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Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators  

Do you like getting your hands dirty?

Construction equipment operators run bulldozers, scrapers, shovels, tractors, compressors, and all kinds of heavy construction equipment  on a worksite. Most job duties are performed outdoors and regardless of location, operators need a basic knowledge of structural engineering as well as mechanical knowledge so they can work at a range of construction sites and also repair equipment.  

Construction projects aren't limited to above-ground buildings and structures, and hence neither is the work of a Construction Equipment Operator.  They are often responsible for manually repairing and constructing the underground world of pipes and wires that provide us with services such water and power. With the continuous expansion of infrastructure and mechanical technology in the Gulf Coast region, this industry is rife with opportunities.


The number of Construction Equipment Operator jobs in the Gulf Coast Region is expected to increase by nearly 21 percent from 2016 to  2026.

21% Growth

          growth 224 retirements 444 transfers 815

This occupation does not require a college degree and pays higher wages than other non-degreed jobs, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy building things.

Entry-Level- $31828 median- $39722 experience- $49,983

Is Construction Equipment Operator the job right for you?


  • Los lugares de trabajo cambian con frecuencia
  • Puede ser necesario viajar y reubicarse temporalmente
  • La mayor parte del trabajo es en exteriores

It's an occupation with opportunities in many types of construction.

Top 5 Industries

What skills does do you need?

These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a construction equipment operator. The percentages describe the relative important of each knowledge/skill area to the occupation.*


Operation & Control of Mechanized Equipment

Having the ability or interest in controlling different pieces of equipment such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.


Multilimb Coordination

Being able to control two or more limbs in different ways at the same time.


Precision and Monitoring

Quickly analyzing gauges, dials, and other equipment as machine controls are adjusted to exact positions

*Fuente: Texas Career Check.

Getting into a Construction Equipment Operator Career

Aval de la escuela secundaria: Negocios e industria

Many construction equipment operators learn their skills on the job after obtaining the required high school diploma. Some operators are attending vocational schools that teach specifics about a variety of equipment before starting their careers to familiarize themselves with the equipment before operating the real heavy machinery. Many train on the job with light machinery before moving to heavier tools in a 3- to 4- year apprenticeship.

In most cases, a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) would be useful because construction companies often have their operators double as equipment transporters to get the heavy equipment to the site. Though licensure is not necessary in this field, only that the operator be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and have a valid driver's license, those wishing to operate extremely heavy construction equipment and/or cranes must also:

Principales empleadores en la región de la Costa del Golfo de México

Related Occupations: Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators, Pile-Driver Operators, Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators


If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Incluye los siguientes condados: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller y Wharton.

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