Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Overseas Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs

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The need to manage heavy machinery is essential to most infrastructure projects and development worldwide. Construction, mining, cleanup, militar, and various other functions all involve heavy equipment operations, such as trucking, crane operation, digging, drilling. This specialization skill-set remains in demand wherever there is man-made development occurring. Thus finding the jobs for a heavy-equipment operator many times is simple as looking for where the building boom is occurring. Getting the job, on the other hand, requires a few hurdles be overcome.

Flexibility Helps

Heavy equipment operation changes in specifics from one project to another. There is a solid slot year-round just for drivers, or crane operators, or one type of equipment. As a result, the operators that have the most success on a contract basis are those who are familiar with operating multiple types of equipment. For instance, a truck driver can vary his skill set into operating large mining truck conveyors, regular semi trucking and job-site heavy dump truck movement.

Understand Locale

Most heavy equipment use is going to take place where development is literally just happening for the first time. This means you will very likely be in terrain and climate that is still wild, jungle, hot, barren, cold and downright inhospitable absent any infrastructure to accommodate living. If you can’t handle working in these conditions, then many heavy equipment jobs will not be right for you. Many overseas locations will be in Third World countries that are primarily agrarian communities with little of the accommodations of home.

Beware Dangers

With big moving equipment comes a high risk of personal danger. Accidents happen frequently, despite regular reminders of safety and emphasis on situational awareness. Climate and exhaustion can easily lead to lack of attention, and then someone gets hurt. Frequent injuries involve rollovers of equipment, falling off equipment, getting hit by moving parts or worse being caught between moving vehicles.

Prepare for Basic Requirements

Typical heavy equipment requirements for new contractors or employees will involve specific driver’s licenses before someone can be allowed to operate various vehicles. While job training is usually provided, a high school and frequently an associate level college education are required. Truck class licenses already in hand are common prerequisites for specific machinery. In specialty cases, domestic experience handling specific equipment is necessary before a candidate can be considered for an overseas job.


When working overseas you are subject to the rules and regulations of the foreign country you work in. This requires that you have the necessary immigration approval and work status while in the foreign country. Unlike first-world countries, many third-world countries require you to have an entry visa approved before you can cross their border. Failure to do so can get you jailed immediately. At a minimum you will need a valid passport, be 18 years old and proof of your employment with your company. In addition, various vaccinations and medical exams can be required for your own safety and others.

Areas of Recent Demand

Until 2009, the Middle East and Dubai in particular had significant demand for heavy equipment operators. It was not uncommon for 10 to 15 towers to be worked on simultaneously in the locale. However, the world economic condition has halted progress there. Other prime locations tend to be oil production areas, Arctic exploration, Latin America (Brazil) with its development boom, mainland China, India and Saudi Arabia. Disaster areas will also frequently need infrastructure help as well.


Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.