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Training Requirements for Front End Loader Operators


There is nothing quite like the thrill of driving a huge front end loader. But exactly how do you become qualified to handle one of the big machines? It’s not a hard as you might believe and a loader training program can get you behind the wheel a lot faster than you think.

Front end loader operators typically report to a foreman. The loader operator is responsible for operating a front end loader that is equipped with a hydraulically powered bucket or scoop on its front end. The loader operator uses the machine to transport a variety of bulk materials from one place to another on the job site.

Front end loader operators have been classified by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics as materials handling workers. However, the National Center for Construction Education and Research considers loader operators to be heavy equipment operators. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are no state or federally certified loader training programs in the United States.

Here’s what you can do to make your resume stand out from all the others when applying for a front end loader operator job.

  • Don’t skip out on your education. Be sure you have your high school diploma or GED. If you want to earn your formal front end loader certification, you are required to have successfully completed high school or a GED program.
  • Be ready to head back to class. In order to obtain your formal front end loader certification, you are required to successfully complete a training program that is offered by an accredited school. Accredited front end loader training schools are recognized by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), which establishes construction training and certification standards throughout the construction industry.

In the training classes, you will learn how to safely operate and maintain a front end loader. Upon graduation, successful candidates receive the NCCER certification for front end loader operation.


  • You’re hired. After receiving your certification, you will need to apply to become an apprentice or intern with a company that requires the services of a front end loader operator. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated further requirements which you will learn during on the job training and regulates the use of bulldozers, dump trucks, and other heavy equipment.
  • Be aware. Make sure that the company you sign on with is OSHA certified and that it validates you to operate a front end loader. Employers are required by OSHA to re-evaluate front end loader operators every three years. Additionally, certifications must be on display at all times.


When you choose RWLS Safety, you can expect a quick response time from a company that's family owned and veteran operated.