construction

Construction

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What Does a Construction Equipment Operator Do?

Construction equipment operators are in high demand because they keep construction sites humming. They control the machines that move dirt, construction materials and other big items needed to build roads, bridges and buildings.

Equipment operators usually specialize. For example, construction equipment operators drive the excavation machines used to dig and lift dirt. Paving and surface equipment operators drive the machines used in road construction to spread concrete and asphalt. Pile driver operators control the equipment that hammers heavy beams called piles into the ground. Operators work in almost all weather conditions and they control machines like bulldozers, front end loaders, excavators, concrete pumps, dump trucks, graders and backhoe loaders.

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Median Salary $
49,000
Jobs Available
44,740+
A construction equipment operator will manage an excavator to clear the way for a new road
Running the heavy equipment at a construction site requires patience and a steady hand. (Credit: Juan Enrique del Barrio/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Operate heavy machinery to move materials at building sites
  • Maintain equipment and make basic repairs 
  • Communicate effectively 
  • Monitor machine gauges and adjust as needed
  • Follow all safety standards
Education + Training

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some workers attend technical school with classes in math and mechanics. Others learn their trade through an apprenticeship, which can last three or four years and includes on-the-job training. At a minimum, a commercial driver’s license is required. Most states and some cities require a special certificate for operators of specific machines like pile drivers.

YOU MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR THIS POSITION IF YOU
  • Have steady hands and feet to operate the equipment 
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have mechanical skills
  • Are not afraid of heights

Construction Equipment Operator training in your area

Coordinates

Commercial Drivers License

Flathead Valley Community College
Kalispell (0.0 Miles)

Journeyman Crane Operator Certificate

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Heavy Equipment Operation, Management, and Service: Repair and Welding Track, A.A.S.

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Forklift Training & Certification

Joliet Junior College
Joliet (0.0 Miles)

Forklift Operation Training

Craven Community College
New Bern (0.0 Miles)

Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate

Flathead Valley Community College
Kalispell (0.0 Miles)

Truck Technician Diploma

Saint Paul College
St Paul (0.0 Miles)

Journeyman Equipment Operator Certificate

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Heavy Equipment Operation, Management, and Service Diploma

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Commercial Driver's License Refresher Course

Lake Land College
Mattoon (0.0 Miles)

Commercial Driver License Class A/Class B

Craven Community College
New Bern (0.0 Miles)

Basic Heavy Equipment Operator Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Rachel Ratican
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Rachel Ratican, construction equipment operator
Meet Ambassador
Rachel Ratican

Rachel Ratican always thought she'd go into a medical profession, but seeing the pride that her father showed every time they drove by one of the places he'd helped build changed her mind. 

"I wanted that for my children; I wanted them to see a strong woman who did her part to help the community the way my father did," says Rachel.

A sense of pride brought her to the construction industry, but it's the good pay and teamwork that keeps her there. 

"Turns out earning a living wage and not going into debt was the best choice I’ve ever made!" 

Find out what else Rachel has to say about being a heavy equipment operator

Find Construction Equipment Operator Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Equipment Operator/Dozer

CalPortland
Tucson ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATORS | FORT EUSTIS - 99th Regional Support Command (RSC)

Accent Controls, Inc
Fort Eustis ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 year 9 months ago

Heavy Construction Equipment Operator - INFORMATIONAL POSTING ONLY

State of Illinois
Springfield ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 3 weeks ago

Operating Engineer

Mondelez International, Inc.
Portland ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 4 months 1 week ago

Construction Equipment Operator

Weeks Marine Inc
Norfolk ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Heavy Equipment Operator

Copart
Vallejo ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months ago

Equipment Operator

LKQ Corp
Edgewood ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Heavy Equipment Operator

Waste Connections
Belton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago