Heavy Equipment Operator

Operate heavy machinery at construction sites.

What does a Heavy Equipment Operator do?

Heavy equipment operators are in the construction field and have responsibility for operating bulldozers, dump trucks, graders, backhoes, excavators, and other heavy equipment as they construct, de-construct, or excavate construction sites. You may also be responsible for maintaining equipment or repairs.

This position must have knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within the heavy construction field. Critical skills needed are hand-eye-foot coordination, mechanical skills, physical strength, and no fear of heights. Heavy equipment operators work in all weather conditions, and the position may require irregular hours, including working at night.

Job requirements do not include a degree, but most employers required a high school diploma or GED. Many operators work as apprentices for their employers as they learn to use and maintain equipment. Frequently, unions and contractor associations sponsor apprenticeship programs.