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Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
Do you like getting your hands dirty?
Construction equipment operators run bulldozers, scrapers, shovels, tractors, compressors, and all kinds of heavy construction equipment on a worksite. Most job duties are performed outdoors and regardless of location, operators need a basic knowledge of structural engineering as well as mechanical knowledge so they can work at a range of construction sites and also repair equipment.
Construction projects aren't limited to above-ground buildings and structures, and hence neither is the work of a Construction Equipment Operator. They are often responsible for manually repairing and constructing the underground world of pipes and wires that provide us with services such water and power. With the continuous expansion of infrastructure and mechanical technology in the Gulf Coast region, this industry is rife with opportunities.
The number of Construction Equipment Operator jobs in the Gulf Coast Region is expected to increase by nearly 23 percent from 2014 to 2024.
This occupation does not require a college degree and pays higher wages than other non-degreed jobs, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy building things.
Is Construction Equipment Operator the job right for you?
- Work site locations change frequently
- Travel and temporary relocation may be necessary
- Most work is outdoors
It's an occupation with opportunities in many types of construction.
What skills does do you need?
These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a construction equipment operator. The percentages describe the relative important of each knowledge/skill area to the occupation.*
Operation & Control of Mechanized Equipment
Having the ability or interest in controlling different pieces of equipment such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Being able to control two or more limbs in different ways at the same time.
Precision and Monitoring
Quickly analyzing gauges, dials, and other equipment as machine controls are adjusted to exact positions
*Source: Texas Career Check.
Getting into a Construction Equipment Operator Career
High School Endorsement: Business & Industry
Many construction equipment operators learn their skills on the job after obtaining the required high school diploma. Some operators are attending vocational schools that teach specifics about a variety of equipment before starting their careers to familiarize themselves with the equipment before operating the real heavy machinery. Many train on the job with light machinery before moving to heavier tools in a 3- to 4- year apprenticeship.
In most cases, a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) would be useful because construction companies often have their operators double as equipment transporters to get the heavy equipment to the site. Though licensure is not necessary in this field, only that the operator be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and have a valid driver's license, those wishing to operate extremely heavy construction equipment and/or cranes must also:
- complete an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety course
- gain certification National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators
- and get a special driving license for operating machinery weighing over 26,001 lbs.
Major Employers in the Gulf Coast Region
- Texas Gulf Construction
- Warwick Construction
- Gulf Coast Construction
- Gulf Coast Marine Construction
- JP Construction
- Bilfinger Westcon
- Layne Christensen Co.
- S&B Engineers and Constructors Ltd.
- Saulsbury Industries
- Sterling Construction Co., Inc.
*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.