Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.

Median Annual Wage: $43,510

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (67%); Post-secondary certificate (18%); Less than high school diploma (13%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Heavy Equipment Operator; Equipment Operator; Operating Engineer; Back Hoe Operator; Loader Operator; Machine Operator; Motor Grader Operator; Track Hoe Operator; Operator; Engineering Equipment Operator

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators.

More Construction and Extraction Careers

  • Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects.
  • Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crew members.
  • Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
  • Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.
  • Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.
  • Drive and maneuver equipment equipped with blades in successive passes over working areas to remove topsoil, vegetation, or rocks or to distribute and level earth or terrain.
  • Signal operators to guide movement of tractor-drawn machines.
  • Keep records of material or equipment usage or problems encountered.
  • Align machines, cutterheads, or depth gauge makers with reference stakes and guidelines or ground or position equipment, following hand signals of other workers.
  • Operate tractors or bulldozers to perform such tasks as clearing land, mixing sludge, trimming backfills, or building roadways or parking lots.
  • Repair and maintain equipment, making emergency adjustments or assisting with major repairs as necessary.
  • Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors.
  • Operate equipment to demolish or remove debris or to remove snow from streets, roads, or parking lots.
  • Operate loaders to pull out stumps, rip asphalt or concrete, rough-grade properties, bury refuse, or perform general cleanup.
  • Select and fasten bulldozer blades or other attachments to tractors, using hitches.
  • Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators.

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators.

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