opportunities for students in diesel, heavy equipment and power generation majors.

Gain global experience
Study Abroad

Gain global experience

See the world via Williamsport. Take your education abroad and get hands-on experience learning about your industry on a global scale.

Learn More

More Information

View general transfer information

You are expected to purchase your own tools which can be purchased at the College Store or through a dealer such as Sears or Snap-on. The advantage to purchasing your own tools is that the tools are yours to use during your time as a student and later as an employee. Larger specialty tools such as those used in diagnostics and testing are purchased by the College or donated by the Caterpillar dealer program for use by all students enrolled in the program.

View the Heavy Construction Equipment Technology Required Tools

Required for all labs:

  • uniform
  • leather work shoes or boots
  • yellow hard hat
  • safety glasses

Uniforms and tools are available for purchase through The College Store.

Alternative Credit refers to academic credits earned through means other than traditional college course completion, including: credit by exam, articulation, proof of competency gained in high school, work/life experience, and advanced placement.

Visit the Alternative Credit Options page for requirements and procedures and for information on credit through Advanced Placement.

  • Mr. Ben Brubacher, President, Brubacher Excavating, Inc.
  • Mr. Bradley J Cober, Jr., '02, General Superintendent, Brubacher Excavating, Inc.
  • Mr. Bryan E Frey, General Superintendent, Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.
  • Mr. Mark E Keller, '87, Project Superintendent, Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.
  • Mr. Max Persun, '86, Operations Supervisor, Wayne Township Landfill
  • Mr. Jeffrey Wiker, Vice President of Operations, H. L. Wiker Inc.