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Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

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What Does it Take to Be an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator?

Occupation Description Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.

Life As an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator: What Do They Do?

  • Signal operators to guide movement of tractor-drawn machines.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.
  • Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces.
  • Operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters.

What Every Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators say are important on the job.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Bush Hog Operator
  • Track Hoe Operator
  • Elevating Grader Operator
  • Landfill Grader
  • Equipment Operator/Laborer/Supervisor

Job Opportunities for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators

In the United States, there were 371,100 jobs for Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 45,800 new jobs for Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 47,300 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator are Utah, Nevada, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

The typical yearly salary for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators is somewhere between $31,320 and $84,160.

Salary Ranges for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators

Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators who work in Illinois, Hawaii, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $40,930
Alaska $70,750
Arizona $47,110
Arkansas $36,750
California $73,130
Colorado $49,750
Connecticut $71,060
Delaware $42,820
District of Columbia $61,320
Florida $40,160
Georgia $37,580
Hawaii $78,470
Idaho $46,810
Illinois $77,090
Indiana $58,180
Iowa $48,510
Kansas $41,200
Kentucky $47,930
Louisiana $46,160
Maine $43,400
Maryland $49,560
Massachusetts $67,410
Michigan $52,800
Minnesota $62,770
Mississippi $38,310
Missouri $53,990
Montana $51,580
Nebraska $43,590
Nevada $58,410
New Hampshire $50,230
New Jersey $75,150
New Mexico $44,900
New York $81,930
North Carolina $39,990
North Dakota $55,440
Ohio $56,600
Oklahoma $41,710
Oregon $55,800
Pennsylvania $53,320
Rhode Island $64,820
South Carolina $40,220
South Dakota $44,150
Tennessee $41,180
Texas $41,730
Utah $48,640
Vermont $42,930
Virginia $42,470
Washington $67,260
West Virginia $45,280
Wisconsin $62,540
Wyoming $58,270

What Tools & Technology do Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Maintenance record software

How to Become an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

What education or degrees do I need to become an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator?

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator?

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Work Experience

Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators Sector

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators employed by various industries.

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Industries

References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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