Apprenticeship & Training

Earn while you learn!

Operating Engineers Local 234 Apprenticeship & Training Program

An apprenticeship program with the Operating Engineers Local 234 program will provide you with free career training as an operating engineer jointly funded by a labor/management training trust.

Operating Engineers work as heavy equipment operators and mechanics in the construction industry. “Heavy Equipment” describes many types of machines used on a construction site, including cranes, bulldozers, graders, front-end loaders, and paving equipment.

Operating Engineers are masters of a variety of equipment. A broad range of skills keeps IUOE members employable, since employers’ needs vary from project to project.

What do I need to become an Operating Engineer?

  • Three years of apprentice training, including on-the-job, field, and classroom training.
  • A good work ethic and, since you will be working on expensive and potentially dangerous equipment, a responsible attitude.
  • An interest in working outdoors.
  • The ability to work construction hours. If you have children this makes reliable and flexible child-care essential.
  • A willingness to be out of work during seasonal down-time.
  • The ability to work for many different employers during your career.
  • Reliable transportation.

Operating Engineers Local 234 operates a Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training approved program on a 280 acre site southeast of Indianola, Iowa. At the training site, classroom and hands-on training is provided to apprentices and journeyman operators.

Apprentices participate in a three-year (6,000 hrs.) program of training — consisting of 192 hours of correspondent training, 240 hours of classroom instruction, and the balance in on-the-job hands on training.

Entrance into the Apprenticeship Program requires completion of forty hours of pre-apprenticeship training at the training facility.

Applications are available online under the Apprenticeship and Training Tab or you may stop by our office to pick one up.

If you are interested in more information or have any questions about the program, call or write to us at:

Iowa Operating Engineers
16299 Quebec Street
Indianola, Iowa 50125
Phone: 641-942-7112


The Iowa Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identify) sexual orientation, genetic information or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older.  The Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 30.