What Do Construction Equipment Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Construction Equipment Operators 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. They also learn and follow safety regulations.

Other tasks include:

  • Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects.
  • Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
  • Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crew members.

We asked Construction Equipment Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

65%

How meaningful is this job

57%


65% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 57% 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, Construction Equipment Operators keep records of material or equipment usage or problems encountered. They check fuel supplies at sites to ensure adequate availability.

A typical day for an Operating Engineer and Other Construction Equipment Operator will also include:

  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Learn and follow safety regulations.
  • Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.

We asked some Construction Equipment 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?46% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?50% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?76% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?9% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?2% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?37% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Construction Equipment Operators also talk to clients and study instructions, plans, or diagrams to establish work requirements. They may also perform specialized work, using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Construction Equipment Operators Repair and maintain equipment, making emergency adjustments or assisting with major repairs as necessary. They might also Compile cost estimates for jobs.

In addition, they Push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps.

To some Construction Equipment Operators, it is also their responsibility to Connect hydraulic hoses, belts, mechanical linkages, or power takeoff shafts to tractors.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

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

In a typical work week as an Operating Engineer and Other Construction Equipment Operator, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Construction Equipment Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Never
50%


Once a year
31%


Do Construction Equipment Operators work outdoors?

Every day
88%


Once a week
8%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

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 following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Construction Equipment Operators

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Related to Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators Job Description

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators job description, what do Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators do, typical day for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators, what is it like to work as an Operating Engineer and Other Construction Equipment Operator, how many hours do Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators work, day to day work of an Operating Engineer and Other Construction Equipment Operator

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/construction-and-extraction/construction-equipment-operators.htm
http://www.agc.org/
http://www.iuoe.org/
http://www.nccer.org/


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