Do you remember as a child looking up in awe at the person driving cranes, JCBs, bucket trucks and steamrollers?

As a Heavy Equipment Operator that would be your job – you’d be in control of some of the biggest and most impressive machinery on the construction site, helping to create and maintain infrastructure by shifting earth, digging holes, lifting heavy objects and compacting soil.

There is no shortage of opportunity; in fact, opportunities often outweigh the number of people with relevant skills, so if this is a career that you’re interested in you should never be out of work!

The way in to this career choice is often on the job training – but you must start with some basic skills – a clean, valid driver’s license, the flexibility to work long hours, great listening skills, a methodical approach to work and a good level of physical fitness.

If you have previous experience on construction sites this would put you at a distinct advantage, as would an aptitude for mechanics – you’ll be taught everything you need to know but a vital part of that training is the safety assessment and maintenance of the vehicles; it would be good to have a head start in understanding your way around an engine.

It is estimated that opportunities in this field will continue to grow and it attracts a healthy wage, so it really is good choice but before you make your decision there are a couple of things to consider.

You will be required to work long hours, outdoors, in all weathers so you’ll need to be fit and healthy.

You’ll also need a contingency plan for when the weather is too bad for work to continue – in many Equipment Operator jobs the pay is hourly rather than salaried, so no work will equal no pay.


Median annual pay in 2017 for heavy equipment operators according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $46,080 per year.

Not all heavy equipment operators and earth movers though work on an annual salary basis, an hourly pay is actually more common.

The US peer of labor statistics average for hourly pay is around $21 dollars per hour, and pay scale.com what’s average around $18 dollars per hour. The discrepancy can probably be attributed to skill level, Location of project, and type of equipment used.

For example industrial crane operators can command more hourly than simple bulldozer or digger operators.

Heavy Equipment Operator Salary Statistics

2017 Median Pay$46,080 per year
$22.15 per hour
Typical Entry-level EducationHigh School Diploma or Equivalent
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingModerate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016424,800
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+10%
Employment Change, 2014-2024+43,200
Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale.com

Industry Forecast

Job outlook for carbon operators is pretty peachy actually and is expected to grow at around 10% between the years of 2014 and 2024. This is likely result of increased spending on infrastructure across the country what you acquire new positions over the next 10 years to completeProjects.

These projects include things like roads and highways, bridges, waters or assistance, electrical grid modernization, and other public service works.

Within the construction equipment operator industry, there’re several subindustries that are growing at different rates.

Paving servicing and tamping equipment operators, meaning guys working on roads and Lane asphalt for example, though experience the growth rate of around 9% in 2014 to 2024.

Pile-driver operators, So guys doing with well day and foundation building, are exceptionally lucky is still experiencing growth rate of around 17% over the next 10 years much higher than the construction average.

Industry growth and pay can vary greatly depending on the specific type of equipment you operate an industry work in.

This is why it’s good I always look to acquire new skills went on the job if training is possible as it will make you more daft bone fuck subordinate future so that you can snap up highest pain and fastest growing jobs in the country.

Types of Heavy Equipment Operators

As mentioned above there’re many types of heavy equipment operators, some guys RP really excavator guys and simply work on home construction sites. Others operate multi-ton cranes in industrial zones only work on multimillion dollar industrial projects.

Regardless though, construction equipment operators are tough bunch, working in inclement weather conditions, And often can get pretty dirty greasy and muddy.

There’s also high risk of injury, given the nature of the industry in the power of the equipment being used.

While working in the construction industry you’ll want to have a more specific title when applying for work. Specializing in operating specific equipment and having years of experience facet equipment make you more desirable for projects.

Some examples of more specific heavy equipment operator titles include:

  • Backhoe operator
  • Crane operator
  • Excavator operator
  • Loader operator
  • Greater operator
  • Bulldozer operator
  • Front end loader operator
  • Piledriver operator

Even within each of the specialities there are different levels of workers, as you can start out as a crane operator apprentice and eventually work your way up to the master crane operator title with enough experience.

Do not be vague with your resume or when applying to jobs, The more specific that you can be when communicating your experiences and specialities, the more a company will want you for a specific position.

Example Resume Download

Below is an example of a heavy coat equipment operator resume that you can used to reference when writing your own resume.

Download it, Print it, reference it, uses kindling to start a fire, do whatever you want with the sample but if it you’re using it for a job application the one thing you must do is customize it as this wasn’t written to reflect your individual experiences.

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How To Write Your Own

Lucky for you resumes in the construction industry rarely ever exceed one page length, So writing this bad boy should take too much of your time.

Make sure you get the essentials, make sure everything is formatted correctly, and double check for spelling and you should be good to go. Here are a few specific tips and points of emphasis to consider when composing your own resume.

First first things first, always start your resume with your legal name and your current address. Make sure to use the address your live at, not the location of the project, even if the project is out of your city.

After the contact details, you will want to start your resume off with something like a career objective. This is where you state why you want to work for the specific company, and your experience.

A sample career objective will start off with something like: “Excavator operator with 10+ years of experience looking to find a position with Kendall heavy equipment construction Incorporated.”

Career objectives are short and sweet, and limited to 1 to 2 sentences. You can also emphasize safety in your career objective, and make sure you mention the type of equipment that you have experience using, as this is the first thing the reader will see in your application.

National volunteer professional experience section, where you list different companies you work for, the dates you work for them, and the duties you performed for each company and project.

Each of these sections can consist of 3 to 4 bullet points, and detail should decrease as you move further back In time.

Start with the most recent experience, list your title, and some of the most impressive or are important responsibilities you held.

You can kick off mentioning that type of equipment you’re proficient in which for example if you aren’t excavator operator, but also have experience with backhoes, craters, rollers, and skip trucks.

Also try to touch upon things like teamwork, project crew coordination, as a worker is owned as a part of a larger thing on a construction site and the ability to work well with others. Whether taking orders are giving orders, highly prized and industry.

Also make sure you touch on safety, that is your enthusiasm for following OSHA standards, your years of experience without any incidents, and any other sort of training you might have like CPR that could be of value to a company.

Still confused? Check out our in-depth guide on how to write a resume like a pro!

Finally a move on to education section where you list your high school diploma, bachelors degree, or any other sort of specific industry training you have. After this a simple additional skills and certification section can be tacked onto the end and you’ll be ready to go.

Make sure you give your resume to a friend or family member to look over before submitting it to a job, because they can help you find errors that you may have missed where include important information you might’ve forgotten about.

Sample Bullet Points

A large selection of bullet point specifically selected for construction equipment operators. You can use these for inspiration when writing your own resume, but try to customize them whenever possible to make them more applicable to your own history.

Sample Heavy Equipment Operator Bullet Points

Learn and follow safety regulations.
Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects.
Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work.
Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crew members.
Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.
Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.
Drive and maneuver equipment equipped with blades in successive passes over working areas to remove topsoil, vegetation, or rocks or to distribute and level earth or terrain.
Signal operators to guide movement of tractor-drawn machines.
Keep records of material or equipment usage or problems encountered.
Align machines, cutterheads, or depth gauge makers with reference stakes and guidelines or ground or position equipment, following hand signals of other workers.
Operate tractors or bulldozers to perform such tasks as clearing land, mixing sludge, trimming backfills, or building roadways or parking lots.
Repair and maintain equipment, making emergency adjustments or assisting with major repairs as necessary.
Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors.
Operate equipment to demolish or remove debris or to remove snow from streets, roads, or parking lots.
Operate loaders to pull out stumps, rip asphalt or concrete, rough-grade properties, bury refuse, or perform general cleanup.
Select and fasten bulldozer blades or other attachments to tractors, using hitches.
Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required.
Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces.
Drive tractor-trailer trucks to move equipment from site to site.
Talk to clients and study instructions, plans, or diagrams to establish work requirements.
Operate compactors, scrapers, or rollers to level, compact, or cover refuse at disposal grounds.
Operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders.
Turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps.
Compile cost estimates for jobs.
Perform specialized work, using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers.
Operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters.

Career Objective

As mentioned briefly above you’ll so euros me off of the career objective. Since a lot of equipment operator workers project basis not salary base this section of your resume may not be quite as  important as it is in other industries, but it still needs to be included nonetheless.

Essentially this is just a kick off, this is a part of your resume were you meet someone an elevator and asked what do you do can you give him a brief overview.

Make sure to emphasize your years of experience, and specific equipment knowledge, and any other major notable achievements, all within one or two sentences.

Don’t sweat this too much is just a couple of sentences, and he’ll change it up for each position you applied to.

You’ll change the name of the company you’re seeking a job for and you can change your specific equipment experience depending on the type of position you’re applying to.

Additional Skills & Certifications

Well the career objective section may not be as important for equipment operators as other industries,The additional skills and certification section is probably more important than other industries.

Construction equipment operators are all about experience, training, licensing, and certifications. The company can get it paid big trouble if they have someone operating heavy equipment on the site and someone gets hurt and that person didn’t have the correct training or certification.

For this reason employers are very critical and are looking for detailed specifics on your individual training backgroundWhen hiring.


Trading is critical in this industry, as most workers only have high school education, meaningTheir training is usually done after school on the job site and not in some university somewhere.

A lot of Operators started as apprentices. This type of history is something you want to include in your education section or your professional experience section depending on who the employer was.

Many workers hone their craft through 2 to 4 years of apprenticeship, requiring them to log a specific amount of technical instruction hours as well as  other hours logged actually operating equipment on job sites.

At the bare minimum, to become an apprentice and eventually a heavy equipment operator, an applicant will be at least 18 years of age, have at least a high school education, be physically able to work, meaning be able to lift heavy loads, and also have a valid drivers license so you can get to and from job sites regularly.

Licenses & Certifications

Licenses depend upon the equipment you’re operating industry you’re in,But one license that all employers require for construction work as a commercial drivers license (CDL).

This is required because construction workers need to be able to haul their equipment to and from various job sites, and state laws are very strict regarding who can drive large trailer loads for example which are required to move backhoes, loaders, the earth movers.

You also want to mention any specific training you have, Whether that be on site equipment safety programs from various companies, or state-level training.

Useful Skills to Include

A Large selection of useful skills that you can include any additional skills section. Sometimes additional skill sections are combined certifications. You can do this as long as the bullet point list doesn’t exceed 3-5 bullet points in total.

Useful Heavy Equipment Operator Skills

SkillSkill Description
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active ListeningGiving 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.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Additional Resources

International Union of Operating Engineers – http://www.iuoe.org/training/heavy-equipment-operator-training-schools

CAT operator training – http://www.cat.com/en_US/support/operations/operator-training1/heavy-equipment-operatortraining.html

Career Overview Video

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