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Construction Equipment Operator Job Outlook

Aug 17, 2007
The job of construction equipment operators mainly involves the use of machinery such as forklifts, cranes and earthmovers. Most of these machines have automatic systems and the operator only has to move the levers or operate switches for completing the specified task. The most modern machines used in construction are fully computerized and the operator is required to have the necessary training and knowledge for operating these.

Computerized machines have made it quite easy for construction equipment operators to undertake complex construction tasks, such as moving heavy machinery and placing it at a predetermined spot. The equipment operators are required to have patience and dexterity for handling such complex and time-consuming tasks. They are also required to have the right kind of training and qualification for understanding the complex systems that are nowadays present in most construction machines and equipment.

Earnings of construction equipment operators:

The operators can find employment at any construction site, be it highway construction, bridge construction, railroad construction or even a building. These operators can work also as pile-driver operators, paving operators, surfacing and even tamping equipment operators.

In 2002, the median national hourly earning of such operators was $16.94. The data sample collected from all the states of the country shows that the top ten percent of the operators had registered earnings of more than $28.93/hour. The next fifty percent earned in the range of $12.96 to $22.98, while the lowest ten percent earned less than $10.61/hour.

The earnings of the operators also vary from industry to industry. As per the statistical data collected in 2002, operators employed at highway, street and bridge construction sites earned around $19.81/hour, those employed by specialty trade contractors earned around $17.56/hour, while those employed at utility system construction sites earned around $17.48/hour. Operators employed at civil engineering construction sites earned around $16.88/hour and those employed for local government projects earned around $14.88/hour.

Future job outlook of construction equipment operators:

Based on key economic indicators, the job outlook of the seems bright in the next five to ten years. One of the reasons for their increased demand is the lack of adequate training programs for individuals, who want to make a career in construction.

The demand for construction equipment operators is expected to grow in the next five to ten years, in line with the growth of the overall construction industry. This demand is not affected by the improvements in construction technology that helps in raising worker productivity and reduces the demand for these workers.

Job opportunities are set to increase with the anticipated increase in population. This fuels the demand for new homes, industries, health care centers and office buildings. Opportunities will also be available at new highway, bridge and street construction sites in the next few years. A number of structures in the country that were built during the last fifty to sixty years will have to be repaired or replaced. This will lead to a further demand for construction equipment operators in future.
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