Operating Engineer Careers

Operating engineers can earn up to


After the apprenticeship and based on certifications, a journeyperson construction equipment operator (a qualified and skilled person in a trade), can earn between $27.00 and $35.00 an hour.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Employment of construction equipment operators is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in many new positions over the next ten years. Workers who can operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities.

Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver, or control the heavy machinery used to construct roads, bridges, buildings and other structures.

Construction equipment operators work in nearly all weather conditions. Workers often get dirty, greasy, muddy, or dusty. The vast majority of operators work full time and some operators have irregular hours. Some construction projects, especially road building, are done at night.

Construction equipment operators learn their trade through a registered apprenticeship program that is usually cost free to the student. A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to begin your apprenticeship and career in the trade.

The certified training and apprenticeship program for construction equipment operators is run through the International Union of Operating Engineers and offers apprentices superior education, at little or no cost to the student, that enables them to reach their full potential within the trade.

Apprentices are able to earn living wages from day one and benefits (health, vision, etc.) are available to all students.

Once apprenticeship is complete, tradespeople continue their education and are able to advance to journeyperson status and beyond through continued education and certification programs.