How to Become a Senior Operator?

Are you thinking of becoming a Senior Operator or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Senior Operator, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Senior Operator job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
"Operator" was the nearest match for you query "Senior Operator".

Steps to Become an Operator

An operator works with heavy machinery to complete manufacturing tasks and work in a variety of industries. If you have the physical strength and strong problem-solving skills, you might consider working as an operator. In this article, we discuss the required steps to become an operator.
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1

Earn a high school diploma or GED.

To work as an operator, you need at least a high school diploma or GED before you can enter an apprenticeship or technical school since all schools require this. If you can, enroll in any vocational training courses while you're still in high school. Try to take courses that focus on mathematics and auto technology. If possible, enroll in a private vocational school that offers programs for heavy equipment operators. You could also earn an associate degree or certificate in heavy equipment operation.

What skills do you need to be an Operator?

  • Windows Operating Systems
  • Unix Shell Scripting
  • UNIX Commands
  • Security Clearance
  • Windows System
  • Revit
  • Team Work
  • Interface
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Operator in the United States.
2

Complete heavy equipment training.

You have several ways of obtaining heavy equipment training so you can gain first-hand experience working with the equipment. By entering a union or state apprenticeship program, you can gain on-the-job training as well as have an opportunity to secure employment at the end of the program. These programs are usually open to students who have little to no experience, and they take three to four years to complete. Another option is to enroll in college or a technical school that gives licensing and technical training.

3

Determine your specialty.

Generally, you need to have an idea about what type of equipment you'd like to operate. You likely won't be permanently attached to that specific type of heavy machinery, but at least you'll establish a goal to work toward. Knowing the type of machinery or field will give you clarity about what sector of the industry offers operator jobs for that type of equipment. For instance, if you want limited travel and prefer a set schedule, working at a scrap yard or for a local municipality might work better for you.

4

Obtain licenses or certifications.

Depending on the type of job and employer, operators might need a certificate or license to operate machinery. For instance, if you want to work as a crane operator, you need a state license or certification from a nationally accredited organization. Certifications generally last five years, and to keep them active, you may need to complete continuing education requirements. Maintaining licensure and certification can ensure you have steady work and qualify for promotions.

5

Get a commercial driver's license.

To work as an operator of heavy machinery, you might also be required to drive trucks and trailers that transport large equipment from one job site to another. To do this safely and properly, you will need a commercial driver's license (CDL). Although having a CDL isn't a requirement to work as an operator, many employers prefer candidates who can operate any type of equipment or truck. The requirements vary from state to state, but you might be able to earn a CDL through certain apprenticeship programs or at technical schools.

Senior Operator Career Path

Senior Operator

2 - 4Years of Experience
$47K - $70K /yrMost Likely Range
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Operator IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$45K - $65K /yrMost Likely Range
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Operator V

8+Years of Experience
$50K - $80K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Senior Operator Career Path

Operator I
Operator II
Senior Operator
Operator IV
Operator V
Chief Operator
$30K
$120K
$210K
$300K
$480K

Related Careers in the Operations Industry

Interested in other Operations careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Senior Operator skills. Discover some of the most common Senior Operator career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Operations Manager
0% skills overlap
14% transitioned to Operations Manager