How Do I Become a Loader Operator?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2020
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In order to become a loader operator, you will typically first need to have either graduated from high school or passed a general education development (GED) test. This is not always necessary, but most employers will require that you have a diploma or certificate before they will hire you. You will typically also need to earn a certification to run a particular type of loader, though the specifics can differ from one area to another. Depending on where you live and the company you earn a certification from, you may need up to 30 hours of experience using a loader before you can apply for the classes. In many cases, you will need to go to work for a company that uses loaders, work for them in another capacity, and then earn a certification before you can become a loader operator.

Loader operators perform a wide variety of duties, since there are a number of different types of loaders and even more attachments. If you are a skilled loader operator, you may find work in a factory, warehouse, construction site or a number of other areas. You need to have good hand-eye coordination, be aware of your surroundings and have an aptitude for working with heavy equipment.


If you want to be a loader operator, the first step is to finish high school or obtain a GED. Some companies will hire you without a diploma, but it is typically easier to find work if you have one. You will then need to go to work for a company that uses loaders. In most cases, you will need to start out in another capacity, typically performing some type of manual labor. If you show interest in operating a loader and perform well in your job, you may eventually be able to pick up a few shifts using one of these machines under the supervision of a more experienced worker.

Some jurisdictions and companies do not require that you obtain certification before you become a loader operator. If this is the case, then simply obtaining on-the-job-experience will be enough. Certification is sometimes required though, in which case you will need to determine what the process is in your local area. You may need to have a certain number of hours logged working on a loader before you can apply for classes, and will usually need to choose whether you want a certification on a skid steer loader, backhoe, front end loader or another type. After you obtain your certification, you will typically be qualified to become a loader operator.


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