Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

What they do:

Operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.

On the job, you would:

  • Learn and follow safety regulations.
  • Take actions to avoid potential hazards or obstructions, such as utility lines, other equipment, other workers, or falling objects.
  • Adjust handwheels and depress pedals to control attachments, such as blades, buckets, scrapers, or swing booms.
  • Start engines, move throttles, switches, or levers, or depress pedals to operate machines, such as bulldozers, trench excavators, road graders, or backhoes.
  • Locate underground services, such as pipes or wires, prior to beginning work.
  • Monitor operations to ensure that health and safety standards are met.
  • Align machines, cutterheads, or depth gauge makers with reference stakes and guidelines or ground or position equipment, following hand signals of other workers.
  • Load and move dirt, rocks, equipment, or other materials, using trucks, crawler tractors, power cranes, shovels, graders, or related equipment.
  • Drive and maneuver equipment equipped with blades in successive passes over working areas to remove topsoil, vegetation, or rocks or to distribute and level earth or terrain.
  • Coordinate machine actions with other activities, positioning or moving loads in response to hand or audio signals from crew members.

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • 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.
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design
  • Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills

  • Operation and Control
  • Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Abilities

  • Control Precision
  • The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination
  • The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Depth Perception
  • The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness
  • The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Speech Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Selective Attention
  • The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Work Activities

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Interests

  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Styles

  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.