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

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
Any Approved Ohio Transfer 36 Mathematics course 1 3
Select one of the following: 2-3
Business Elective
CNST Elective
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
 Credit Hours17-18
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
Business Elective
CNST Elective
Select one of the following: 3
Computer Applications
Honors Computer Applications
 Credit Hours17
Third Semester
ATOE-2200 Mechanical Repair 3
ATOE-2620 Backhoe Practice 3
ATOE-xxxxATOE Elective course 1-3
Natural Sciences requirement 3
Select one of the following: 3
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
Business Elective
Construction Methods and Materials
 Credit Hours14
 Total Credit Hours61-64

MATH-1100 Mathematical Explorations or MATH-1240 Contemporary Mathematics taken prior to Fall 2024 will be accepted to meet Mathematics requirement.


ENG-2151 Technical Writing or COMM-1000 Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication highly recommended.


Recommend PSY-1050 Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

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-1210Labor-Management Relations3
BADM-1122Principles of Management and Organizational Behavior3
BADM-1301Small Business Management3
BADM-2151Business Law3
BADM-2450New Business Development5

Construction Management Electives

Recommended electives in Construction Management

CNST-1281Construction Engineering Orientation3
CNST-1290Construction Print Reading2
CNST-1510Green Building & Sustainability I3
CNST-2131Construction Methods and Materials3

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.