A career in construction with Local 3
In the construction industry, operating engineers build and maintain the infrastructure of this country. Local 3 members operate and repair the heavy equipment on job sites such as dozers, scrapers, loaders, blades and backhoes. They also work in the quarries and plants that produce the rock, sand and gravel products necessary in the construction of roads, dams, bridges, canals and housing developments. Operating engineers also do the specialized work required to operate all types of cranes, pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers and concrete pumpers.
As heavy-duty mechanics, operating engineers handle maintenance and repairs of construction equipment at the work site as well as in the repair shops of private contractors.
Successful operators possess an aptitude in performing tasks that require good hand-eye coordination and a high level of physical stamina. Being able to work outdoors under good weather conditions is one of the advantages, but the work is sometimes hazardous and exposes the operator to equipment that is noisy and physically jarring on the body.
The nature of construction work may require an operator to live away from home, travel long distances, and cope with irregular hours and meals. When a job is going strong and the weather is good, working 10-hour days, six days in a row is not uncommon. But skilled, efficient operators increase profits for their employers and earn a good income for their own families. Their job security is based on a foundation of training and practical experience.
From extensive basic training provided in the apprenticeship program to advanced journey-level classes and certifications, the process begins at the Local 3 Training Centers. Four state-of-the-art facilities are located throughout the jurisdiction. Each one provides a benchmark program that fulfills the state and federal requirements governing Apprenticeship Programs.
Training is a vital component of Local 3’s success. In cooperation with its signatory employers, Local 3 invests substantial resources in education and training to ensure its members are the most skilled heavy equipment operators or heavy-duty mechanics in the industry. Training construction equipment operators and heavy-duty repair mechanics requires a combination of classroom attendance at the Training Center and on-the-job work experience as an apprentice for a contractor. When an employer becomes signatory to Local 3, he begins making contributions into a training trust fund, which is used to operate the training centers.
The facilities are set on large parcels of land that house the classrooms and administration offices. California is the only residence facility. Students enrolled there can utilize dormitories, a dining hall and recreation rooms during the formal course work. A majority portion of the land at each center is designated for hands-on training in the operation of heavy equipment. Students are bused to the training fields to gain practical experience on dozers, scrapers, blades and a variety of cranes. Actual roadbeds are prepared and land is graded to a determined specification and checked for accuracy.
Each facility houses a shop and bay to train heavy-duty mechanics. Classes range from basic diesel engine repair, power trains, basic welding, electrical, hydraulics field service and lubrication. Advanced mechanics classes emphasize electronics. The latest computerized methods of diagnosis and repair are a necessary part of the program. Local 3 is committed to train operators on the most current and up to date construction equipment in the industry. New innovations and changing technology requires making the most advanced equipment available for training purposes. The union and the employers endorse this investment as one of the best ways to increase the value of the program and its graduates.
Journey-level upgrade training
Local 3's training strategy allows experienced Operating Engineers to upgrade their skills during the slow off-season with advanced classes. Journey-level training is available to all qualified operators.
Additional information is available at the District Offices; interested journeymen can sign up during regular office hours. Click the link below to view the current class schedule at your local training center: RMTC , Nevada, Utah , Hawaii