What does a Heavy Equipment Operator do?

A Heavy Equipment Operator uses a variety construction class vehicle on various job sites in all weather conditions. You will perform duties as part of a team and will be expected to communicate effectively while maintaining the highest safety practices.

The ideal candidate needs to have a GED or H.S. diploma with any current NCCER certification. You need to have a valid driver's license with a clean driving record for the past 2 years and at minimum of 2 years of experience handling heavy equipment. You need an understanding of the necessary job site safety procedures and preventative maintenance on a variety of construction class vehicles. A job offer is contingent on passing a drug test. A Heavy Equipment Operator will have the flexibility to work a variety of shifts potentially on different job sites with 2 weeks' notice.

What responsibilities are common for Heavy Equipment Operator jobs?
  • Performs preventive maintenance
  • Operates a variety of construction class vehicles
  • Operate vehicles with safety precautions in place
  • Works as part of a team under strict deadlines
  • Expected to work in a variety of extreme weather conditions
  • Maintenance licensing and certification on all vehicles
  • Wear safety gear at all times
  • Attend all safety trainings
What are the typical qualifications for Heavy Equipment Operator jobs?
  • Driver's license, required
  • Clean driving record for the past 2 years
  • Ability to pass a drug test
  • Hold any NCCER certification, required
  • 2+ years of experience handling heavy equipment
  • Understanding of job site safety procedures
  • Familiarity with preventive maintenance on a variety of construction class vehicles
  • Willingness to work a variety of shifts with 2 weeks' notice
  • Willingness to be outside in a variety of extreme weather conditions
EducationAssociate's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Heavy Equipment Operator make?

Confident
$70,800 /yr
Total Pay
$48,907
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$21,893
 /yr

Additional Pay

$70,800

 / yr
$34K$340K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Heavy Equipment Operator Career Path

Learn how to become a Heavy Equipment Operator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Heavy Equipment Operator
$70,800/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
17%
2 - 4
24%
5 - 7
4%
8+
55%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Heavy Equipment Operator Insights

Read what Heavy Equipment Operator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Kingston Freeport Terminal
Gantry Crane Operator
Jun 9, 2021

“My experience was great I really have fun working with some brilliant minds..these workers are really skilled and love what they do.”

Oklahoma CountyOklahoma County
Equipment Operator
Jan 9, 2022

“Management and HR will straight up lie to your face to get you to work and act like nothing happen.”

Brady WeldingBrady Welding
Crane Operator
Jun 6, 2022

“Really nothing to complain about other than I haven’t been able to move up or get a raise.”

Hoopaugh GradingHoopaugh Grading
Heavy Equipment Operator
Nov 21, 2021

“Insurance is expensive to have for family .. pay could be better if you have experience ..”

Heffner PavingHeffner Paving
Steel Wheel Asphalt Roller Operator
Apr 1, 2021

“good pay family operated and friends”

Alcoa Concrete & Masonry
Heavy Equipment Operator
Nov 20, 2020

“Good place to work and good”

KJR Construction
Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Sep 1, 2021

“i worked everyday and good money”

Oklahoma CountyOklahoma County
Equipment Operator
Jan 9, 2022

“They expect you to obtain better training and certifications but it won't increase your value to them.”

See More

Heavy Equipment Operator Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Heavy Equipment Operator

When working as a Heavy Equipment Operator, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are CDL, Fork Lift, English, Test Equipment, and Excellent Communication.

The most similar professions to Heavy Equipment Operator are:
  • Welder
  • Electrician
  • Mechanic
  • Millwright

The most common qualifications to become a Heavy Equipment Operator include a minimum of a Associate's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Welder
$67,435
No skills overlap
Electrician
$65,399
13% skills overlap
Mechanic
$63,184
25% skills overlap
Millwright
$71,765
No skills overlap

Heavy Equipment Operator Jobs