A construction equipment operator is a construction worker who specializes in working with heavy duty machinery. Construction equipment operators can be found working on cranes, steamrollers, cement trucks, and various other units of heavy machinery commonly found at construction sites. A construction equipment operator’s job is typically less physical than that of a regular construction worker, as most of the work goes into operating the machine’s control panel. In some cases, construction equipment operators are also responsible for the regular maintenance of the machines under their control.
Most heavy construction machines are regarded as vehicles by law, and thus a driver’s license is one of the basic requirements for becoming a construction equipment operator. No special education is required, as everything is usually explained on the job. Unlike regular construction workers, construction equipment operators aren’t hired so much for their physical strength as their ability to control levers and dials with a very fine grade of precision, as well as a good hand-eye coordination. A basic course in mechanics is usually also beneficial.
Construction equipment operators are among the highest-compensated construction workers, as far as laborers are considered. The median salary for 2009 was $61,000, and the annual payment goes between $51,000 – $70,000. The prospects for future employment after finishing a project are great, and a large number of years in the industry can easily secure a high salary for the worker. In some cases, construction equipment operators can earn around $80,000 annually, especially when factors like benefits and other bonuses are taken into consideration.