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Become A Power Shovel Engineer

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Working As A Power Shovel Engineer

  • 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

  • $87,863

    Average Salary

What Does A Power Shovel Engineer 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.

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How To Become A Power Shovel Engineer

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.

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Power Shovel Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

89.0%

Female

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

49.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Asian

15.8%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

8.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

27.3%

Spanish

27.3%

Turkish

9.1%

Azerbaijani

9.1%

Russian

9.1%

Mandarin

9.1%

Arabic

9.1%
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Power Shovel Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

11.8%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.9%

Santa Clara University

5.9%

University of Texas at Austin

5.9%

Northwestern University

5.9%

University of Akron

5.9%

Central Texas College

5.9%

University of Illinois at Chicago

5.9%

George Washington University

5.9%

Florida International University

5.9%

University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

5.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.9%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

2.9%

University of Wisconsin Extension

2.9%

University of Houston

2.9%

Kansas State University

2.9%

University of South Florida

2.9%

California State University - Fresno

2.9%

Brigham Young University

2.9%

University of Oklahoma

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

43.7%

Engineering

9.7%

Mechanical Engineering

6.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.8%

Computer Science

4.9%

Project Management

3.9%

Computer Engineering

3.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.9%

Marketing

2.9%

Management

1.9%

Engineering Technology

1.9%

Heating And Air Conditioning

1.9%

Business

1.9%

Nursing

1.9%

Agricultural Engineering

1.0%

Science, Technology, And Society

1.0%

Natural Sciences

1.0%

Medical Technician

1.0%

Computer Information Systems

1.0%

Mathematics

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.6%

Masters

31.9%

Other

10.3%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

3.4%

Doctorate

3.4%

Diploma

0.9%
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Real Power Shovel Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Power Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 27, 2013 $149,700
IOS Power Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 28, 2015 $148,803 -
$187,200
Traction Power Engineer Gannett Fleming, Inc. San Bruno, CA Aug 31, 2016 $140,275 -
$210,000
Power Engineer TIGO Energy Inc. Los Gatos, CA Sep 24, 2015 $121,500
Traction Power Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. New York, NY Oct 17, 2016 $121,285
Traction Power Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. New York, NY Apr 08, 2016 $121,285
Analog/Power Supply Engineer Aclara Technologies, LLC Hazelwood, MO Nov 23, 2015 $120,000
Power Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 23, 2014 $113,600 -
$133,600
Power Supply Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Kirkland, WA Nov 14, 2011 $110,000
Power Supply Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Boise, ID Nov 14, 2011 $110,000
Power Supply Engineer/Elect. Engr. Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Apr 14, 2010 $97,992
Power Engineer Active Power Austin, TX Jan 21, 2016 $95,481
Augmented Reality Engineer/Power Consumption Qualcomm Technologies Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 20, 2016 $94,453 -
$106,000
Power Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Sep 17, 2013 $90,153
Power Flow Engineer Customized Energy Solutions, Ltd. Philadelphia, PA Sep 14, 2014 $80,000
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Sep 05, 2012 $79,168
Calibration Engineer Elect. Maching and Power Elec Ford Motor Company Livonia, MI Sep 03, 2014 $78,915 -
$107,520
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. King of Prussia, PA Oct 01, 2012 $78,496
Power Turbine Engineer Rolls-Royce Energy Systems OH Feb 01, 2011 $78,000
Power Engineer Operation Technology, Inc. Irvine, CA May 09, 2016 $76,731
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 01, 2015 $76,642
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Pullman, WA Jan 09, 2016 $76,478
Power Engineer Schneider Electric USA, Inc. New York, NY Oct 27, 2014 $76,107 -
$91,200
Power Supply Engineer Petra Solar, Inc. South Plainfield, NJ Jun 30, 2010 $76,025
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Charlotte, NC Oct 01, 2014 $74,890
Power Engineer Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. Charlotte, NC May 12, 2015 $74,610

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Top Skills for A Power Shovel Engineer

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  1. High Voltage
  2. Ac
  3. Current Maintenance Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed Automatic gating circuitry of High Voltages to manage Bright light conditions thus bias light amplifying tubes.
  • Reviewed and revised over 50 standard operating procedures Accomplishments Received Navy Achievement Medal for performance.
  • Recommend improvements and revisions to current maintenance procedures.
  • Rebuild and update existing electrical one-line diagrams for facilities using Auto-CAD.
  • Connect and test HVAC and fire protection system for Communications Shelter and provide a report.

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Top 10 Best States for Power Shovel Engineers

  1. Connecticut
  2. Hawaii
  3. Illinois
  4. New York
  5. Alaska
  6. New Jersey
  7. California
  8. Washington
  9. Minnesota
  10. Massachusetts
  • (166 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (391 jobs)
  • (570 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (252 jobs)
  • (2,033 jobs)
  • (406 jobs)
  • (209 jobs)
  • (386 jobs)

Top Power Shovel Engineer Employers

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