INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS
3520 EAST COOK STREET
SPRINGFIELD, IL 62703
What Operating Engineers do?
Whether it’s the roads you travel on, the bridges you cross, the tunnels you whisk through, the subway systems you ride…or the buildings and complexes where you work, receive medical care, view sporting events…or the dams , pipelines, oil refineries and rigs, and petro-chemical plants you rely on for water and energy needs…or the programs to rid your communities of hazardous materials and waste…It’s a good bet they were built and are operated and maintained by members of the International Union of Operating Engineers. We run the bulldozers, the graders, the backhoes, the cranes, the pavers and the rollers which help to form and shape the infrastructure and skylines.
How do I become an Operating Engineer?
The best way for an inexperienced person to become an operating engineer is to apply for, be accepted into, and complete an apprenticeship program through an IUOE Local. These apprenticeship programs are completely financed through each IUOE Local and offered to the apprentice at no cost. These programs are also approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and are comparable to a 4 year college degree.
What are the qualifications to apply for the apprenticeship program?
· At least 18 years of age (must provide copy of birth certificate at application)
· Completed a minimum of 2 years of high school and provide a copy of a high school transcript and/or a GED certificate.
· Have a permanent residence in and resided for a period of at least six months in one of the following Illinois Counties: Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, Menard, Morgan, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott or Shelby.
· Have a photo ID
· Have and maintain a valid driver’s license and insurance for the duration of the apprenticeship
· A statement from a licensed physician stating physical ability to perform the work if indentured into the apprenticeship
· Pass an alcohol and drug screening test
· Pay a $20.00 non-refundable administration fee
When and where are applications accepted?
Applications are accepted Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:30pm during the months of November and December at the Operating Engineers Local 965 Training Site, 3208 Young Road, Mechanicsburg, Illinois, 62545
How are applicants chosen?
All applicants are given a basic written aptitude test. Applicants who pass the written test proceed to an oral interview and/or a hands-on skill test. Applicants are ranked in descending order based upon scoring in the 3 categories. The number of apprentices selected is based on criteria determined by the Apprenticeship Committee.
What can I expect during the apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship consists of 6000 hours of on-the-job training. Most apprentices complete their apprenticeship period within 4 to 5 years. There is also 8 weeks of mandatory training held each year during the winter months when employment is usually intermittent.
Apprentices are not compensated during the mandatory training periods and the mandatory training hours do not count towards the 6000 hours of training necessary to become a journeyman operator.
What does an apprentice operator earn?
Apprentice wages start at 70% of journeyman wages and increase 5% with each 1000 hours of on-the-job experience.
Are there health insurance and a retirement plan available?
Apprentices receive full benefit contributions into their health and welfare and pension accounts from the beginning of their on-the-job training. Local 965 offers an excellent health insurance program and participates in the Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers, a defined benefit plan.
If you would like further information on IUOE Local 965’s Apprenticeship Program, please feel free to contact the following:
Dennis R. Minick – Apprenticeship Coordinator
3520 East Cook Street
Springfield, IL 62703