Manufacturing and Trades

Which pathways are offered?

  • Heavy Machine Operations Pre-Apprenticeship—This pathway prepares students to enter an apprenticeship training program to become a journeyman operating engineer in the construction industry. Operating engineers work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, or surveyors. They work with a variety of construction equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, excavators, forklifts, front end loaders, and backhoes.

Brent Johnson, a career readiness teacher at Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin (Destinations),  discusses the need for high school level training in the construction industry and other trades. Brent prepares students for applying for and taking on skilled trade jobs after they graduation high school.


Who is Destinations partnering with for the Heavy Machine Operations Pre-Apprenticeship pathway?

This pathway is a cooperative effort with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 and Fox Valley Technical College.

  • International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 139 is a statewide organization that serves all of Wisconsin's heavy operating equipment needs.
  • Fox Valley Technical College offers services from a variety of campus locations, regional centers, and training sites. Many online learning options are also available, plus blended options that combine online learning with hands-on instruction. Students may earn college credit for IUOE courses.

What types of jobs can my student learn about and prepare for?*

  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator
  • Machinist
  • Boiler Operator
  • Welder
  • Operating engineers of heavy equipment, including:
    • Cranes
    • Dozers
    • Scrapers
    • Loaders
    • Motor Graders
    • Tractor Loader Backhoes
    • Excavators
    • Rollers
    • Pavers
    • Concrete Plants and Mixers
    • Compressors
    • Pumps

What is the salary outlook?*

  • Machinist—$45,750/year
  • Boiler Operator—$62,150/year
  • Welder—$42,490/year
  • Construction Equipment Operator—$48,160

*Some of these jobs require additional education and certifications once a student graduates from high school. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Website last modified date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020.


Which industry-recognized certifications and exams can my student prepare for?

  • The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Manufacturing Technology Exam
  • The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) – Manufacturing Process and Production Module