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Guide To Becoming A Heavy Equipment Operator

Aug 19, 2008
Most people think that the work of a heavy equipment operator is limited to operating a heavy tipping truck or a bulldozer. This is not true. There are many other heavy machinery and equipment that a heavy equipment operator requires to be proficient in operating. In addition, the job is not gender specific, and this field offers employment both to men and women. If you are able to operate large and heavy machinery, are prepared to work in a team, have adequate communication skills, and are ready to accept suggestions for improvement, you can certainly be successful in pursuing a career as a heavy equipment operator.

The job of a heavy equipment operator does not fall under any designated profession or trade. A heavy equipment operator is required to operate, maintain and adjust huge and heavy machinery used mostly in the construction industry and also in several other industries like mining, fishing, logging etc. Operators also find work at freight jobs, travel, and refuse collection routes. Most heavy equipment operators get trained on the job.

A number of schools have come up in different parts of the country to cater to the educational needs for a career as a heavy equipment operator. These courses include basics of analytical and diagnostic techniques along with instructions for in-depth understanding of the principles of electronics. To cater to the demanding nature of the job, such courses also have a strong practical and hands-on training profile.

There are several sub-categories in the job of a heavy equipment operator, such as mechanics, repairers, collision repair technicians etc. Some of these require a certification, which is renewable every five years.

Apart from the educational requirements the most essential criterion of eligibility is possession of a CDL or commercial driver's license. If you possess any experience in driving some type of construction machinery, trucks and tractors etc. it is an added advantage for employment. Other desirable attributes for employment include the ability to judge distances, work in a team, to be open to new ideas and suggestions for improvement, be ready for additional training and responsibility. Jobs as an apprentice are available for candidates having completed formal training programs in heavy equipment operations. However, salary for apprentices at best remains nominal for entry-level positions.

Heavy equipment operators are required to operate, maintain and adjust machines like excavators, bull dozers, loaders, shovels, heavy duty tippers, forklift trucks, graders, drilling machines, cranes, motor graders, asphalt pavers, vibratory road rollers, compactors, skid steer loaders, pipe layers, compactors, pile drivers etc. On junior operator levels the work consists of operating small equipment like small rubber tire loaders and monitoring equipment. Later on with greater experience moving on to heavier machines is possible. With ongoing training and promotions, it is possible to reach senior positions like foreman, trainer, safety officer, or superintendent.

The job prospects are quite good for heavy equipment operators. Nearly all towns and cities have manufacturing facilities and construction sites where heavy equipment operators need exist, so it is easy to relocate to a fresh location without much worry about finding a new job.
About the Author
Heavy Equipment Careers are easier when you work with the right training company. National Training has over 35,000 graduates and is fully DETC accredited. To learn more and hear from real graduates working and earning money visit: http://www.earthmoverschool.com
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