FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Heavy Equipment Operator

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Heavy Equipment Operator Do

Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver, or control the heavy machinery used to construct roads, bridges, buildings, and other structures.

Duties

Construction equipment operators typically do the following:

  • Clean and maintain equipment, making basic repairs as necessary
  • Report malfunctioning equipment to supervisors
  • Move levers, push pedals, or turn valves to control equipment
  • Drive and maneuver equipment
  • Coordinate machine actions with crew members using hand or audio signals
  • Ensure that safety standards are met

Construction equipment operators use machinery to move construction materials, earth, and other heavy materials at construction sites and mines. They operate equipment that clears and grades land to prepare it for the construction of roads, bridges, and buildings, as well as runways, power generation facilities, dams, levees, and other structures.

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators work with one or several types of power construction equipment. They may operate excavation and loading machines equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets that dig sand, gravel, earth, or similar materials. In addition to operating bulldozers, they operate trench excavators, road graders, and similar equipment. Sometimes, they may drive and control industrial trucks or tractors equipped with forklifts or booms for lifting materials. They may also operate and maintain air compressors, pumps, and other power equipment at construction sites.

Paving and surfacing equipment operators control the machines that spread and level asphalt or spread and smooth concrete for roadways or other structures.

  • Asphalt spreader operators turn valves to regulate the temperature and flow of asphalt being applied to the roadbed. They must ensure a constant flow of asphalt into the hopper and that the machine distributes the paving material evenly.
  • Concrete paving machine operators control levers and turn handwheels to move attachments that spread, vibrate, and level wet concrete. They must watch the surface of the concrete carefully to identify low spots that need additional concrete.
  • Tamping equipment operators use machines that compact earth and other fill materials for roadbeds, railroads, or other construction sites. They may also operate machines with interchangeable hammers to cut or break up old pavement and drive guardrail posts into the ground.

Pile-driver operators use large machines mounted on skids, barges, or cranes to hammer piles into the ground. Piles are long, heavy beams of concrete, wood, or steel driven into the ground to support retaining walls, bridges, piers, or building foundations. Some pile-driver operators work on offshore oil rigs.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Heavy Equipment Operator

Many workers learn equipment operation on the job after earning a high school diploma or equivalent, while others learn through an apprenticeship or by attending vocational schools.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for most jobs. Vocational training and math courses are useful, and a course in auto mechanics can be helpful because workers often perform maintenance on their equipment. 

Education at a private vocational school may be beneficial in finding a job, and the variety of construction equipment that is taught varies from school to school. However, people considering this kind of training should check the school’s reputation among employers in the area and find out if the school offers the opportunity to train on actual machines in realistic situations.

Many training facilities incorporate sophisticated simulators into their training, allowing beginners to familiarize themselves with the equipment in a virtual environment before operating real machines.

Training

Many workers learn their jobs by operating light equipment under the guidance of an experienced operator. Later, they may operate heavier equipment, such as bulldozers. Technologically advanced construction equipment with computerized controls requires greater skill to operate. Operators of such equipment may need more training and some understanding of electronics.

Other workers learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. On the job, apprentices learn to maintain equipment, operate machinery, and use special technology, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS). In the classroom, apprentices learn operating procedures for special equipment, safety practices, and first aid, as well as how to read grading plans. Because apprentices learn to operate a wider variety of machines than do other beginners, they usually have better job opportunities.

A few groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work
  • Valid driver’s license

After completing an apprenticeship program, apprentices are considered journey workers and perform tasks with less guidance.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Construction equipment operators often need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to haul their equipment to various jobsites. State laws governing CDLs vary.

A few states have special licenses for operators of backhoes, loaders, and bulldozers.

Currently, 17 states require pile-driver operators to have a crane license because similar operational concerns apply to both pile-drivers and cranes. In addition, the cities of Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Omaha, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC require special crane licensure.

Important Qualities

Hand–eye–foot coordination. Construction equipment operators should have steady hands and feet to guide and control heavy machinery precisely, sometimes in tight spaces.

Mechanical skills. Construction equipment operators often perform basic maintenance on the equipment they operate. As a result, they should be familiar with hand and power tools and standard equipment care.

Physical strength. Construction equipment operators may be required to lift more than 50 pounds as part of their duties.

Unafraid of heights. Construction equipment operators may work at great heights. For example, pile-driver operators may need to service the pulleys located at the top of the pile-driver’s tower, which may be several stories tall.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Send To A Friend

Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Do you work as a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Foreman/Operator 4.9 years
Equipment Operator 3.7 years
Bulldozer Operator 3.6 years
Excavator Operator 3.2 years
Loader Operator 2.9 years
Labour Operator 2.7 years
Scraper Operator 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Heavy Equipment Operator
Operator 8.2%
Foreman 6.8%
Welder 5.2%
Driver 4.8%
Supervisor 4.3%
Mechanic 3.9%
Owner 3.3%
Carpenter 3.3%
Technician 2.8%
Top Careers After Heavy Equipment Operator
Operator 7.4%
Driver 7.4%
Foreman 5.9%
Welder 4.8%
Supervisor 4.0%
Owner 3.6%
Mechanic 3.3%
Technician 3.2%
Carpenter 2.3%

Do you work as a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$24,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fluor
Highest Paying City
Las Vegas, NV
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.7 years
How much does a Heavy Equipment Operator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Heavy Equipment Operator in the United States is $31,595 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $41,000.

Real Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Heavy Equipment Operator Shelton Federal Group, LLC Washington, DC Jan 29, 2015 $55,890
Heavy Equipment Operator Joseph J. Magnolia, Inc. Washington, DC Feb 27, 2012 $55,099
Heavy Equipment Operator Tim's Tree Service, Inc. Lexington, TN May 15, 2014 $44,871
Heavy Equipment Operator Coleman Construction Hazlehurst, MS Jan 10, 2015 $42,016
Heavy Equipment Operator Chris Dowden Forestry LA Apr 15, 2015 $41,093
Mason & Heavy Equipment Operator All Pro Contracting, L.L.C. Sep 17, 2008 $40,175
Heavy Equipment Operator Planted Earth Inc. Carbondale, CO May 22, 2009 $38,630
Heavy Equipment Operator Chaparral West Inc. Grand Junction, CO Feb 29, 2008 $30,282
Heavy Equipment Operator-Leveler Victor Produce of New Mexico, Inc. Animas, NM Dec 19, 2016 $29,740
Heavy Equipment Operator Island Construction Co. Inc. Charleston, SC May 19, 2009 $29,218 -
$30,262
Heavy Equipment Operator M. Lipsitz & Co., Ltd. Waco, TX Jul 24, 2008 $28,683
Heavy Equipment Operator Island Construction Co. Inc. North Charleston, SC Oct 18, 2007 $27,820
Heavy Equipment Operator Island Construction Co. Inc. North Charleston, SC Aug 21, 2009 $27,820
Heavy Equipment Operator Big 'd' Paving C Inc. West Palm Beach, FL Sep 23, 2008 $27,194
Heavy Equipment Operator Insulation Specialists of Tulsa Tulsa, OK Feb 29, 2008 $26,755

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

See More Salaries

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Have you worked as a Heavy Equipment Operator? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Heavy Equipment Operator.

Top Skills for A Heavy Equipment Operator

  1. Dozer
  2. Backhoe
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operate equipment used for construction purposes such as tankers, cranes, bulldozers, loaders, compost mixers and excavators.
  • Operated trucks and equipment such as backhoe, dump trucks, front-end loader, hydraulic excavator, skid steers and bulldozers.
  • Assisted dynamite blaster by loading holes and monitoring safety procedures including roadblocks and clearing site personnel.
  • Implemented safety regulations for both state and national levels while training others to operate forklifts and correctly load and unload trucks.
  • Operate heavy construction equipment such as front end loader, tractor trailer, dump truck, and other heavy construction equipment.

Rank:

Average Salary:

Embed On Your Website

Top 10 Best States for Heavy Equipment Operators

  1. Illinois
  2. Alaska
  3. Wyoming
  4. North Dakota
  5. California
  6. Wisconsin
  7. New Jersey
  8. Minnesota
  9. Hawaii
  10. Washington
  • (611 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (1,454 jobs)
  • (211 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)
  • (231 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (338 jobs)

Heavy Equipment Operator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 59,610 Heavy Equipment Operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Heavy Equipment Operator Resume

View Resume Examples

Heavy Equipment Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

88.2%

Unknown

6.6%

Female

5.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.3%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.4%

Carrier

4.0%

French

2.8%

German

2.5%

Dakota

2.1%

Russian

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Finnish

1.2%

Polish

1.2%

Thai

0.9%

Italian

0.9%

Chinese

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Mandarin

0.6%

Filipino

0.6%

Arabic

0.6%

Swahili

0.3%

Marshallese

0.3%

Turkish

0.3%

Samoan

0.3%
Show More

Heavy Equipment Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.2%

The Academy

13.8%

Universal Technical Institute

7.7%

Central Texas College

6.8%

Community College of the Air Force

6.4%

Ashford University

5.0%

Kaplan University

4.1%

A-Technical College

3.7%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

Vincennes University

3.3%

Columbia Southern University

3.2%

Tulsa Welding School

3.1%

Arizona State University

3.0%

Liberty University

2.9%

Pikes Peak Community College

2.9%

Pima Community College

2.6%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

2.5%

West Virginia University

2.5%

Boise State University

2.5%

Trident Technical College

2.4%
Show More
Majors

Business

18.2%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

10.2%

General Studies

9.6%

Automotive Technology

9.3%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Precision Metal Working

7.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.7%

Education

3.6%

Computer Science

3.4%

Construction Management

3.4%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Management

2.7%

Industrial Technology

2.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.6%

Drafting And Design

2.1%

Fire Science And Protection

2.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%

Accounting

1.9%

Engineering

1.9%
Show More
Degrees

Other

51.2%

Associate

16.2%

Bachelors

15.0%

Certificate

11.2%

Diploma

3.3%

Masters

2.1%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

What is it like to work as a Heavy Equipment Operator

4.0

Equipment Operator

September 13, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Heavy Equipment Operator.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Heavy Equipment Operator?

I been nccco crane operator building bridges over 35 yrs in that time i spent half my time operating Excavators dig a cofferdam,frontend loaders dozers its got levers i can operate it... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Busted out windows broke doors ,equipment you have to jury rig just to operate it. Other than that lets go to work.. Show More

5.0

Great

March 14, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Heavy Equipment Operator.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Heavy Equipment Operator?

Learning and perfection, new food types in different parts of the world, making new friends... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Less payment, Environmental hazzards, long distance from home,.. Show More

How Would You Rate Working As a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Are you working as a Heavy Equipment Operator? Help us rate Heavy Equipment Operator as a Career.

Top Heavy Equipment Operator Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Heavy Equipment Operator Employers

Heavy Equipment Operator Videos

Explore for More Careers - Heavy Equipment Operator

Heavy Equipment Operator Training

Career Choices - Heavy Equipment Operator

Related to your recently viewed content