Apprenticeship & Training

Apprenticeship & Training

The 115-acre I.U.O.E. Local 649 training site is located fifteen minutes west of Peoria bewtween Bartonville & Mapleton. The training facility is equipped with state of the art technology to administer the quality materials provided by the International Union. Our instructors provide a high level of upgrade training to our members as well as passing on the skills of our trade to the Local 649 apprentices.

For more information, please call our Training Office at 309-697-1357.


The apprenticeship program with the Operating Engineers Local 649 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. The apprenticeship program is set up as a four-year program. There is a minimum of 160 hours of classroom and on-the-job hands on training given to the apprentices each year. After the training each year, the apprentices are available for work at the trade and must have approximately 1,350 hours of work experience each year before they can advance to the next level of apprenticeship.

What do I need to become an Operating Engineer?

  • Four 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 downtime.  

  • The ability to work for many different employers during your career.


Other valuable information:

  • Operating Engineers Local 649 operates a Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training approved program.  At the training site, classroom and hands-on training is provided to apprentices and journeyman operators.

  • There is no pay and there is no cost to the Apprentice during the 160 hours of training each year. 

  • Training for the first-year Apprentice starts during the month of May and goes Monday through Friday, from 8:00am - 4:30pm.

  • Apprentices participate in a 4-year (5,400 hours) program of training.

The Apprenticeship Committee consists of three (3) contractor representatives and three (3) union representatives.  They meet on a quarterly basis, and at the Fall meeting, the committee reviews the work situation to decide if applications should be taken for a new class that would begin training in May of the next year. Advertising for apprentices is done 1 month prior to taking applications in the classified section of the newspapers throughout 649's jurisdiction.


Apprenticeship/Training Department

For more information or additional questions, please contact our Training Department.

Office mailing/business address:
7121 W. Schoolhouse Rd.
Bartonville, IL  61607

Phone: 309-697-1357