Material Moving Machine Operators

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Supported: 26
  • Analytical: 11
  • Creative: 5
  • Social: 4
  • Purpose: 2

What Material Moving Machine Operators Do

Material moving machine operators use machinery to transport various objects. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or excavate earth from a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto container ships.

Work Environment

Most material moving machine operators work full time, and overtime for them is common. Because materials are shipped around the clock, some operators—especially those in warehousing—work overnight shifts.

How to Become a Material Moving Machine Operator

Education and training requirements vary by occupation. Crane operators and excavating machine operators usually have several years of experience in related occupations.

College Majors

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

  • Industrial truck and tractor operators
  • Crane and tower operators
  • Conveyor operators and tenders, and hoist and winch operators
  • Dredge, excavating, and loading machine operators

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of material moving machine operators is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Job openings should result from the need to replace workers who leave these occupations.

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    Job Trends for Material Moving Machine Operators

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    This occupation supported 650,600 jobs in 2012 and 679,900 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 4.5%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 0.6% in 2022 to 654,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 651,300, compared with an observed value of 679,900, 4.4% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 3.0% in 2024 to 699,400 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 655,000 jobs for 2024, 6.3% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.