Asphalt Paving Machine Operator

Help create roads by applying the asphalt layer with specialized machinery.

What does an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator do?

When a motorist is driving 85 miles per hour, the road beneath the car’s wheels must be smooth. Bumpy, rutted paths could cause the vehicle to shimmy in the lanes and, heaven forbid, have an accident. Luckily, an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator is available to keep the road in good condition. Asphalt Paving Machine Operators spread the sticky material that makes roads a pleasure to drive on.

As an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator, you sit behind the wheel of a large piece of equipment. Your Road Crew Supervisor tells you where to spread the asphalt, although that part of the job might be obvious. You just look for the patch of road that is scraped and bare-looking.

An assistant may help you load your machine with raw materials, but you’re not afraid to do the job yourself. Once your hopper is packed with blocks of asphalt, you turn on the machine and wait for it to heat up. Periodically, you adjust the temperature until you have just the right consistency of black asphalt, ready for spreading.

As Flaggers keep cars out of your path, you drive your machine down the road and drop asphalt. As you go along, you adjust the machine to drop the proper coating of the sticky material. Add too little and the road will buckle with use. Add too much and you’ll create big bumps that motorists might complain about. If the asphalt begins to harden inside your hopper, you adjust the burners and heat the goo back up to liquid form.