What Are the Different Types of Heavy Equipment Jobs?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2019
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On any construction site, several types of heavy equipment are likely to be used at any given time. These machines require operators to run the machines, mechanics to maintain them, and apprentices or trainees to learn how to use them on their own. These heavy equipment jobs are just the basics; other types of positions may pertain to specific types of machines. Heavy equipment jobs that are specific to various machines include crane operators, telehandler operators, wreckers, drivers, excavator operators, and much more. Perhaps the most basic qualification for obtaining such jobs is the commercial driver's license (CDL).

This license will qualify a person for some heavy equipment jobs, but most jobs will require additional qualifications. Truck drivers may only require a CDL plus some on the job training, but a crane operator will need to take an in-depth training course and must pass various certification exams in order to become a crane operator. In-depth training is necessary because such heavy equipment jobs often involve a fair amount of work in dangerous settings and scenarios, so the operator must be ready to undergo safety training as well as communications training to ensure crew on the ground can communicate with the operator at all times.


These heavy machines break down often since they are put under immense strain on a regular basis, which means heavy equipment jobs are available for maintenance and repair of the equipment. Heavy equipment mechanics are skilled workers who are able to troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair heavy machinery in a workshop or on site. This means being ready to transport tools to a job site and perform maintenance and repair in a variety of conditions. The mechanic must have a solid understanding of mechanical and hydraulic processes, which means he or she must undergo significant training. A basic to moderate understanding of scientific concepts will also be necessary. Vocational schools often offer training for such positions, though it is sometimes possible to simply take on an apprenticeship to learn the necessary skills.

Delivery drivers may be able to get work with just a CDL, though specific endorsements may be necessary for some jobs. Delivering exceptionally large loads such as large pieces of heavy machinery or components for building projects, for example, will require the driver to undergo further training for hauling oversize loads. The drivers usually operate with chaperone vehicles driven by trained drivers who will essentially escort the delivery truck to its destination.



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