Construction Equipment Operators

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Supported: 19
  • Purpose: 7
  • Creative: 5
  • Analytical: 4
  • Social: 1

What Construction Equipment Operators Do

Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver, or control the heavy machinery used to construct roads, bridges, buildings, and other structures.

Work Environment

Construction equipment operators work in nearly all weather conditions. Workers often get dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty. The vast majority of operators work full time, and some operators have irregular hours. Some construction projects, especially road building, are done at night.

How to Become a Construction Equipment Operator

Many workers learn equipment operation on the job after earning a high school diploma or equivalent, while others learn through an apprenticeship or by attending vocational schools.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators
  • Construction equipment operators except paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of construction equipment operators is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in many new positions over the next ten years. Workers who can operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities.

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    Job Trends for Construction Equipment Operators

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    This occupation supported 409,700 jobs in 2012 and 424,799 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 3.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 19.1% in 2022 to 487,900 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 425,300, compared with an observed value of 424,799, 0.1% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 10.5% in 2024 to 467,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 503,500 jobs for 2024, 7.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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