Where do you want to work?
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:
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Operations Engineer
Top Careers After Operations Engineer
Hispanic or Latino10.6%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix15.6%
Texas A&M University7.2%
Rochester Institute of Technology5.6%
University of Maryland - University College5.4%
University of Houston5.2%
Arizona State University4.6%
University of Colorado at Boulder4.4%
University of Texas at Austin4.4%
University of Washington4.4%
Community College of the Air Force4.2%
Georgia Institute of Technology -4.0%
Pennsylvania State University3.8%
San Jose State University3.6%
New Jersey Institute of Technology3.6%
Texas Tech University3.4%
More Tech Institute3.4%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Technical and Operations Engineer||Daissa, Inc.||Conroe, TX||Nov 07, 2016||$203,362|
|Director of Operations and Engineering||Ocean Agro LLC||Daly City, CA||Sep 10, 2015||$197,350|
|Staff Operations Engineer||ETSY Inc.||New York, NY||Feb 05, 2016||$185,000 -
|Principal Cloud Operations Engineer||Informatica LLC||Redwood City, CA||Oct 19, 2015||$175,000|
|Development Operations Engineer||Elementum SCM, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Aug 18, 2015||$175,000|
|Development Operations Engineer||Steel House, Inc.||Culver City, CA||Sep 19, 2016||$175,000|
|Development Operations Engineer||Elementum SCM, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Feb 23, 2015||$173,000|
|Staff Operations Engineer||ETSY, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 03, 2015||$170,000|
|Agile Operations Engineer (SR Systems Engineer)||DRW Holdings, LLC.||Chicago, IL||Dec 21, 2016||$170,000 -
|Staff Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jul 11, 2016||$169,749 -
|Technical Operations Engineer||Platte Valley Medical Center||Brighton, CO||Sep 25, 2015||$165,880|
|Staff Application Operations Engineers||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||Aug 31, 2016||$165,000|
|Staff Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||Feb 09, 2016||$165,000 -
|Development Operations Engineer, Adobe Stock||Adobe Systems Incorporated||San Francisco, CA||Aug 29, 2016||$165,000|
|Director of Operations and Engineering||Ocean Agro LLC||Daly City, CA||Sep 12, 2015||$110,864|
|Development Operations Engineer||Align Technology, Inc.||San Jose, CA||Jun 19, 2015||$110,100 -
|Operations Engineer, Maritime Services||O3B Networks USA, LLC||Manassas, VA||Nov 07, 2016||$110,000|
|Operations Engineer||Google Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Aug 21, 2015||$110,000|
|Operations Engineer||KCG Americas LLC||San Francisco, CA||Dec 18, 2016||$110,000|
|Staff Application Operations Engineer||General Electric Company||Cincinnati, OH||Dec 12, 2016||$110,000|
|Transmission Operations Engineer||Cross Texas Transmission LLC||Austin, TX||Sep 18, 2015||$110,000|
|Customer Operations Engineer||Confluent, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Jan 05, 2016||$110,000 -
|Operations Engineer||Hewlett-Packard Company||Palo Alto, CA||Mar 17, 2016||$91,216 -
|Data Operations Engineer||Marketshare Partners LLC||San Francisco, CA||Aug 19, 2015||$91,166 -
|Big Data/Development Operations Engineer||Health Integrated||Tampa, FL||Nov 05, 2016||$91,000 -
|Big Data/Development Operations Engineer||Health Integrated||Tampa, FL||Jan 27, 2016||$91,000 -
|Industrial & Operations Engineer||Sandisk Corporation||Milpitas, CA||Aug 31, 2015||$90,639|
|Market Operations Engineer 3||Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.||Taylor, TX||Dec 01, 2015||$90,043 -
|Software Engineer 2-Operations Engineering||Thredup Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Aug 17, 2015||$90,000 -
|Operations Engineer II||Asurion, LLC||Sterling, VA||Feb 18, 2015||$90,000|
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