COTC’s First Heavy Equipment Operation Technology Degree Graduate

NEWARK, Ohio, August 2, 2017 –  Central Ohio Technical College's (COTC) first graduate of the heavy equipment operation technology program will receive his degree at the summer commencement ceremony on Aug. 4. David Butt chose to pursue the degree to be able to do something he has always enjoyed.

"I chose this program because it involved something that I love doing," he said. "I don't even consider it work."

The program coursework includes soils and materials testing, in-depth surveying, as well as business, management and communications curriculum that prepares graduates to advance their careers in management and supervisory positions. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for a heavy equipment operator is about $42,000 per year.

"I learned lots of different things about construction sites and how different types of heavy equipment work. I learned how to read blueprints, different surveying techniques and how to prepare machinery for a day's work," said Butt.

He found that while he faced the obstacles of challenging math courses in algebra and physics the faculty helped guide him through them to be able to become COTC's first heavy equipment operation technology associate degree graduate.

"The instructors and faculty were awesome. They help you in any way possible to make sure you succeed," he said. "They were always fun to be around."

COTC and Performance Training Solutions (PTS), a private company located in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, collaborated to develop the program in heavy equipment operation. This one-of-a-kind hands-on training program offers a combination of classroom and seat time (actual hands-on operation of all heavy equipment common to construction sites) that provides the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to obtain employment in multiple industries where heavy equipment operators are employed.

The heavy equipment operation technology program at COTC awards a core curriculum and Heavy Equipment Operator Level One, Two and Three credential from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Construction Safety and Health certificate, a SafeLand Basic Orientation certificate (ID card) for the oil and gas industry, and CPR/First Aid certification.

"It feels awesome to have completed this degree. It makes me feel like I have a lot to look forward to as I pursue this career choice," Butt said. "Knowing the techniques will help me in the future because companies won't have to teach me over again and having this degree will also help me move higher up in companies that I'll work for in the future."

COTC's summer commencement ceremony will be on Friday, Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Adena Hall gymnasium located at 1159 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055. There will be 142 associate degrees and certificates awarded. Tickets are required. Additional seating will be available in the John Gilbert Reese Center located at 1209 University Drive.

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.