Job Description

Operating Engineers compile cost estimates for jobs; drive tractor-trailer trucks to move equipment from site to site; and operate compactors, scrapers, or rollers to level, compact, or cover debris at disposal grounds.

They also operate conveyors to remove grit and debris from digesters, operate road watering, oiling, or rolling equipment, or operate street sealing equipment, such as chip spreaders.

They perform specialized work using equipment such as pile drivers, dredging rigs, drillers, or concrete pumpers; push other equipment when extra traction or assistance is required; and talk to clients and study instructions, plans, or diagrams to establish work requirements.

Operating Engineers also test atmosphere for adequate oxygen or explosive conditions when working in confined spaces and turn valves to control air or water output of compressors or pumps.

Education and Certification

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

As an Operating Engineer a person should have:

  • Building and construction knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mechanical knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Administration and management knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public safety and security knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Mathematics knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Essential Career Information

  • $49,520.00 - Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction
  • $39,320.00 - Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying
  • $50,010.00 - Nonresidential Building Construction
  • $47,710.00 - Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
  • $44,840.00 - Other Specialty Trade Contractors
  • $47,850.00 - Utility System Construction