Heavy equipment operators sometimes called “construction equipment operators” often work on construction sites and on projects such as building bridges and tunnels. According to the website www.ehow.com the equipment they operate includes bulldozers scrapers graders front-end loaders backhoes asphalt spreaders steamrollers pile drivers tamping equipment bucket trucks and cranes. They use this equipment to dig holes and trenches compact soil lift earth and lift heavy objects. Some are also in charge of maintaining and repairing the equipment. Heavy equipment operators often work up to 14 hours a day when weather is favorable and they may have to work overnight hours. Also they may be subjected to intense noise. It is important for heavy equipment operators to have good mechanical abilities and eye-hand coordination because they must be precise when operating valves levers hand wheels and other controls and they must often do these tasks alone. Heavy equipment operators work for state governments construction companies utility companies and mining companies. To become heavy equipment operators individuals need a high school diploma or the equivalent including some coursework in mathematics. They must also have a valid driver’s license. Some vocational schools offer classes on how to operate construction equipment but many individuals get on-the-job experience operating lighter equipment before moving up to heavier equipment. Most employers provide training classes and in some cases unions offer apprenticeships. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job prospects are good for heavy equipment operators and their median hourly wages range from approximately $15 to more than $22. Much of their work is outdoors and can be affected by weather conditions so they usually earn less in bad weather or when the ground is frozen.
|Education Required:||High School Diploma & Apprenticeship|
|Tasks:||Operates large machinery for construction projects.
Performs general maintenance on machinery.
Oversees and trains lower-level machinery operators.
|Also Called:||Construction Equipment Operator
Large Machinery Operator