Start a Skilled Trade Career in Heavy Equipment Operation

Did you know that there were 457, 200 heavy equipment operators working in 2020 according to theBureau of Labor Statistics? These workers are responsible for operating and maintaining the machinery needed to construct buildings, bridges, roads, and more! 

 Learn more about this skilled trade including what the job involves, the types of job openings out there for heavy equipment operators, and how to get started in this skilled trade job. 

Jobs You Can Land in Heavy Equipment Operation

  • Backhoe Operator
  • Side Boom Tractor Operator
  • Bulldozer Operator
  • Pile Driver Operator
  • Excavator Operator
  • Operating Engineers
  • Gradall Operator
  • Paving and Surface Equipment Operator
  • Grader Operator
  • Load Operator
Construction Site

What Heavy Equipment Operators Do

A heavy equipment operator’s job is to drive, operate, and maintain heavy machinery such as bulldozers, cranes, and pile drivers. They may use these machines to move building supplies, pave roads, dig trenches, and clear debris. 

Heavy Equipment Operator

Become a Heavy Equipment Operator

Many workers in this skilled trade learn on the job, under the guidance of an experienced operator once they graduate high school. Others may opt for the more traditional route – enrolling in a 3-to-4-year apprenticeship program where they take technical classes along with on-the-job training. 

Man With Excavator

Heavy Equipment Operator Safety

Because they’re operating dangerous machinery, it’s important that they follow safety protocols and procedures that include inspecting their vehicle before operating, watching for blind spots, wearing a seatbelt, and using either a radio or hand signals to communicate with others. 

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