What Are the Different Types of Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs?

Geri Terzo

The tradesmen and tradeswomen who operate heavy equipment pave the way for new projects to be developed, infrastructure to be built, and communities to be formed. Following a trade school education, job training, or an apprenticeship, someone may become qualified for heavy equipment operator jobs. Construction industry professionals who are skilled at operating bulldozers, forklifts, and excavating machines for breaking ground and digging are the individuals who fill heavy equipment operator jobs.

Heavy equipment operators work in construction and mining.
Heavy equipment operators work in construction and mining.

Laborers who operate heavy machinery are expected to obtain some commercial license that qualifies these workers for the jobs. Physical strength is an attribute that serves these individuals well because of the rugged nature of the work. Different heavy equipment is needed depending on the project objectives, and workers should know how to operate more than just one machine to be especially valued.

A bulldozer operator may work on road construction jobs.
A bulldozer operator may work on road construction jobs.

Excavators are used for digging into the ground to remove soil and rocks. The earth that is removed might be used to cover a landfill, for instance. Machine operators may need to scoop up mud and the contents of bodies of water for maintenance purposes or to remove material that is considered hazardous. The heavy equipment operator jobs that include excavators may entail digging so that the depth of a body of water is extended to accommodate more traffic for deeper ships.

Additional heavy equipment operator jobs include running bulldozers for clearing land for the development of houses, buildings, or roads, for instance. In order to clear the way, forklifts connected to tractor trailers might be needed to remove obstacles, including large rocks or other heavy objects. Construction workers who are developing roads and highways must handle grading machines that prepare the tops of roads by flattening them with large blades.

Individuals who are interested in obtaining heavy equipment operator jobs can attend trade schools that are designed to prepare students for practicing in this field. Certain training schools even offer course work that can be completed from remote locations. Other educational facilities might focus on training industry professionals for construction and other jobs that are in demand in a particular region, especially if there is a lack of qualified workers available to fulfill the demands of a growing town.

Compensation for heavy equipment operator jobs is typically an attractive hourly rate. Health benefits and retirement plans may be provided by certain public and private employers and for workers who are part of a union. As much of the work accomplished by heavy equipment operators is done outside, individual jobs can be delayed under extreme weather conditions and sometimes for the entire winter season.

Excavators dig into the ground to remove rocks and soil.
Excavators dig into the ground to remove rocks and soil.

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