Construction Equipment Operator Career Guide

Construction Equipment Operator Career
Median Salary $39,460/year or $18.97/hour
Education Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Professionals Employed 404,900
10 Years Job Outlook 23%
10 Years Job Growth 94,800

Construction equipment operators work for either construction companies or the military, operating large pieces of equipment to help construction. Moving construction materials is the largest part of the job. The machines are able to do this more efficiently than people would be able to. Sometimes materials are just too heavy to move and will take large groups of men. Even if something just needs to be moved a short distance, equipment operators will be called in. This helps decrease chances of people getting hurt on the job and makes work more efficient throughout each day.

There are many different types of machines that will be used on each job. Learning how to use these properly is important and training is constant. Maintenance on the machines is also required by the operators so they can stay working and in good shape. Cranes, bulldozers, tractors and hoists are some of the most common machines that are used on job sites. Communication and safety while on the job are both essential, especially when using large machines that are noisy and dangerous. Hand signals are commonly learned by the construction crew.

Construction Equipment Operator Average Salary

The amount of money an equipment operator brings in will heavily depend on where they work and live. Generally, most professionals make around $24.50 per hour, but this could be more or less for some people. Just like with many other jobs, the economy can affect whether or not there is a lot of work to be done. When companies and people are not making money, they will not be building new structures and needing the services provided by the operators.

How to Become a Construction Equipment Operator

People who have their GED or high school diploma can choose which training option is the best for them. Apprenticeship programs are the most common since they provide paid on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom time over a period of three years or so. There are a lot of these programs available all over the country, so it’s best to research them.

On the job training is another common choice. Most people will work for local companies while they are starting out; which is where they will learn how to do a variety of different things over the years. This might make it more difficult to get a job; it just depends on the individual and company they work for.

Career Opportunities

Heavy construction companies are constantly hiring and so are highways and street construction companies. It is also beneficial to look at utility system construction companies since they need operators to work for them on a regular basis. Although there is demand for this type of professional, the economy can cause problems at times. As the economy continues to strengthen, more jobs will arise for all people in the construction industry.

Construction Equipment Operator Tips

Learning about safety is something that is very important for this job. Life as a construction equipment operator could prove to be dangerous for people who are not careful. The work conditions can be difficult to deal with, so good physical condition is also very important. Long workdays are very common and can put a lot of stress on the body.