Equipment operators are needed in many different industries, and a variety of equipment operator careers are available. The construction industry, for example, utilizes many different types of equipment operators. This job title can also be found in fields that include communications, agriculture, and logging, to name a few. The common element among equipment operators in all fields is that they must all work to efficiently and safely operate the equipment specific to the field. It is usually important to decide on the area of focus before choosing one of the many equipment operator careers available.
The most common equipment operator careers are found in the field of construction. Workers may be known as heavy equipment operators, and often specialize in the operation of specific types of job-related equipment. For example, a piledriver operator works the machines that pound large wood or steel posts into the ground.
Other equipment operator careers within the construction field include paving and surfacing equipment operators. These workers operate the machines that lay the asphalt on roadways and control the asphalt's temperature. Concrete paving machine operators make sure that the asphalt is laid evenly. If it is not, a tamping equipment operator may be needed to operate the machine that tamps, or presses, the asphalt down evenly.
There are many equipment operator careers available outside of the construction industry. Communications equipment operators generally work in the telephone industry. These individuals help customers either through directory assistance or by directly connecting one person to another. Switchboard operators may work in government, hospitals, or hotels, for example. They may be responsible for connecting incoming calls to the proper department or agency.
Agricultural equipment operators usually work on farms operating hay balers or other farm machinery. Logging equipment operators may drive vehicles used for stacking cut logs. They may also operate equipment used to cut down trees or clear brush.
Rail-track laying and maintenance equipment operators work in the railroad industry. They may work to maintain or repair broken tracks using specialized railroad tamping machines. Chemical equipment operators are generally responsible for machines that control chemical reactions. They often work in the chemical manufacturing industry.
Equipment operator careers can also be found in the field of cooling and freezing, in which operators are responsible for using equipment to keep products cool or frozen. They may also operate equipment used in cleaning, washing, or metal pickling. Individuals operating these types of machines perform tasks such as cleaning products or removing defects.