Asphalt roller operators steer and manage the heavy equipment that is used to spread asphalt onto roadways. Many such individuals are high school graduates who get their training on the job, while others complete certificate or associate degree programs in heavy construction equipment operating.
Employees who are new to the construction field often begin their training by working on lighter vehicles under the supervision of licensed equipment operators. They can then advance to the position of asphalt roller operator, where they will learn how to use the heavy machines to regulate and control the flow of asphalt as it is spread onto a road surface.
Some two-year community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate and associate degree programs for aspiring construction equipment operators, including asphalt roller operators. Certificate programs include courses covering operating standards, operating procedures, safety regulations, construction survey markings, and basic equipment maintenance.
Many states require construction equipment operators to obtain a commercial driver’s license before they can work independently in the field. Each state has its own rules and requirements for doling out commercial driver’s licenses, but most check applicants to ensure they are in good physical condition and have strong hand-eye coordination.
2016 Salary Information for Construction Equipment Operators
Construction equipment operators earned a median annual salary of $45,120 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, construction equipment operators earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,280, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $60,420, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 426,700 people were employed in the U.S. as construction equipment operators.