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Entrance Examination

Surveyors & General Machinist Operators

The written examination for Surveyors and General Machinist Operators consist of fifty (50) problem situation and fill-in-the-blank-type questions that tests the applicant’s ability to understand and perform basic calculations in algebra and geometry. Applicants are given one-and-one-half (1.5) hours to complete the examination.

Applicants wishing to better prepare for the examination should review training/reference materials covering high school level algebra and geometry. References and training material can usually be found in a local, public library.

All Other Classifications

The written entrance examination for Equipment Operators, Heavy Duty Repair Persons, Plant Equipment Operators, Rock Products Industry Equipment Operators, Drill Rig Operators, and General Construction / Building Inspectors consists of one hundred (100) multiple-choice questions that test the applicant’s ability to read and comprehend basic written English (35 questions); to perform basic mathematical problems (20 questions); and to understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical elements in practical situations (45 questions). Applicants are given one (1) hour to complete the examination.

Applicants are not required to possess any knowledge of the various Operating Engineer occupations nor will they be tested on such knowledge.

Applicants wishing to better prepare for the examination should review training/reference materials covering basic English grammar and vocabulary, and/or basic mathematical skills that include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, length, area, volume measurement, decimals, and fractions.

References and training material can usually be found in a local, public library. An excellent reference is Master the Civil Service Exams (3rd edition) by Arco. Also any internet searches (Bing, Google, etc) using "ASVAB Practice test" to look for interactive practice tests to try out. 

Examination Location

Local 12 conducts examinations in only one (1) location in Southern Nevada – at the Richard W. Dieleman Education & Training Center in Las Vegas. Applicants will be notified as to the exact date and time of their scheduled examination.

Examination Dates

We do not have regularly set examination dates (which are determined by the personnel demands of the industry). Once examination dates have been determined, applicants who turned in complete applications with copies of all the required documents will be notified by mail as to their appointed date and time they are scheduled to take the examination. The letter is normally mailed out approximately two to four weeks prior to the examination date. 

Examination Procedures

Examinations will be conducted in a standardized format to ensure all candidates are provided equivalent testing environments, e.g., testing materials, instructions, examination room accommodations, etc.

Applicants must be present at the examination site at their scheduled times. Failure to appear at a scheduled examination may be cause for rejection from the application process. The dress code for the entrance examinations is casual. Applicants must bring government-issued photo identification to the examination site.

Candidates will be required to sign the Examination Site Roster upon entry to the testing area. Pencils, erasers, and scratch paper will be available at the examination site.

All applicants who attend an entrance examination must acknowledge that they understand and will comply with the following rules:

  • No packages, books, scratch paper, PDA devices, recorders, cameras, and/or other material will be allowed in the examination area. Cell phones are not allowed in the examination room. Calculators are allowed during the examination. Note: Cell phones cannot be used as calculators.

  • The examinations are secure documents and are the property of the Southern Nevada Operating Engineers Journeyman & Apprentice Training Committee. No part of the Examinations may be copied or reproduced in part or in whole by any means, including memorization.

  • None of the examinations, or other documents associated with the examinations, can be removed from the immediate examination area.

  • Applicants participating in any irregularity during an examination, such as giving or obtaining unauthorized aid or information, may be subject to immediate dismissal from the examination area with their examination(s) subsequently declared invalid.

  • Applicants will confirm by their signature on the Examination Site Roster that they have read and understand the above statements.

Scoring Process

It is critically important that all applicants complete their answer sheets according to the examiner’s pre-test instructions. Only those answers that are clearly marked will be counted.

All entrance examinations are scored by hand. Applicants will be notified of their examination scores by mail. All score results are absolutely confidential. No score information for any examination will be given over the telephone. There will be no exceptions.

Surveyors & General Machinist Operators

The written examination for the Surveyor and General Machinist Operator classifications is “criterion referenced,” which means that the passing (minimum) score is set beforehand. The passing score represents an absolute, minimum standard.

A score of 70 percent is the minimum passing score.

Each candidate must achieve a score equal to, or higher than, the passing score. All examination results will have the form of a scaled score on a scale of 0 to 100. Scores are based on the number of correct answers.

All Other Classifications

There is no passing score for the written entrance examination given to applicants in the following classifications: Equipment Operator; Heavy Duty Repair Person; Plant Equipment Operator; Rock Products Industry Equipment Operator; Drill Rig Operator; and General Construction / Building Inspector. Instead, applicants will receive one (1) point for each correct answer they mark on their examinations. These points will then be used – along with other criteria – in determining eligibility for an oral interview.

Oral Interview

Only those applicants that meet specific qualifying criteria will be scheduled for an oral interview. Qualifying applicants will be notified by mail of the date, time, and location for their interview. The dress code for the oral interview is casual. Oral interviews are conducted by two (2) representatives from the Southern Nevada Operating Engineers Journeyman & Apprentice Training Committee. At the conclusion of the interview, points will be assessed – based on the opinions of the interviewers – as to the applicant’s qualifications. Points are assigned on a scale of 1 to 100 points. These points will then be combined with previously scored points, e.g., educational points (as defined below), written examination scores, etc., to calculate an overall score.

To qualify for an oral interview, applicants must meet the following qualifying criteria:

Surveyors & General Machinist Operators

All applicants that pass the written entrance examination will be scheduled for an oral interview.

All Other Classifications

A combination of education, work experience, and written entrance examination results will be used in a point system to determine if an applicant is eligible for an oral interview. Points are awarded as follows:

  • High school diploma
    (or GED equivalent)

    5 points
    (3 points)

  • Verifiable work experience or trade school

    up to 2 points per year; maximum of 10 points

  • Written examination

    1 point per correct answer; maximum of 100 points

Applicants obtaining 80 or more points, using the previously-listed criteria, will qualify for an oral interview.

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