Students must be currently working in a registered apprenticeship program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. The apprenticeship program prepares the student to earn a journey-level status in Operating Engineers, as well as earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. A four-year apprenticeship emphasizes the skill set required to be a highly skilled craftsman and equipment mechanic. Operating engineers operate and maintain hoisting, grading, excavating and paving equipment, consisting of cranes, bulldozers, scrapers, graders, endloaders, concrete and asphalt plants, rollers and pumps. The Operating Engineer is generally employed in the building of highways, airports, buildings, waterways, stadiums and sewers.

Program contact: Learn more

This degree program contains one or more embedded certificates which will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the embedded certificate(s), please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Aptitude Test
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • Intent-to-hire agreement with participating contractor

Other Information

  • Participant must be working in an apprenticeship in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Recognize hazardous conditions, wear appropriate safety equipment and take preventative measures following company, federal, and state procedures.
  2. Operate and maintain a variety of construction equipment in a safe and productive manner.
  3. Recognize and apply underlying engineering principles of the operating engineers trade, including machine characteristics, blueprint reading, problem solving and technology skills.
  4. Plan and manage personal and professional life to accommodate all job requirements, including providing reliable transportation, meeting contractor needs, balancing family obligations, adapting to a flexible work schedule, complying with a drug-free environment, and taking opportunities to upgrade skills.
  5. Commit to and understand the nature of working in the construction trade, especially, planning for seasonal work.
  6. Communicate verbally, nonverbally, and in writing with the construction team, which includes members of all other trades, contractors, and government agencies.
  7. Be prepared to sit for the CDL License exam, Forklift Operating Certification exam, and other optional specialty certifications such as the National Crane Certification Organization exam.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
ATOE-1100 Operating Engineering Concepts 4
ATOE-1200 Basic Mechanical Concepts 3
ATOE-1650 Graders and Plans 2
MATH-1xxx 1000-level MATH course or higher3
Select one of the following: 3
BADM-xxxx
Business Elective 
CNST-xxxx
CNST Elective 
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
 Credit Hours18
Second Semester
ATOE-1700 Paving, Tractor, Backhoe Operations 3
ATOE-2100 Mobile Crane 2
ATOE-2600 Bulldozer Practice 3
Communication requirement 1 3
Select one of the following: 3
BADM-xxxx
Business Elective 
CNST-xxxx
CNST Elective 
Select one of the following: 3
Introduction to Microcomputer Applications  
Honors Introduction to Microcomputer Applications  
 Credit Hours17
Third Semester
ATOE-2200 Mechanical Repair 3
ATOE-2620 Backhoe Practice 3
ATOE-xxxx ATOE Elective course1-3
Natural Sciences requirement 3
Select one of the following: 3
BADM-xxxx
Business Elective 
Construction Print Reading  
Personal Finance  
 Credit Hours13-15
Fourth Semester
AIT-2990 Contracting in a Diverse World 3
ATOE-2640 Advanced Grader Practice 3
ATOE-2660 Grader Safety 2
Social & Behavioral Sciences requirement 2 3
Select one of the following: 3
BADM-xxxx
Business Elective 
Construction Methods, Materials, and Equipment  
 Credit Hours14
 Total Credit Hours62-64

Technical Electives

ATOE-2650Safety Training Passport1
ATOE-2670Rough Terrain Forklift Operation2
ATOE-2680Hazardous Material Handling and Field Safety2

Business Electives

Recommended electives in Business

BADM-1020Introduction to Business3
BADM-1121Principles of Management and Organizational Behavior4
BADM-1210Labor-Management Relations3
BADM-1300Small Business Management4
BADM-2150Business Law4
BADM-2450New Business Development5
BADM-2470Marketing Techniques for Small Business Management3

Construction Management Electives

Recommended electives in Construction Management

CNST-1281Construction Engineering Orientation3
CNST-1510Green Building & Sustainability I3
CNST-1731Construction Print Reading3
CNST-2130Construction Methods, Materials, and Equipment3