Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation
Types of Degrees Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Skills for Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation Majors
When studying construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- 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.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Abilities for Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation Majors
A major in construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
What Can You Do With a Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Major?
People with a construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Crane and Tower Operators||8.5%||$54,140|
|Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas||19.9%||$44,430|
|Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators||8.1%||$44,270|
|Highway Maintenance Workers||6.9%||$39,690|
|Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators||12.3%||$47,810|
|Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators||12.1%||$39,780|
|Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators||8.6%||$56,930|
Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||2|
|Hispanic or Latino||7|
How Much Do Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $47,500 to $56,390 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation
Some careers associated with construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||18.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||62.3%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||15.6%|
|Some College Courses||2.6%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||0.3%|
Online Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Programs
In the 2019-2020 academic year, 70 schools offered some type of construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||40||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||2||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation Worth It?
The median salary for a construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation grad is $52,920 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 33% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $260,400 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Trades Related to Construction/Heavy Equipment Operation
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to construction/heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment operation.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Truck & Bus Driver/Commercial Vehicle Operator & Instructor||15,103|
|Other Ground Transportation||461|
|Railroad & Railway Transportation||171|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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