Heavy Equipment Operators 


Heavy equipment operators operate backhoes, bulldozers, loaders, graders, side-booms, dredging, and heavy paving equipment, power shovels, pile drivers, and other heavy equipment.


Work: Operate heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, loaders and graders to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities; Operate bulldozers or other heavy equipment to clear brush and stumps prior to logging activities and to build roads at logging and surface mining sites; Operate heavy equipment with pile driver head to drive piling into earth to provide support for buildings, bridges or other structures; Operate heavy dredging equipment to deepen waterways or reclaim earth fill; Operate heavy paving and surfacing equipment to lay, spread or compact concrete, asphalt and other surface materials during highway and road construction; Operate power shovels to excavate rock, ore or other materials from open-pit mines, strip mines, quarries or construction pits; Operate heavy equipment to move, load and unload cargo; Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment and clean, lubricate and refill equipment.

Title Examples: Backhoe Operator, Bulldozer Operator, Excavator Operator, Gradall Operator, Grader Operator, Heavy Equipment Operator, Loader Operator, Side Boom Tractor Operator

Useful Secondary School subjects: Mechanics, Machine Shop, Physics, English

Degrees associated with this career: High School Diploma, Certificate, Diploma

Requirements: In general, you usually need some high school education. , To be a heavy equipment operator, you need a one-to two-year apprenticeship or some high school, college or industry courses in heavy equipment operating combined with on-the-job training. , Heavy equipment operators require trade certification in Quebec. It is available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories. You may require company certification at your place of employment. , To be a public works maintenance equipment operator, you usually need experience as a public works labourer. You usually get on-the-job training and may require a driver's licence appropriate to the equipment you are driving. , With experience, you may move up the ranks to become a supervisor. , Many recent entrants have a high school diploma, and almost 1 in 5 has a trade/vocational certificate or community college diploma.

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