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Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

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What You Need to Know About Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Job 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.

Daily Life Of an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

  • Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.
  • Operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Select and fasten bulldozer blades or other attachments to tractors, using hitches.
  • Perform specialized work, using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers.
  • Operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters.

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Skills

When polled, Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Dump Attendant
  • Equipment Operator/Laborer
  • Sander
  • Locomotive Crane Engineer
  • Loader Operator/Ground Leader

Is There Job Demand 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. There will be an estimated 47,300 positions for Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator per year.

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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 salary for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators ranges between about $31,320 and $84,160 a year.

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators in different U.S. states.

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 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 do I Become an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator?

Are there Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators Work?

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

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References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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