Heavy Equipment & Transport Technology

Heavy Equipment and Transport Technology (HEATT) programs are designed to provide the knowledge and skills to operate, troubleshoot and repair construction equipment, agricultural equipment and trucks. Graduates should qualify for entry-level employment in businesses that operate and repair such equipment in the construction industry. Entry and advancement levels depend on the training completed, knowledge and ability levels, work performance and ethics.

The programs also help students develop "soft skills" vital to employability and personal and professional success: 

  • Interpersonal skills and teamwork
  • Communication
  • Integrity and professionalism
  • Problem-solving
  • Initiative and dependability
  • Information processing
  • Adaptability and lifelong learning

The Automotive and Heavy Equipment Complex at Wake Tech contains more than 40,000 square feet of classrooms and laboratory space. HEATT has three classrooms, one computer lab and an air-conditioned drive-through laboratory.

Each classroom has state-of-the-art projection and sound systems, and the computer lab has 20 computers with specialized industry software. Computers are available for HEATT students to use for all college work, and the lab is accessible whenever a HEATT instructor is on campus.


Heavy Equipment & Transport Technologies, Agricultural Systems Technology, Construction Equipment Systems Technology and Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology are limited-enrollment programs that have unique admission requirements, policies, procedures, schedules and deadlines that are subject to change. Interested applicants for our limited-enrollment programs should complete the entire application process, including placement testing and review with an academic advisor. The advisor will go over essential information and give you a Limited-Enrollment Student Checklist, which outlines and directs you to the next steps for limited-enrollment programs. When meeting with your program advisors, be sure to bring the checklist with you.

Interested applicants for any of our limited-enrollment programs should email Paige Kearns at [email protected]

Students can enter programs in the Fall or Spring semester, as follows:

  1. Complete the Wake Tech admission application online and follow all instructions, including requesting your high school and (if applicable) college transcripts and indicating the code or codes for your major on the application.
  2. Schedule to take English and math placement tests (see if you are exempt).
  3. Meet with an advisor to review your placement test scores.
  4. Meet with the HEATT Department head to verify program codes and selected pathway.
  5. Find out your start date. If the program you choose is full, the department head can recommend general education courses that can be taken until an opening occurs.

For more information, visit Admissions.  

Students are not required to have knowledge of heavy equipment repair, but basic knowledge of computers, electricity, electronics and mechanical repairs is beneficial.

Students may qualify for scholarship programs provided by dealers: 

  • John Deere (available to John Deere-sponsored students)
  • Gregory Poole Equipment Co./Caterpillar Inc.
  • Waste Industries USA Inc.
  • Martin Marietta Materials


Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) accredits post-secondary schools that offer education and training for construction equipment technicians. Wake Tech is one of only 22 schools with this national accreditation. AED also offers tool purchase programs to assist students as they get started in the trade.


HEATT is a growing field with promising employment prospects. Technicians are in high demand. Construction companies, dealerships and independent garage owners want to hire graduates. An annual job fair for HEATT graduates is held in the last week of March, and an average of 30 companies compete for graduates and Work-Based Learning students to fill 70+ job openings. Each year, more employers attend and more openings are available. 

Wages and benefits are competitive:

  • $23,000-$36,000 (plus benefits) for entry-level agricultural technicians; $36,000-$44,000 with experience. Some graduates earn as much as $53,000 annually.
  • $25,000-$38,000 (plus benefits) for entry-level heavy equipment operators in paving, surfacing and tamping; $38,000-$50,000 with experience. Some graduates earn as much as $66,000.
  • $28,000-$43,000 (plus benefits) for entry-level diesel truck technicians and diesel engine specialists; $43,000-$54,000 with experience. Some graduates earn as much as $65,000 annually.
  • $28,000-$43,000 (plus benefits) for operators of construction equipment such as motor graders, bulldozers or front-end loaders to excavate, move and grade earth, erect structures or pour concrete/hard-surface pavement; $43,000-$58,000 with experience. Some graduates earn as much as $75,000.
  • $31,000–47,000 (plus benefits) for entry-level heavy equipment technicians; $47,000–57,000 with experience. Some graduates earn as much as $68,000 annually. 

Advancement potential is great as technologies change. Technicians can advance to entry-level journeyman, line technician, field technician, shop foreman, service manager, general services manager, instructor/trainer or parts manager. Heavy equipment operators can advance to site manager, project manager or instructor/trainer.

Handshake is the online job board for Wake Tech students and alumni. Students and alumni can search for jobs by major, location and degree. Employers can post openings and search for qualified candidates. Wake Tech reviews all entries before posting.