Do you like the idea of working with heavy equipment? Would you enjoy working on construction sites? If so, a career as a construction and heavy equipment operator might be for you. Read on to learn more!
If you are interested in working in construction equipment operation, you might find a job as a dump truck driver, forklift operator, grade helper, heavy equipment operator or tractor-trailer driver. Other job titles might include operating engineer or construction equipment operator. You might be employed as a paving and surfacing equipment operator, asphalt spreader operator or piledriver operator. As a construction equipment operator, you can find work with private businesses or with the government in such areas as a road crew.
Working as a construction and heavy equipment operator, you might clear land parcels, dig ditches for utilities, assist in building streets, or compact and grade roads. You can expect to work in different temperatures and environments, and may work nontraditional hours.
Employment of construction equipment operators was expected to increase 12% from 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) In May 2010, operating engineers and other construction equipment operators earned an average of $44,830 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported paving, surfacing and tamping equipment operators earned an average of $38,020 in that year, and pile-drivers made an annual average wage of $52,020.
You can find construction and heavy equipment operator programs at 2-year educational institutions. Diploma and heavy equipment certificate programs are commonly offered, as well as associate degree programs. Studies may cover binding and soldering, safety, and operation of different types of equipment. Some programs might also include internships.
In a heavy equipment operator program you'll learn the how to operate various types of heavy equipment such as backhoes, excavators, dump trucks and bulldozers. You'll not only learn how to operate the equipment but also learn how the various systems, such as hydraulics. Many construction equipment operators are trained to repair the equipment as well as operate it. You will also likely learn the use of test equipment, hand tools, position equipment and safety regulations. You will also be required to obtain a commercial driver's license.