Excavating contractors are part of the construction equipment industry, which employed 409,700 people as of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. However, excavators do more than just move dirt. Excavators also are involved in preparing the site, ensuring its suitability for construction and seeing that the work meets safety and code requirements. Careful attention to details and deadlines are prerequisites for success in this industry.
Once a building project starts, excavators get the site ready for construction. He must dig soils to the required depth, plus the trenches needed for electrical, gas, sewer and water connections, the Alberta Builder Connect website states. Using lasers and tape measures, he confirms the excavation's size and depth, and then backfills around the new trenches and foundation.
Heavy Equipment Operation
Construction work typically requires moving earth, gravel and sand, as well as building materials. To complete those tasks, excavators must operate bulldozers, road graders, trench excavators and other heavy equipment outfitted with buckets, scoops or shovels, the BLS indicates. If the job requires it, excavators also run air compressors, pumps and similar power equipment at job sites.
Site and Business Management
Many organizations impose extremely specific site management requirements on excavating contractors. For example, the city of Chicago requires notice of 48 hours to 14 days for any excavating or demolition job, while protecting utility markings and avoiding damage to underground facilities. The excavator also is responsible for ensuring a safe work site and that employees follow regulatory and code requirements.