Your career as a Heavy Equipment Operator

Your career as a Heavy Equipment Operator

Your career as a heavy equipment operator involves the operation of construction equipment, including diggers, cargo machinery, hydraulic lifting machinery and many more different types of equipment.

Working as a Heavy Equipment Operator

Your career as a heavy equipment operator means you can work across a massive variety of construction projects. Some of your roles as a heavy equipment operator would include:

  • Effectively and safely operating heavy construction equipment in a range of different construction environments
  • Having a detailed knowledge of a wide variety of construction equipment and how it operates
  • Be able to identify issues and work with certified personnel to address them
  • Ensuring that health and safety protocols are strictly observed in relation to the operation of any vehicle
  • Completing any necessary certifications and retraining on particular equipment

Career Path

A career in this area means that you can choose to work on anything from excavation to surfacing to lifting to construction and lifting. It is a diverse and busy role, some of the other jobs you will be expected to work alongside in your career as a heavy equipment operator include:

  • Site manager
  • Foreperson
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Construction labourer
  • Construction plant fitter
  • HSE officer
  • Health & Safety
  • Documents controller
  • QA/QC engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Civil engineer
  • Instrumentation technician
  • Logistics technician
  • Demolition foreperson

Professional Qualifications

One of the most common routes is via apprenticeships, where heavy equipment operators learn the role ‘on the job’ with a construction company, learning the operations of various vehicles and machinery, and also study for their qualifications in college over 7 phases of work and college based education. Once you have established yourself as a heavy equipment operator, you can specialise in various types of machinery and operations. Due to innovation within this sector, constant training and upskilling in new methodologies, materials and equipment is advised if you are to have a successful career. Health and safety concerns also form a vital part of this role so you will need to be up to date with any necessary certifications.

How your Career can Develop

In this fiel, you can choose to specialise in particular areas during your career, so you will need to upskill in order to gain familiarity with new machinery and vehicles. You can specialise in areas such as industrial and civil engineering projects, high rise construction or other construction or civil engineering projects, whether in Ireland or overseas. Ultimately you can build up your own client base and start your own contracting or repair and maintenance business or work with large firms or contractors that would require your services as a heavy equipment operator.