Trade School Trains Heavy Equipment Operators


Lisa Foust

Tractors pulling scrappers at the trade school. This is one of the pieces of equipment students learn how to use at trade school.

Hayden Foust, Staff Writer

For students who want to make great money while driving big machinery, the trade IUOE which stands for International Union of Operator Engineers is where they can start. The trade school is located in Silex, Missouri.

Students who are interested have to pass two tests, a drug test and a math test. The schedule for trade school is that students only go there for five weeks for three years after graduation. The students get to learn how to drive a skid steer, a backhoe, an excavator, a dozer, cranes, a motor grader, a wheel tractor-scraper, and learn how to drive a tractor. Some students attend tech school during high school to prepare for trade school.

Most of the learning students do will be outside hands-on learning. They will very rarely go inside a classroom; however, to learn safety regulations, students do have some classroom time.

Instructors are people who have driven heavy equipment and are most likely retired or almost retired. After three years, students come out with an A class CDL license and are classified as journeyman operator.

People might wonder if students that go to trade school actually like it. Dr. Fitzgerald, assistant principal at PHS, said, “Every student I know has a good response and loves what they do.”

Dr. Fitzgerald said, “I think it is the right path for many students and we aren’t giving students the opportunity and we are sending too many kids to college.”