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Construction Equipment Operator

Construction Equipment Operators use large machines to move earth and equipment around construction sites. There are several different kinds: Paving and Surfacing Equipment Operators use machines to spread and level asphalt, Tamping Equipment Operators compact earth and fill materials for the base of roads and other projects, and Pile Drive Operators use large machines (pile drivers) to hammer long beams of wood or metal into the ground to support structures like bridges and piers. Most employers prefer to hire High School Graduates and most training is done on the job. Courses in Science and Mechanical Drawing are a plus if you are trying to get this job directly out of High School. No formal education is required for this occupation, but those that complete a 3 year apprenticeship can operate more machines and have better job security. These apprenticeships are offered by unions and the Associated General Contractors of America. You can also graduate from a private technical school to help you get into an apprenticeship or just gain some expierence. In 2000, the median annual earnings of a Construction Equipment Operator was $15.99 an hour and the number of hours that an operator might work in a month can vary greatly depending on weather.

Image courtesy of
Howard University School of Law

Image courtesy of
National Heavy Equipment Operators School

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US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook

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