As technology continues to advance, so does the types of machinery and heavy equipment in use. As a result, there’s a growing demand for skilled operators of these complex machines. If you are interested in becoming a heavy equipment operator, this guide will give you an overview of what the job entails, the an example job description, and the steps you need to take to become one.
What is a Heavy Equipment Operator?
A heavy equipment operator is a skilled worker who operates heavy machinery.
They work in construction, mining, and other industries where heavy equipment is necessary.
Heavy equipment operators are responsible for operating machinery safely and efficiently to move materials, earth, and other heavy objects.
They must be able to read and interpret blueprints, be familiar with different types of heavy equipment, and have a good understanding of safety procedures.
Example Heavy Equipment Operator Job Description
A heavy equipment operator’s job description typically includes the following duties:
- Operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, excavators, and loaders
- Move materials, earth, and other heavy objects
- Read and interpret blueprints
- Maintain and repair equipment
- Follow safety procedures
The salary for a heavy equipment operator varies depending on the industry and location.
How To Become a Heavy Equipment Operator
Here are the steps you need to take to work in heavy equipment operation:
Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GED
To become a heavy equipment operator, you need to have a high school diploma or GED. This will provide you with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to operate heavy equipment.
Step 2: Attend a Heavy Equipment Operation Training Program
Many vocational schools and community colleges offer heavy equipment operation training programs. These programs provide hands-on training and classroom instruction on how to operate different types of heavy equipment. The programs typically take six months to one year to complete.
Step 3: Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Most heavy equipment operators are required to have a CDL to operate heavy equipment on public roads. To obtain a CDL, you need to pass a written test and a driving test in your state.
Step 4: Gain Experience
After completing a heavy equipment training program, you can gain experience by working as an apprentice or assistant to an experienced heavy equipment professional. This will provide you with hands-on experience and help you develop the skills necessary to operate heavy equipment safely and efficiently.
Step 5: Become Certified
Although certification is not required to become a heavy equipment operator, it can improve your job prospects and increase your earning potential. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) offers certification for heavy equipment operators.
Interested in a Career in Heavy Equipment?
If operating heavy equipment sounds interesting, check out our heavy equipment jobs and see if this line of work is right for you.