Heavy equipment operators are skilled workers who are trained to handle heavy equipment. They are usually in the construction industry. Some of the equipment they operate are forklifts, bulldozers, dump trucks, backhoes, excavation machines, and mixer trucks. Heavy equipment operators are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of their equipment and are expected to be able to do basic repair and maintenance. They should also be able to recommend more complex repairs and maintenance work needed. Heavy equipment operators must adhere to health and safety protocols at all times.

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Heavy Equipment Operator Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real heavy equipment operator resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage and cross-train subordinates in several job-relate tasks while promoting leadership.
  • Operate trucks and equipment such as backhoe, dump trucks, front-end loader, hydraulic excavator, skid steers and bulldozers.
  • Operate heavy equipment including, but limit to, backhoe, excavators, bobcats, forklifts, trucks and wheel loaders.
  • Operate equipment used for construction purposes such as tankers, cranes, bulldozers, loaders, compost mixers and excavators.
  • Put down mulch cut grass, plant and dig up.
  • Work with asphalt, cut down trees, and dig trenches.
  • Work with management to troubleshoot yard issues and concerns.
  • Perform and operate on CNC equipment to complete steel procedures.
  • Push other equipment when extra traction and assistance are required.
  • Dig trenches for building and for drainage around trail operating equipment such as backhoes.
  • Operate a 23 ton 6 axis CNC cutting mill as well as many other machines.
  • Utilize GPS instrument to check grade, read blueprints, erect and tear down silt fence.
  • Dispatch vehicles to personnel, train operators in all vehicle types, prepare operators for CDL road tests.
  • Perform cut and fill operations utilizing various types of heavy machinery utilizing GPS systems to check construction grades.
  • Operate heavy equipment such as crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, and other heavy moving equipment.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a heavy equipment operator is "should I become a heavy equipment operator?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, heavy equipment operator careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 10% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a heavy equipment operator by 2028 is 44,000.

On average, the heavy equipment operator annual salary is $39,822 per year, which translates to $19.15 an hour. Generally speaking, heavy equipment operators earn anywhere from $27,000 to $57,000 a year, which means that the top-earning heavy equipment operators make $20,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a heavy equipment operator, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a crew foreman, road machine runner, operator, and scraper operator.

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12 Heavy Equipment Operator Resume Examples

Heavy Equipment Operator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 9% of Heavy Equipment Operators are proficient in Loaders, Backhoe, and CDL. They’re also known for soft skills such as Hand-eye-foot coordination, Physical strength, and Unafraid of heights.

We break down the percentage of Heavy Equipment Operators that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Loaders, 9%

    Operated multiple types of soil stabilization front loaders maintaining excellent safety and operational results.

  • Backhoe, 6%

    Engaged in various duties in and around work site including operating Loader, Tracker hoe, backhoe, and Water Truck.

  • CDL, 6%

    Acted as a company CDL driver that safely loaded and unloaded and carried heavy construction equipment to and from job site.

  • Asphalt, 5%

    Removed/replaced street sidewalks and asphalt for reconstruction of existing utilities on 20 projects.

  • Safety Regulations, 5%

    Followed safety regulations for myself and co-workers-Maintained equipment as in oil changes and quick fixes as needed-Performed other duties as assigned

  • Dump Truck, 5%

    Interpret blueprints, operate and preform daily checks on back-hoe/track-hoe/front-end loader/dump truck

Choose From 10+ Customizable Heavy Equipment Operator Resume templates

Build a professional Heavy Equipment Operator resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Heavy Equipment Operator resume.

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Some of the skills we found on heavy equipment operator resumes included "loaders," "backhoe," and "cdl." We have detailed the most important heavy equipment operator responsibilities below.

  • Hand-eye-foot coordination can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a heavy equipment operator to have. According to a heavy equipment operator resume, "construction equipment operators should have steady hands and feet to guide and control heavy machinery precisely, sometimes in tight spaces." Heavy equipment operators are able to use hand-eye-foot coordination in the following example we gathered from a resume: "operate water truck in coordination with grader operator, and to control dust on heavily traveled dirt roads throughout the plant. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many heavy equipment operator duties rely on physical strength. This example from a heavy equipment operator explains why: "construction equipment operators may be required to lift more than 50 pounds as part of their duties." This resume example is just one of many ways heavy equipment operators are able to utilize physical strength: "perform equipment maintenance fork lift certified physical labor, lifting of heavy objects assisted journeyman electricians on the job training. "
  • Unafraid of heights is also an important skill for heavy equipment operators to have. This example of how heavy equipment operators use this skill comes from a heavy equipment operator resume, "construction equipment operators may work at great heights" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "certified for operation of large/small telescopic boom cranes and construction forklifts. "
  • In order for certain heavy equipment operator responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "mechanical skills." According to a heavy equipment operator resume, "construction equipment operators often perform basic maintenance on the equipment they operate" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "operatorated heavy equipment, i.e., excavator, bulldozer, articulator managed operations of loading trucks delivered mechanical maintenance of heavy equipment"
  • See the full list of heavy equipment operator skills.

    The heavy equipment operators who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and general studies, while a small population of heavy equipment operators studied heavy/industrial equipment maintenance technologies and automotive technology.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a heavy equipment operator. We've found that most heavy equipment operator resumes include experience from Republic Services, Tradesmen International, and Vulcan Materials. Of recent, Republic Services had 112 positions open for heavy equipment operators. Meanwhile, there are 66 job openings at Tradesmen International and 63 at Vulcan Materials.

    Since salary is important to some heavy equipment operators, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Moody's, Jacobs Engineering Group, and Newpark. If you were to take a closer look at Moody's, you'd find that the average heavy equipment operator salary is $64,066. Then at Jacobs Engineering Group, heavy equipment operators receive an average salary of $61,498, while the salary at Newpark is $61,298.

    View more details on heavy equipment operator salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire heavy equipment operators from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include United States Army Corps of Engineers, Schlumberger, and United States Marine.

    For the most part, heavy equipment operators make their living in the construction and utilities industries. Heavy equipment operators tend to make the most in the energy industry with an average salary of $44,299. The heavy equipment operator annual salary in the construction and professional industries generally make $43,209 and $40,849 respectively. Additionally, heavy equipment operators who work in the energy industry make 11.1% more than heavy equipment operators in the government Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious heavy equipment operators are:

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    What Crew Foremans Do

    A crew foreman coordinates the daily activities in a construction site to ensure that operations adhere to deadlines, budgets, and quality standards. They serve as the point of contact for supervisors, clients, and construction workers. They are also in charge of managing construction schedules, conducting assessments and evaluations, hiring staff, training staff, monitoring supplies, and ordering materials. Additionally, they must enforce safety regulations.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take crew foreman for example. On average, the crew foremen annual salary is $12,107 higher than what heavy equipment operators make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both heavy equipment operators and crew foremen positions are skilled in backhoe, cdl, and safety regulations.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a heavy equipment operator responsibility requires skills such as "loaders," "asphalt," "load trucks," and "safety standards." Whereas a crew foreman is skilled in "customer service," "hand tools," "work ethic," and "good communication." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Crew foremen tend to make the most money in the utilities industry by averaging a salary of $53,154. In contrast, heavy equipment operators make the biggest average salary of $44,299 in the energy industry.

    The education levels that crew foremen earn is a bit different than that of heavy equipment operators. In particular, crew foremen are 0.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a heavy equipment operator. Additionally, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Road Machine Runner?

    Operators are skilled workers who are in charge of working on an industrial machine or a specific aspect of the manufacturing business. They are trained to operate machines, learning how to use them. They are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of the machine, and they should be able to troubleshoot problems and provide remedies to them. They must be knowledgeable about the different parts of the machine and how to mitigate any challenges that may arise. Operators should be alert, detail-oriented, and familiar with safety and health guidelines.

    Next up, we have the road machine runner profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a heavy equipment operator annual salary. In fact, road machine runners salary difference is $42,964 higher than the salary of heavy equipment operators per year.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that heavy equipment operator responsibilities requires skills like "loaders," "backhoe," "cdl," and "asphalt." But a road machine runner might use skills, such as, "windows," "delivery vehicle," "troubleshoot," and "internet connectivity."

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, road machine runners tend to reach similar levels of education than heavy equipment operators. In fact, they're 4.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Operator Compares

    The operator profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of heavy equipment operators. The difference in salaries is operators making $1,894 lower than heavy equipment operators.

    By looking over several heavy equipment operators and operators resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "backhoe," "cdl," and "dump truck." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from heavy equipment operator resumes include skills like "loaders," "asphalt," "safety regulations," and "osha," whereas an operator might be skilled in "emergency calls," "quality checks," "dozer," and "assembly line. "

    Additionally, operators earn a higher salary in the technology industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $41,321. Additionally, heavy equipment operators earn an average salary of $44,299 in the energy industry.

    When it comes to education, operators tend to earn similar education levels than heavy equipment operators. In fact, they're 0.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Scraper Operator

    Now, we'll look at scraper operators, who generally average a higher pay when compared to heavy equipment operators annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $5,682 per year.

    According to resumes from both heavy equipment operators and scraper operators, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "safety regulations," "bulldozers," and "rollers. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "loaders," "backhoe," "cdl," and "asphalt" are skills that have shown up on heavy equipment operators resumes. Additionally, scraper operator uses skills like hand tools, push-pull, hoists, and ran on their resumes.

    The average resume of scraper operators showed that they earn similar levels of education to heavy equipment operators. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 1.0% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.

    What a Heavy Equipment Operator Does FAQs

    Which Heavy Equipment Operators Make The Most Money?

    Crane and backhoe heavy equipment operators typically make the most money. The national average salary for all heavy equipment operators is around $35,000 to $40,000 in a year. This equals about $15 to $20 an hour for an hourly wage.

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