Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operator Career

Job 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.

Is Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operator the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operator Career

What Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators do:

  • Learn and follow safety regulations.
  • Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects.
  • Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.
  • Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
  • 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.
  • Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crew members.
  • Align machines, cutterheads, or depth gauge makers with reference stakes and guidelines or ground or position equipment, following hand signals of other workers.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Operate tractors or bulldozers to perform such tasks as clearing land, mixing sludge, trimming backfills, or building roadways or parking lots.
  • Operate loaders to pull out stumps, rip asphalt or concrete, rough-grade properties, bury refuse, or perform general cleanup.
  • Check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.
  • Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work.
  • Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors.
  • Repair and maintain equipment, making emergency adjustments or assisting with major repairs as necessary.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Select and fasten bulldozer blades or other attachments to tractors, using hitches.
  • Keep records of material or equipment usage or problems encountered.
  • Operate equipment to demolish or remove debris or to remove snow from streets, roads, or parking lots.
  • Turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps.
  • Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required.
  • 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.
  • Signal operators to guide movement of tractor-drawn machines.
  • Operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders.
  • 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.
  • Test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Is This Career Right for Me?

The fastest way toward knowing if Operating-Engineers-and-Other-Construction-Equipment-Operators is the career for you is to take this quiz to find your career path.