Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

Bookmark Print History Journal


    • Please sign in to view journal entries

Your Employment History in this Occupation

Please sign in to view Employment History

Please fill out the fields below to e-mail someone a link to this page

Please sign in to bookmark occupations

About the Job

Operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials.

It is also Called

  • Trenching Machine Operator
  • Trencher Driver
  • Trench Shovel Operator
  • Tram Operator
  • Track Hoe Operator
  • Tower Excavator Operator
  • Stripper Shovel Operator
  • Steam Shovelman
  • Steam Shovel Operator
  • Shovel Operator
View All

What They Do

  • Perform manual labor to prepare or finish sites, such as shoveling materials by hand.
  • Drive machines to work sites.
  • Adjust dig face angles for varying overburden depths and set lengths.
  • Direct ground workers engaged in activities such as moving stakes or markers, or changing positions of towers.
  • Measure and verify levels of rock or gravel, bases, or other excavated material.
  • Direct workers engaged in placing blocks or outriggers to prevent capsizing of machines when lifting heavy loads.
  • Handle slides, mud, or pit cleanings or maintenance.
  • Lubricate, adjust, or repair machinery and replace parts, such as gears, bearings, or bucket teeth.
  • Create or maintain inclines or ramps.
  • Move materials over short distances, such as around a construction site, factory, or warehouse.


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

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests.

Work Values

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

Things They Need to Know

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.