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.
- 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
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.
- Have steady hands and feet to operate the equipment
- Are detail-oriented
- Have mechanical skills
- Are not afraid of heights