Our Training Program – A Life-Long Learning Process



Our state-of-the art training in our state-of-the art facilities makes our Apprenticeship and Training Program one of the best – if not the best – in the International Union of Operating Engineers.
With four strategically located all-weather facilities throughout the state of Ohio,
our members can and do train year around, regardless of weather.

A versatile, well-trained, dedicated staff not only trains members, but continuously retrains itself to meet, and stay ahead of, ever-changing industry standards.

The skills required in today’s industry are changing ever-faster, and our members realize and understand that. It’s one of the reasons more than 190,000 training hours were logged last year as members recognized the need to keep their skills, their certifications and their knowledge current.

New Contractors and members alike both know they must continue to meet the changing demands of the industry through quality skills training. “Together we train, together we gain” is relevant to both.

For more information visit our training website


Apprenticeship Program


Building America’s Future

Ever since you were a kid, you wanted to drive heavy equipment and build roads and bridges, buildings and airports. You wanted to be part of building America’s future. Now, you’re closer than ever as you begin the first of a four-part challenge to become an Apprentice Operating Engineer. It’s a competition for a limited number of openings, and you are the only one who can determine if you’re better than your competitors.


There are several forms to fill out, and each must be done accurately and truthfully, and any requests for information must be supplied by a specific date and must be on time.


Once you have completed your application, you will be advised of  WHEN and WHERE you must appear to take the multi-hour entrance examination that consists of trade-related content. Upon arrival, you must submit your $20 Testing Fee (cash, non-refundable), and valid state issued photo ID. Shortly after the exam, you will be informed of your test scores, or you will be informed of a DATE and TIME/LOCATION for your INTERVIEW. Once again, BE ON TIME.


If you have proven to be better than your competitors, you will be chosen for an interview. Only the highest scoring applications will achieve this level.
Interviews will be conducted by one union and one contractor representative. Applicants selected will participate in a 136-hour Pre-Admission Orientation.

Pre-Admission Orientation

This component will let you know “what it takes to be an Operating Engineer.” It combines classroom instruction with in-the-seat training on heavy equipment in all kinds of weather.

Additional Responsibilities

In addition to on-the-job training, an apprentice is expected to attend a minimum of 160 hours of training each year at one of Local 18’s training centers. These are scheduled with 40 hours each in the fall and spring and 80 hours in the winter. Each block is held over five consecutive 8-hour days, Monday through Friday. Apprentices who are employed at the trade when classes are scheduled will be required to leave those jobs and report to the training center. They will not be paid for these training hours.

To graduate from the Apprenticeship Program

  • 160 hours at the training site each year for four years
  • Commercial Drivers License (Class B) to be obtained during first year of apprenticeship
  • Machine upgrades (proficiency) on one machine per year in each year of the four year program
  • 4,000 hours of on-the-job training (OJT)

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