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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 Definition 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.

What Do Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Talk to clients and study instructions, plans, or diagrams to establish work requirements.
  • Learn and follow safety regulations.
  • Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.
  • Drive tractor-trailer trucks to move equipment from site to site.
  • Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors.
  • Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces.

Skills Needed to be an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

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.

  • Heater Planer Operator
  • Heavy Road Construction Equipment Operator
  • Excavating Machine Operator
  • Grader
  • Equipment Operator/Laborer/Supervisor

Job Outlook for Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 371,100 jobs in the United States for Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator. 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.

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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.

Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator Salary

The average yearly salary of an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator ranges between $31,320 and $84,160.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators may use on a daily basis:

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

Becoming an Operating Engineer or Construction Equipment Operator

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

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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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Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators work in the following industries:

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References:

Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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