Heavy Equipment Operator
This week, we’re highlighting one of the most powerful positions in a construction zone. A Heavy Equipment Operator is responsible for managing, maintaining, and repairing large machinery with expert hands-on care. The sizable equipment requires an equally extensive work ethic. But it’s not all work and no play. A day on the job as a Heavy Equipment Operator is exciting and empowering. Operators get the driver’s seat to a variety of powerful machinery, like:
- Hydraulic Truck Cranes
…to name a few.
Equally as thrilling are the endless opportunities in this career path. According to The Balance, an Equipment Operator is one of the top 5 construction jobs with the highest employment. And, it’s expected to stay that way. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow faster than other construction occupations through 2026 with a 10% projected growth rate.
Current Equipment Operators get to enjoy many perks of the job. Some of the top reasons for pursuing and staying with this career include:
- It keeps your mind working. Operators report shifts fly by with active, engaging work. On-the-job boredom is a rarity.
- It provides the opportunity to improve each operator’s skill sets every day. Each new job site offers unique challenges to be solved.
- The work is rewarding. Managing large equipment means making big changes to a jobsite, all by the hands of the operator.
- Not only is it purposeful work, it’s rewarding for an operator’s bank account. Operators expect competitive pay in this high-demand job. Plus, pay increases as skills improve.
It’s an exciting job, but it demands detail-oriented awareness and specialized skills to succeed. For starters, operators must have excellent coordination to properly operate hand- and foot-levers simultaneously as well as superior eyesight to keep a close eye on the job site and the surrounding area. This isn’t a job for the lazy. Skilled operators must stay active and on the alert at all times. But natural skills will only take an operator so far. Training is essential to safely and effectively handle the equipment. Learning-by-working is highly encouraged. Most companies offer on-the-job training programs including unilaterally sponsored trainee programs and registered labor-management apprenticeship programs. Vocational and technical schools can help prepare individuals with comprehensive skill training, but learning on-the-job offers unparalleled real-world experience.
A career as an Equipment Operator is thrilling every day. Five typical responsibilities include:
- Operate heavy equipment in compliance with the company’s operating safety policies and procedures.
- Provide recommendations for maintaining and improving environmental performance.
- Ensure company equipment and material is maintained, kept clean, and stored in a safe manner.
- Proactively communicate with foreman, superintendent, and coworkers.
- Complete required paperwork, reporting, and other documentation as required.
Does this sound like a job for you? If you’re a high school student, make sure you take courses in English, algebra, geometry, science, and mechanical drawing. No matter your age, you can begin the essential process of learning-by-working with an apprenticeship. Visit our website to learn more.