IUOE 649 | International Union of Operating Engineers, Peoria Illinois


Apprenticeship & Training

 The Apprenticeship/Training Department office's mailing/business address is 7121 W. Schoolhouse Rd., Bartonville, IL  61607; contact phone number is 309-697-1357. 

For Current Apprenticeship Application Information - go the the Forms link above.  If you should have any questions, please call the Training Site at 309-697-1357.

The 127 acre I.U.O.E. Local 649 training site is located fifteen minutes west of
Peoria in
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.

An 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 144 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. 

You must meet the following criteria to be considered for acceptance:   

1.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

2.  Applicant must be a High School Graduate or possess a GED.

3.  Applicants will be required to produce: a copy of their birth certificate, an official copy of the applicant's High School Diploma or a copy of the GED and valid drivers license.

4.  A fee of $30.00 (cash) is required at the time of application.

APPRENTICE WAGE RATES paid by signatory employers after being referred by the Union:
Journeyman Group I Highway & Heavy wage scale 4/1/2017 through 3/31/2018 is $39.69.  Before apprentices can advance from one year's level to the next, they must also receive approximately 1,350 hours of work experience and complete the required 144 hours of training.  

1st year Apprentice-
After 144 hours of training = $23.81

2nd year Apprentice -
After 144 hours of training =

3rd year
After 144 hours of training = $31.75

4th year Apprentice -
After 144 hours of training = $35.72

In addition to the wages, Apprentices have contributions paid into the:

*Annuity   -  $7.00 per hour worked (rate in effect 4/1/17 through 3/31/18)

*Central Pension
$12.23 per hour worked (rate in effect 4/1/17 through 3/31/18)

*Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) -
Local 649's HRA was discontinued effective 10/1/2013.  A new HRA was established with Mid-Central Health & Welfare on 5/1/15 for Building and 4/1/16 for Highway & Heavy.

* Health & Welfare -  $9.00 
per hour worked (rate in effect 4/1/2017 through 3/31/2018)To become eligible for Health and Welfare Insurance, you must work 400 hours in a 4-month period for a signatory contractor with hours in each of the 4 months.  Coverage would then begin for the Apprentice and their dependents.  To maintain insurance coverage, 400 hours of work is required in a calendar third of a year. 

There is no pay and there is no cost to the Apprentice during the 144 hours of training each year.  Training for the first-year Apprentice starts during the month of May, Monday through Friday, from 8:00am until 4:30pm.

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.

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.

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.

If you are interested in becoming an Operating Engineer Apprentice, we would welcome you to apply during our application period.  





If interested, please click on the 'Forms' link above and select 'Apprenticeship Application Information'.




Call the Training Site at 309-697-1357 for more information.

Quick Contact

IUOE Local 649
6408 W. Plank Rd.
Peoria, IL 61604

Ph. 309-697-0070
Fax 309-697-0025