Equipment Operators

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DESCRIPTION

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.

WHAT YOU'LL DO

  • Operate heavy-duty construction or installation equipment.

  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms. 

  •  

    Position construction or extraction equipment.

  • Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work. 
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met. 

SKILLS & ABILITIES REQUIRED

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

  • Dump trucks — Belly dumpers; Heavy dump trucks; Single axle dump trucks; Tandem axle dump trucks 
  • Hydraulic truck cranes — 18-ton hydraulic cranes; Hydraulic boom trucks; Hydraulic cranes 
  • Power saws — Chain saws; Circular saws; Concrete saws 
  • Scrubbing machines — Mechanical sweepers; Multipurpose vacuum catch basin cleaners; Sweepers 
  • Water trucks — Road watering equipment; Tankers

AT A GLANCE

AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE

The average annual wage is $45,890 or $22.06/hour.

SALARY RANGE

Annual salaries range betweeen $29,730 and $80,200.

JOB OPENINGS (THROUGH 2026)

47,300

DEMAND (THROUGH 2026)

★★✩ High

EDUCATION & TRAINING REQUIRED

On average, 67% had a high school diploma or equivalent. These occupations usually require a high school diploma. Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.