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.

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

Diesel students revved up to recruit at Motorama

Penn College's Diesel Performance Club and its 1959 B-61 Model Mack drag truck were revved up to return to Motorama, the annual motorsports extravaganza held Feb. 17-18 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. The students enjoyed sharing their passion for Penn College and its diesel technology major with event attendees and showing off their treasured truck. With more than 5,000 participants and 50,000 motorsport spectators, there was plenty of networking to do.


Penn College receives NSF grant to aid transportation workforce

Pennsylvania College of Technology is the recipient of a nearly $1.5 million federal grant to support students majoring in a transportation-related field. The National Science Foundation awarded $1,498,465 (grant No. 2221107) as part of its S-STEM program, which funds scholarships for academically talented low-income students.


GT&E visit empowers students at Earth Science Center

Groff Tractor & Equipment is the latest Corporate Tomorrow Maker to visit the Schneebeli Earth Science Center to showcase its new equipment and technology to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s diesel, heavy equipment and power generation students. GT&E brought along a new John Deere 320 P-Tier backhoe and also engaged students in a classroom session on connected support and a diesel trivia contest.

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.
  • Career Fair Connections

    Career Fair Connections

    Penn College graduates are in high demand. Employer participation at the Career Fair is proof. Attracting 400+ organizations, this popular event is hosted twice per year and introduces students to all types of businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies. 

    Learn More About Career Fair