Heavy Equipment School

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Dewitt in Howey In The Hills, Florida

82 months ago

Hi I am new here. I am 19 and I have intentions on going to school to be a HEO.

I have a few questions for you more experienced operators. I live in NE Florida. Buissness is good here. I have ringpower, Dupont, and several other wild life org I could work for.

I am new to this with no exp (Other than loader and farm equip)

My questions are...

Is school worth the money? Its 100% Accredited and I get certified documents stating I can run etc.

Will going to school help me get a job more easily? Would this give me a upper hand with employers?

I am currently employed with DOC (Depatment Of Corrections) as a C/O. Pay is $13.64 Hr. I can be a HEO @ dupont and make $15.50 Starting out. Basically I need some advice from yall. I want to get into the career but I want to know what yall think about school. Thanks

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bob ortan in Wolfville, Nova Scotia

82 months ago

i whant to know the same thing

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The real Cowboy in Hitchcock, Texas

82 months ago

School and education is always a good thing. Certs are a plus!

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HAZMAT Operator in Sylvester, Georgia

81 months ago

School is fine, but what's going to get you the job is seat time. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. Schools will give you the basic knowledge to be able to run the equipment, but it takes seat time. Certs are always a plus.

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Tony in Stratford, Ontario

81 months ago

Hi Guys,

I may be a little late but anything you can do to better your abilities will be recognized by a future employer. You will not learn how to run heavy equipment properly in the course alone. Some people can certainly pick it up quicker than others but it takes practice. You will learn how to maintain a machine and the safety but the thing you need most is to learn how to do a job efficiently. You may know how to operate th machine well but if you don't know how to go about a job you will look like you just came out of the city. I suggest you take a course but then go to work for a construction company and watch and learn how things are done and if you excel at your job you will be operating before you know it. Good heavy equipment operators are hard to find, treat the equipment the way you treat your girl friend. Take good care of it and your boss will pay you what you're worth.

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equipment.operator@rogers.com in Stratford, Ontario

81 months ago

I really don't think you're being fair, you make it sound like all training schools are worthless. I taught heavy equipment for one season after I sold my heavy equipment business for 22 years, the students learn alot about safety and how to maintain equipment which is extremely important. The safety itself is worth the money if it saves a life. I agree some schools are not worth the effort but some do a good job..... If someone had the money they would be further ahead to rent a machine for a month and set themselves up on a piece of property somewhere and practice, after 2 weeks of non stop training they would be good enough to rent their rented machine to a company at a good rate and get more experience and get paid for it. Lots of ways to get experience...use your imagination.

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Sugar Britches in Rochester, New York

81 months ago

I'm saying that the larger scale training schools that you find all over the internet do not seem to be what they are advertised to be. I completely agree to a training program that is actually going to deliver what it promises and gives you the knowledge that you honestly need. I have seen very scary situations involving equipment and do feel that proper training is a wonderful thing. Finding it is the problem. Where do you actually find a training program that is not a rip off. I have been searching very hard to find one. I have in my mind that is what I want for a future career but am unable to find appropriate schooling that an employer will take seriously. I was told that those certifications that those schools offer don't really mean much because point blank they don't give you enough hands on. Even worse for me I am a female and most men won't take me seriously. This is what I want so what are your suggestions on how to start. There aren't very many apprenticship programs available I've already tried that route. Help

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Andrew Tomko

80 months ago

I really need some advice. I'm currently a Junior in college, but I'm thinking that I want to become a Heavy Equipment Operator. It's also something that I wanted to do as a kid, and I thought, well why not give it a shot. My question is should I go to school for the training for heavy equipment, or contact a local contractor? And is $16,000 worth paying for a 9 week training course to be certified in heavy equipment operation. Please let me know, I need the advice.

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Wade in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

You can make 20K a year starting out after college or you can make more as a crane or heavy equipment operator. Your choice. Construction as a career is very rewarding.

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Andrew Tomko

80 months ago

I know, many people have told me that a trade can be very rewarding, and most make more than a college graduate. I plan on going to ATS school in columbus for HEO training, but I read of the forums, and I've heard some bad things about the schools. what you guys think? anyone here attended any of ATS schools?

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Andrew Tomko

80 months ago

Tony I did check out your website, which I found was very helpful. I did write you an email also. I mean when it comes to heavy equipment I know nothing, nothing at all. I mean aren't companies looking for people who have went to school for the training, and know what they're doing?

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Andrew Tomko

80 months ago

I wouldn't mind buying my own used backhoe and just go from there. I want to start my own business, but I have to start somewhere. Another issue that concerns me is that if the weather is bad, then you don't work for a few days, would you say that's a downfall of being a heavy equipment operator?

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Andrew Tomko

80 months ago

I wouldn't mind buying my own used backhoe and just go from there. I want to start my own business, but I have to start somewhere. Another issue that concerns me is that if the weather is bad, then you don't work for a few days, would you say that's a downfall of being a heavy equipment operator?

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Tony in Stratford, Ontario

80 months ago

Buying your own machine is smart...if you can manage it. Don't let the weather stop you from this business, some days you'll wish it was raining.

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Wade in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

If you plan to buy your own iron and start your own business you better have an idea of what you are doing. With the price of off road diesel fuel at $3.00 a gallon, 1 instance of rework will kill you.
If you know nothing about moving dirt efficiently I would definitely suggest a school to learn some of the ins and outs. Heavy equipment operation is not just about pulling levers.

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Wade in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

80 months ago

And if this guy you hire quits and goes to work for someone else for .50 cents an hour more, whos going to run the equipment when your facing liquidated damages?

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matt in Shallotte, North Carolina

80 months ago

what5s up guy im new to this site and i am going to attend the ats school in SC march 10. i was just wondering if anyone had attended a ATS school and could give me some feed back about the training? I know you guys say that schools stink and employers don't recignize the certification, but i have made some phone calls around the area ,just to see what local employers thought, and they told me to call them when i was done with school and i would have a job. now i mean i'm not going to walk in makeing tons of money, or jump on the equipment and take off. but this school is getting my foot in the door.

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Jason Morgan in Fayetteville, Arkansas

79 months ago

I attended the ATS school in Victorville California..
I checked out a bunch of different schools and found ATS was much cheaper. I figured since they had been around since like the 60's that they would have a better idea about what they were doing.. And I was right! Plus, ATS didnt feed me all the bull**** lines like some others did.. I went through the 6 week program and I learned a TON.. I literally had a job the day I walked out the door. I started at the company I'm at not the following Monday making $21.50 an hr. I got my first shot in a loader 2 weeks after I was hired and now I run it ALL! On top of that, the company I work for just sent 3 guys to the ATS school to get trained on graders..

Bottom line.. I'm GLAD I went to ATS.. It was the best thing I ever did!
Be careful though because some of the smaller schools with say just about ANYTHING to get you to come there.. ATS was very honest with me and never made me feel pressured..

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Tony in Saint John, New Brunswick

79 months ago

Hi Jason,

Your information is good for anyone who wants to be an operator, most are scared to pay the money out and not get what they pay for. I taught at a school for one term and I was embarrassed to be there, I had to follow their ways and the other instructors were old school that operated cable dozers. They didn't like me because I undermined their instructions, they didn't have a clue how to operate let alone instruct. Just imagine learning from someone who didn't know what they were doing? I hate to promote schools for the very reason you mentioned in your last post, but I would Love to know which school you attended so I can create a page about them for other students on my website. www.opeating-heavy-equipment.com

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Ryan in South Lake Tahoe, California

79 months ago

Anyone here attend West Coast Training in Woodland WA. or Deep Creek Construction in Apple Valley CA. Any info would be apreciated. Was considering ATS but after reading some off these posts I cant help but be skecptable.
West Coast sounds the best. They offer 8 weeks off training for $7172 and you get your own machine for 4 hours a day, not sure iff you get certified.
P.S anyone hu's just looking for experience and dont mind the low wages might consider working at the ski resorts for a season. I got hired at my first interview as a snow-cat operator, you could also work in snow removal operating loaders and dump trucks.

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Jason Morgan in Fayetteville, Arkansas

79 months ago

Dude, I checked out taht Deep Creek school!! When I was researching them, I went out and took a "tour" and they wouldnt even let me look at thier training grounds! I'm not about to spend that kind of money if they wont even let me see where the training takes place... Something sounds a little fishy!! ATS took me right out to there training grounds and even let me get on some equipment.

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Cruz in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Certification is a plus. Some jobs dont care but others do.

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Josh Morris in Rockford, Illinois

79 months ago

As an owner of an excavating company here in Rockford IL, I can honestly tell you that I would hire and ATS graduate over practically ALL of you.. And I HAVE! Think about it.. Here is the truth... Why would I want to hire someone with 10 years of experience who expects to be paid over $25 an hour when I can choose from a bunch of entry-level operators fresh out of ATS who are just looking for thier "big break"? I start these guys off at $18-20 an hour and if they work out and I want to keep them, bump them up in a year or two. I've made the mistake of hiring only "verterans" and it cost me a fortune! I have ATS graduates who take better care of my equipment and are more dependable than MOST of the vets I have working for me! Plus they havent formed any bad habits yet. Trust me, those are hard to break! I know a lot of people in the industry and they all check with ATS before making a new-hire. Its common sense and good business practice.. Think about it...

I say if you want to get into this industry and you have little or no experience, its a good idea to check out one of these equipment schools.. Just make sure they use NCCER certification and they are LEGIT. There are a lot of schools out there that will train you on some machines but offer either a worthless certification or none at all.. The NCCER cert shows us employers exactly what you have been taught. It makes a big difference..

Happy Digging!

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USAF Engineer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

79 months ago

FINALLY a good positive entry about our industry and how folks can get started. After working in the industry for quite a few years Josh is right most of the veterans are very negative, use extremely fowl language and are really just a burden to the industry as far as image is concerned.
keep it going up there in Rockford Josh.

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Ryan in South Lake Tahoe, California

79 months ago

Thanks for the good info. I just got my free DVD in the mail from ATS and will check them out and try and not be to quick to judge.

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Gradermn81 in Ocala, Florida

79 months ago

Dewitt in Howey In The Hills, Florida said: Hi I am new here. I am 19 and I have intentions on going to school to be a HEO.

I have a few questions for you more experienced operators. I live in NE Florida. Buissness is good here. I have ringpower, Dupont, and several other wild life org I could work for.

I am new to this with no exp (Other than loader and farm equip)

My questions are...

Is school worth the money? Its 100% Accredited and I get certified documents stating I can run etc.

Will going to school help me get a job more easily? Would this give me a upper hand with employers?

I am currently employed with DOC (Depatment Of Corrections) as a C/O. Pay is $13.64 Hr. I can be a HEO @ dupont and make $15.50 Starting out. Basically I need some advice from yall. I want to get into the career but I want to know what yall think about school. Thanks


My man. The only thing that the boss looks at is willingness to learn his way and what you know starting out on the job. I was a farm boy and could run it all. that that experience gives you the upper hand equipment school in my opinion is not worth the tuition. its nice, im sure, to learne some of the saftey and get the certs available. Thats all good things. Its them boys been knokin around for 10-20 years in the dirt that will not go for that shcool stuff. good luck in the future

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Mike

79 months ago

What does everybody think about the NAHETS school in oklahoma? there certs are NCCER, NCCCO and NAHETS. i'm just trying to find out more info or opinions. all thats been menioned is ATS or WCT.

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USAF Engineer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

79 months ago

Mike said: What does everybody think about the NAHETS school in oklahoma? there certs are NCCER, NCCCO and NAHETS. i'm just trying to find out more info or opinions. all thats been menioned is ATS or WCT.

If you are going to spend that kind of money for tuition, the best thing you could do is go in person and tour the school. If you can't tour in person, ask lots of questions. Ask them about their job placement rates and if they have qualified instructors and such. Ask what sets them apart from their competition and why you should attend their school instead of another. Go on-line to the websites of the major construction trade associations such as AGC of America and see if they are members or not, that in itself will lend credibility to an institution. One thing is for sure when it comes to your education, cheaper is not always better.

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francis,New York in Milton, New York

79 months ago

i have had more than 10 years experience has a caterpillar parts consultant and also a heavy equipment operator for me it has been a 'rewarding' job..having said this,i would encourge anyone who's interested to become a heavy equipment operator to go for it..... and remember guys we are professionals in what we do best 'operat heavy equipment'.........

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francis mckenzie in Poughkeepsie, New York

79 months ago

keep up the good work.......Operators

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Rich in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

Hi I just stumbled upon this looking to get into school.My brother attended a school called TACK LLc and said it was a decent class.Unfortunately for me I live in the burbs of Pittsburgh and cannot find a school anywhere near me except the one my brother went to.I am older with a family and really can't do the dorm thing do anyone out their know where i can find a school close to here or would it be in my best interest to travel for school????? any help would be great

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Brandon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

79 months ago

I am looking to get some training, got two choice...

Accredited, 3-9 week course, 6-15 thousand dollars... or...

Vo-Tech, 5 weeks, 2 evenings + Saturday, $500...

If the $500 class will get me a job why in the heck would I pay thousands more for the other "accredited class"? Anyone out there knowing some truths about this please help.. I am thinking the $500 is worth a shot either way.

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rick in Palm Desert, California

79 months ago

bob ortan in Wolfville, Nova Scotia said: i whant to know the same thing

find the operating engineers union in your area & check into their appr. program.

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USAF Engineer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

79 months ago

Brandon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: I am looking to get some training, got two choice...

Accredited, 3-9 week course, 6-15 thousand dollars... or...

Vo-Tech, 5 weeks, 2 evenings + Saturday, $500...

If the $500 class will get me a job why in the heck would I pay thousands more for the other "accredited class"? Anyone out there knowing some truths about this please help.. I am thinking the $500 is worth a shot either way.

Read my post from a couple of days ago. Cheaper is not always better. M.A.T.C. is a part time program. Let me ask you this - would you rather have a degree from a discount mom and pop part time university that nobody has heard of or would you rather have a degree from OU? Don't forget that higher tuitions pay for higher quality instructors, equipment, labs and programs.

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DAVID ZINN in Monroe, Washington

78 months ago

Hi I am new here. I am 19, married and have some exp. Job corps HEO.

I have intentions on going to school to be a HEO. But I do not know what are good vs bad schools. My local 302 union does not give information about schools in the private sector.

I have a few questions for you more experienced operators. I live in Monroe, WA
Buissness is good here. Wilder / Cadman / Reinker so on
I am new to this with no exp (job corps)

My questions are...

Is school worth the money? Its 100% Accredited and I get certified documents stating I can run etc.

Will going to school help me get a job more easily? Would this give me a upper hand with employers?

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jim in Rome, New York

78 months ago

Ryan in South Lake Tahoe, California said: Thanks for the good info. I just got my free DVD in the mail from ATS and will check them out and try and not be to quick to judge.

ats has outstanding classes and services but good luck getting a job afterwards i went there and graduated last year still cant get a job....

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jod from brantford in Kitchener, Ontario

78 months ago

looking @ taking heq course.Are there accreditions that employers look for in north america?I already have my AZ ticket in my pocket and am able to travel freely across borders,however I'm looking to want to work in the camps in the Territories on some sort of equipment .Anybody have some suggestions on how this can be accomplished.thx j.g.

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lcurtis in Mountain Grove, Missouri

78 months ago

I also attended ATS and became NCCER certified in HEO,I enjoyed the school and even received the top student certificate but it's been 5 months now and still haven't got any offers for a job. I don't have any work experience in construction industry, just what I've done on my personal time. Am I asking too much at$13.00 per/hr.to start out?

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Josh Morris in Rockford, Illinois

78 months ago

lcurtis in Mountain Grove, Missouri said: I also attended ATS and became NCCER certified in HEO,I enjoyed the school and even received the top student certificate but it's been 5 months now and still haven't got any offers for a job. I don't have any work experience in construction industry, just what I've done on my personal time. Am I asking too much at$13.00 per/hr.to start out?

I wouldnt be "asking" anything as far as pay.. And if you are waiting around for "offers" you are going about finding a job the wrong way. You need to get out there and start applying man! Dont just let ATS try to do all the work for you. You need to be proactive and get out there and look too... Go to some construction sites, look for the site supervisors etc. The ATS certification will help you get in the door, but you need to make it happen man.. Once someone gives you a chance and they see that you can do everything you say you can, you will have better negotiating power when it comes to pay.. You should expect (especially in MO) to start out at around $10 - $15 an hour. You have to start from the ground up bud.. That certification will help you get in the door.. But its up to you find the door. Get out there and look for it!

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lcurtis in Republic, Missouri

78 months ago

Thank's for the info Josh, I got hired at a large company starting at $14 per hr. with $80 per diem a day. I'll be running a CAT 621 Scraper.

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linda eckert

78 months ago

great site

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Tonya Hutchison-Georgia School of Constr in Conyers, Georgia

77 months ago

Mr. Morris,
I am the Placement spec. with Georgia School of Construction. I read your post and I see that you are very pleased with graduates from HEO training programs. I wanted to let you know that we also have NCCER and NAHETS certified operators graduating every 3 weeks seeking employment from all over the Eastern seaboard. You can check out the training program that we offer in better detail at www.ga-sc.com or www.NAHETS.com.

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Judy Bolin in Winchester, Tennessee

77 months ago

[Comment removed by Host. Irrelevant to the topic]

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Judy Bolin in Winchester, Tennessee

77 months ago

[Comment removed by Host. Irrelevant to the topic]

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Corey Rock in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

77 months ago

My name is Corey Rock and I am the Assistant Admissions Director for ATS (Associated Training Services). I know there are a few people on here who may have had a negative experience with a training school. For anyone who has attended an ATS school, I welcome you to call us so we can rectify your situation and help you with any issues you may have. Our job placement assistance is good for life and we proudly stand by that. There are also a number of people on here who have never been to a training school and have a strong opinion about them. It is very unfortunate that there are schools out there that do not live up to their word when it comes to placement assistance and other promises. I can assure you that ATS is NOT one of these schools. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality training followed by job placement assistance that is unmatched in the industry. Having been around longer than any school of its kind (over 40 years), we have an employment assistance database that is FULL of employers that are ready and willing to take a chance on a certified entry level employee and we are adding to that database daily. While no school can guarantee someone employment after training, ATS has the highest standards when it comes to meeting the needs of its graduates.

After reading some of these postings, there are a couple things I would like to clarify:
-ATS is not affiliated with NAHETS. (NAHETS is a separate group of schools that has been around for about 3 years.)
-ATS has locations in WI, NH, VA, SC, FL, OH, TX, CO, N.CA, and SO.CA. Some people are making references to ATS Georgia or ATS Nevada etc. ATS does NOT have schools in NV, GA, or OK)

While it is important for people to be able to view their opinions in forums like this, it is also important to hear both sides of a story. I welcome anyone with questions to contact me, and I will be more than happy to give you the facts. [Edited by Host: Phone # deleted] or corey.r@atsdigs.com

Thanks!

Please do not post Contact info in the forums.

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will in Augusta, Georgia

76 months ago

brandon im 24 and i have learned the hard way cheaper does not always mean good. if u are going to learn a new trade then u need to study the pros, owners, and take the credited and certfied course. DOESNT MEAN START with a great paying job but these guys are right, u gota start from the ground up.

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Nick Pacos in Rochester, New York

75 months ago

I just moved out here and have worked in construction most of my life. My family has done construction in my hometown for 60 years. What is the best way to get my certificates? Thru the union or thru a training facility?

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Chris

74 months ago

Anyone know what might be better, ATS or OKLAHOMA CONSTRUCTION SCHOOL - NAHETS ? WHY? im thinking of attending OCC because i heard good things about the school. . For their crane program, its 3 weeks long for about 10+K

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Jay in Woodway, Texas

74 months ago

Chris said: Anyone know what might be better, ATS or OKLAHOMA CONSTRUCTION SCHOOL - NAHETS ? WHY? im thinking of attending OCC because i heard good things about the school. . For their crane program, its 3 weeks long for about 10+K

Chris...I was wandering the same thing? I am looking at attending the OCC in September but I was just wandering if it was a good school or should I attend ATS in Texas.

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Chris

74 months ago

Jay in Woodway, Texas said: Chris...I was wandering the same thing? I am looking at attending the OCC in September but I was just wandering if it was a good school or should I attend ATS in Texas.

Jay, check with your local. I just contacted mine and deadline already passed, just missed it in mid aug he said. But he said try back in november. 3 yrs 1 day a week for class, lot less money than say ats or ok cc. Wouldn hurt to try, if you dont get in maybe then the schools or wait another yr. Good luck tho. Update on what you decide to do.

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