What Do Excavating Machine Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Excavating Machine Operators operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials. They also move levers, depress foot pedals, and turn dials to operate power machinery, such as power shovels, stripping shovels, scraper loaders, or backhoes.

Other tasks include:

  • Set up or inspect equipment prior to operation.
  • Become familiar with digging plans, machine capabilities and limitations, and with efficient and safe digging procedures in a given application.
  • Observe hand signals, grade stakes, or other markings when operating machines so that work can be performed to specifications.
  • Operate machinery to perform activities such as backfilling excavations, vibrating or breaking rock or concrete, or making winter roads.
  • Receive written or oral instructions regarding material movement or excavation.
  • Direct workers engaged in placing blocks or outriggers to prevent capsizing of machines when lifting heavy loads.

We asked Excavating Machine Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

47%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Excavating Machine Operators set up or inspect equipment prior to operation. They move levers, depress foot pedals, and turn dials to operate power machinery, such as power shovels, stripping shovels, scraper loaders, or backhoes.

A typical day for an Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operator will also include:

  • Lubricate, adjust, or repair machinery and replace parts, such as gears, bearings, or bucket teeth.
  • Receive written or oral instructions regarding material movement or excavation.
  • Direct ground workers engaged in activities such as moving stakes or markers, or changing positions of towers.
  • Adjust dig face angles for varying overburden depths and set lengths.
  • Move materials over short distances, such as around a construction site, factory, or warehouse.

We asked some Excavating Machine Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?34% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?63% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?77% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?5% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?3% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?66% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Excavating Machine Operators also perform manual labor to prepare or finish sites, such as shoveling materials by hand. They may also create or maintain inclines or ramps.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Excavating Machine Operators Handle slides, mud, or pit cleanings or maintenance. They might also Direct workers engaged in placing blocks or outriggers to prevent capsizing of machines when lifting heavy loads.

In addition, they Operate machinery to perform activities such as backfilling excavations, vibrating or breaking rock or concrete, or making winter roads.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Receive written or oral instructions regarding material movement or excavation.

To some Excavating Machine Operators, it is also their responsibility to Direct ground workers engaged in activities such as moving stakes or markers, or changing positions of towers.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Irregular work schedule that changes depending on weather conditions, customer demand or contract duration.

In a typical work week as an Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operator, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Excavating Machine Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Never
70%


Once a year
12%


Do Excavating Machine Operators work outdoors?

Every day
64%


Once a week
13%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Excavating Machine Operators

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Related to Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/transportation-and-material-moving/material-moving-machine-operators.htm
http://www.werc.org/
http://www.iuoe.org/
http://www.nccco.org/


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