How to Pay for Heavy Equipment Operator School

How to Pay for Heavy Equipment Operator School

Heavy equipment operator training can be a great investment that could put you on the track to a high-paying and fast-growing career. But despite the relatively low price tags compared to other types of education, the average tuition range of $4,000–$15,000 might still be a barrier to many people. So, we’ve gathered a few options that may be available if you’re wondering how to pay for heavy equipment operator school!


The first step you’ll want to take, once you’re admitted and have made any potential deposits, is to look into scholarship options. Check your school’s website or talk to a representative to learn about available opportunities. Oftentimes, schools will have scholarships open to their students, or you might be able to find third-party ones online that can go towards tuition or living expenses — if you’re looking into various options, a good place to start is the College and Scholarship Resources site at the link below!

Workforce development grants

Workforce development programs, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), are government-sponsored programs that provide grants and scholarships for certain technical training schools. You may be able to cover partial or full tuition for your heavy equipment training program through these.

To find available grants, and how to qualify for each, click the link below!

Employer reimbursement

In some cases, you may be able to help cover tuition through employer reimbursement. How it works is: a future employer pays for your tuition in exchange for an employment contract. Generally, these contracts require a commitment 1-2 years of employment from you in exchange for the full tuition.  

These can be a great way to cover the cost of your heavy equipment training program, but you’ll want to make sure you read the contract carefully! In some cases, if you stop working for the employer before the contract expires, you’ll be required to pay back the full amount of your tuition.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this payment option, check with your school to see if there are any companies they partner with.

Veteran benefits — GI Bill

If you’re a veteran, or eligible for veteran benefits, you may be able to pay for your heavy equipment education program through the GI Bill®, an education grant available to veterans and military personnel.  

If you’re eligible, the GI Bill may be able to cover your full tuition. Apply on the VA website or ask your school for more information about qualification!

“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official US government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Interest-free payment plans

In some cases, training programs may also have another option for how to pay for heavy equipment operator school: payment plans. This way, you can pay the total tuition amount over a few months. A payment plan lessens the upfront cost, and it includes no credit check and no interest — so you’ll ultimately pay less than you would with a loan. However, payments are spread over a much shorter period of time, so while you’ll pay less overall, your monthly payments will be higher.

Student loans

A student loan can be a good option for students who need to make the smallest monthly payments, rather than larger payments or all upfront. While not all heavy equipment operator schools offer federal student loans, private student loans may still be available. Depending on the loan terms available for your program, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.

Some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though, are that most loans come with an interest rate, which means you’ll end up paying more than the tuition amount. Your credit will also be pulled once loan funds are sent, so your credit score may be impacted — although, Climb only performs a hard credit pull once a loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!* Ultimately, you’ll need to consider what works best for your situation — smaller monthly payments while paying more overall, or higher monthly payments while paying less overall.

*Climb performs a “soft” credit pull to evaluate eligibility, but this soft credit check will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull is only performed once the loan is accepted and funded.

How to Pay for Heavy Equipment Operator School

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