Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

Description

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.

Tasks

  • 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.

Knowledge

Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Angle Dozer Operator
Back Hoe Operator
Backhoe Operator
Blade Grader Operator
Blade Operator
Bulldozer Engineer
Bulldozer Operator
Bush Hog Operator
Cable Engineer
Car Runner
Carrier Operator
Catshovel Driver
Clamshell Engineer
Crane Engineer
Crane Operator
Derrick Engineer
Digging Machine Operator
Ditcher Operator
Ditching Machine Engineer
Ditching Machine Operator
Dragline Engineer
Dump Attendant
Elevating Grader Operator
Equipment Driver
Equipment Operating Engineer
Equipment Operator
Excavating Machine Operator
Excavator Operator
Form Grader Operator
Gang Mower Operator
Gradall Operator
Grader
Grader Operator
Grader Patrol
Grading Machine Operator
Heater Planer Operator
Heavy Equipment Operating Engineer
Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Machinery Operator
Heavy Road Construction Equipment Operator
Hoe Runner
Hoisting Engineer
Hydraulic Hammer Operator
Land Leveler
Landfill Grader
Lift Slab Operator
Loader Operator
Loading Machine Operator
Locomotive Crane Engineer
Machine Operator
Maintainer Operator
Maintenance Operator
Motor Grader Operator
Muck Operator
Mucker Operator
Mucking Machine Operator
Operating Engineer
Operating Engineer Apprentice
Paver Operator
Pipe Fitter
Power Grader Operator
Power Shovel Engineer
Road Equipment Operator
Road Grader
Road Grader Operator
Road Hogger Operator
Road Machine Operator
Road Machine Runner
Road Roller Engineer
Rooter Operator
Rotary Soil Stabilizer
Sander
Sanitary Landfill Operator
Scarifier Operator
Scrap Drop Engineer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$20.13 hourly, $41,870 annual.
Employment (2008):
335,160 employees