Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Utility Tractor Operator
  • Track Hoe Operator
  • Street Roller Engineer
  • Steam Shovel Runner
  • Steam Shovel Operator
  • Steam Shovel Operating Engineer
  • Steam Shovel Engineer
  • Stabilizer Operator
  • Slab Lifting Engineer
  • Shovel Engineer
show all

What They Do

  • Operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters.
  • Perform specialized work, using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers.
  • Compile cost estimates for jobs.
  • Turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps.
  • Operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders.
  • Operate compactors, scrapers, or rollers to level, compact, or cover refuse at disposal grounds.
  • Talk to clients and study instructions, plans, or diagrams to establish work requirements.
  • Drive tractor-trailer trucks to move equipment from site to site.
  • Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces.
  • Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Additional Resources


Preparation Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $68,820 with most people making between $42,050 and $100,180

Outlook

1.55%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 25,800 people in California. It is projected that there will be 29,800 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 400 openings due to growth and about 430 replacement openings for approximately 830 total annual openings.