Is Becoming a Heavy Equipment Operator the Right Job for You?There could be advantage and disadvantage of changing career and starting a new one.

Looking for a new job that you’ll fond of doing is sometimes hard to find. The job should be aligned with the specific skills and abilities that you have.

Knowing your interest in the job you want to do gives you the advantage to climb up the career ladder and makes you successful in your chosen profession.

To find satisfaction from what you want to do in your career, find a job you will truly love. The satisfaction you will get from your profession will extend beyond your personal life.

If you are thinking of becoming a heavy equipment operator and asking if this career is the right job for you, we have collected these reasons why starting a career in this field is good for you.

Convincing Reasons Why Being a Heavy Equipment Operator is Good for You

There Is Continuous And High Demand For Skilled Individuals Like You.

Yes, you read it right, there is a high demand for the talent you have. The employers are in continuous search for skilled and experienced people. The heavy equipment industry is always in full swing. You could find yourself working on the construction sites, demolition of buildings and structures, earth-moving work, construction of road and bridges, and other similar types of work.

These kinds of projects never cease. You could find new buildings being built; old structures being demolished; roads and bridges being put up; parking lots being developed. Everywhere you look you can find construction projects.

Newspaper ads are full of job vacancies in this industry, from simple laborers to carpenters to heavy equipment operators. You could find job openings for this type of employment.

You Will Have Work All Year Round for Decades to Come.

While it may be true that some construction workers might get laid off for the meantime during the winter months, but if you would like to work during these winter months, there’s a lot of jobs available for you.

Streets and highways get snowed and need to be plowed. You could find short-term work to clear the pavement since most plow operators come from heavy equipment backgrounds.

Many heavy equipment operators find employment contract in the warmer southern regions during winter months. Though, it is also true that heavy equipment operators also find long-term employment overseas since they are highly sought after by employers from other countries.

Veterans are Retiring

This is just another reason why the demand for this type of job is exceedingly in high demand. Those veterans are just starting to retire. The supply will fall short of the demand.

The companies will be looking for fresh and young individuals to fill the need of manning the equipment left by their retiring operators.

High Pay and Good Compensation

This is one of the most rewarding blue-collar jobs. The pay is great and the compensation during employment is good as well. The company values your talent because you’re the lifeline of the business, without you the business won’t run and the project will halt. This is why employers give so much value to their operators.

Another thing why operators get good pay is because of your various qualifications. If you had been properly trained and gained experience in this field, you had learned a lot of things you can apply to your job.

The certifications and licenses that you have obtained during the course of your career just added to the value why you are highly regarded as valuable for the company.

The experience and the certification you have attained, when combined together, command higher wage.

Nature of the Job of a Heavy Equipment Operator

Heavy equipment operators are also called operating engineers.

They man heavy equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, excavators, backhoes, flatbed trucks, loaders, and similar equipment. They usually work in construction sites, mining industry, development of roads and bridges and in many other industries that require moving of earth materials and a lot of heavy cargos.

Operators usually work in shifts in day or night. They may have scheduled for late night and overtime hours. They work in longer hours than your typical job especially when the project is in full swing and the work is hectic. They will be asked to render more time at work to finish the quota on time.

Heavy equipment operators work in all types of weather conditions. There are those assigned in the desert where the temperature is unbearably hot for someone to work in. During winter months, you can find them working in cold and windy weather plowing snows, driving large trucks.

Aside from their actual work itself, they usually perform equipment maintenance and safety inspection to ensure the good functioning of the equipment. They also conduct minor repairs and equipment check to make sure that the heavy equipment is in good working condition.

The work in adherence to current OSHA regulations and company safety procedures and practice and advocate safety at all times.

The operators typically can operate several pieces of heavy equipment and not only one type of equipment. They usually take an initial training course and progress their skills and ability in time during employment. The training course is rigorous and can take up as much as 8 weeks to complete. That’s not all, to gain the required experience, an OJT or apprenticeship is needed to be completed to become a full-fledged operator.

Skills Needed and Qualification You Must Attain 

  • Since the nature of the job is strenuous and physically demanding, you must have a great physical strength and in good health condition, in as much as possible, you must not have conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy other similar health problem that could impede you from doing your job safely.

  • You must be familiar working in a team and in close coordination with other crews. The job requires you to communicate and be in continuous interaction with others. If you will be working with a crane, you know must communicate to riggers, signal person and other members of the crew to get the job done.

  • As a minimum education requirement, you have high school diploma or its GED certificate as its equivalent. If you have other related degrees will be an added advantage.

  • If you an entry-level individual candidate who is just starting the career, you will need to take an apprenticeship program offered by a union in your local or an OJT from a company. The apprenticeship or OJT will help you sharpen your abilities in the operation of the equipment, learn the basics and fundamentals of the trade, and attain a certain level of experience and competency.

  • You will need driver’s license and commercial driver’s license (CDL) for you to be able to drive a large truck on the road.

  • You must pass a background check and drug testing. Though it may not be required in some situations, you must know that this may be a requirement.

  • The last but not the least, you need the completion of initial heavy equipment training. The course could stretch up to 8-10 weeks to complete depending on the comprehensiveness and package of the course.

To Conclude This

When delving into a new career, you must know where you are going into before making the final decision.

Learn about the qualifications and what it takes to become a heavy equipment operator. Get to know the requirements and the responsibilities of the job to find out if this is right for you.

We have mentioned that information as state above. We hope we’ve helped you make the decision.

If you think this occupation is right for you, then, what are you waiting for, go get a heavy equipment operator training course and start the journey today.


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