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  1. #11
    Veteran Member Code54's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    1,628
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    Putnam Co. West Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100 (50 Hp, 42.5 pto) Kubota BX25D Gravely 2 wheel tractor

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    From Salary dot com

    The median expected salary for a typical Heavy Equipment Operator in the United States is $48,526. This basic market pricing report was prepared using our Certified Compensation Professionals' analysis of survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at employers of all sizes, industries and geographies.
    Source: HR Reported data as of November 2012
    Job Description for Heavy Equipment Operator New Search
    Operates heavy machinery, such as a tractor, bulldozer, backhoe, or excavator, for the purposes of construction, demolition, or excavation. May be responsible for routine maintenance or repairs. May require a high school diploma or its equivalent and 0-2 years of related experience. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Works under immediate supervision. Typically reports to a supervisor.

    Hope that helps....
    Kubota MX5100
    Kubota BX25D
    85 Mule 500
    Mule FXT Pro

  2. #12
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    Not everybody can be a boss. It takes all kinds to make the world go around. If you want to make money you should attend business school. You can be the boss and still drive the machines if you work for a small company. You will want to learn the basics of how a business works and how to manage people if you want to advance. If you don't get an education and get hurt you become a ward of the state :-( good luck!

  3. #13
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    4,022
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    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
    Tractor
    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the BLS, projects that construction equipment operator jobs will increase by 23% from 2010 to 2020: Construction Equipment Operators : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.*


    Steve

    * I haven't seen any research that evaluates the accuracy of the BLS employment projections.

  4. #14
    Silver Member RandyBell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    220
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Tractor
    2N Ford

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Quote Originally Posted by BobG_in_VA View Post
    Rubes...at one time I was a heavy equipment op...Euclids, D7 Cat, Hough Payloaders, etc.. Here's the deal, you're gonna be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, wet when it rains, and sweaty/stinky when you get home.....I did it to pay my way thru college..what all that taught me was I needed to get a good education, as when I was 18-19 yrs old and saw a bunch of guys that were 40+ still laboring for what I was being paid as a 18 yr old.....well, you getting my drift here? Yeah, it's cool to be able to cut a good grade with a dozer, learn how to replace a piston/injector in a 6-71 Detroit, but all it really does is make you old before your time...sorry to burst your bubble, but at 14, set your sights as high as you can, because if you have the smarts and get a good education, you can become these guy's boss....BobG in VA
    The job is fun for a long time at least where I work, like playing in the dirt. But as already said you are cold in the winter baked in the summer and wet when it rains. The bigger money in this comes from working the road crews, which would be alright while you are young just don't figure on having a life outside of work as you are not home much. There comes a point where sleeping in your own bed gets to be more important. But hey it never hurts to learn any thing you can, if you don't learn something new everyday, you must be dead!

    Have fun you have a while to decide your future.

    Randy

  5. #15
    Bronze Member rubes2311's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    66
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Tractor
    Dynamark

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the info I appreciate it. Ill will think of these things before I choose what school to go to and what job Ill pick

  6. #16
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2009
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    3,186
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    I had an opportunity to get in the local 150 operators union (I know some people in it) and was drawn to the money and the "experience." I declined because of the seasonal work, and am glad. 1/2 the people I know in that union are out of work often. I still have a boring maintenance job, but have work everyday. I guess everything you do loses it's fun after a while, it's just a matter of how long it takes.

  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2,184
    Location
    Carroll, Ohio
    Tractor
    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    You don't say where you are from, but check out your area's Operating Engineer's Apprenticeship Program. Your guidence conselor should be able to help you find some info on it. It is a 4 year program, which includes on the job training, and also class room, both training site, and inside classes. They should also give tours once a year, and give you an idea what the job outlook should be.
    I started out in it, in 1973. Things looked very good in the future, but then the gas embargo hit, and the big road construction jobs came to a halt. I was in it for 3 years, and never saw a job. There were 35 in our class, and just a few got hit and miss jobs. I can say I did learn a lot about equipment care, and how to operate. There is a difference between running something, and being an operator...
    I did secure a job with the Ohio DOT to carry me through, until hopefully the construction trade opened up again, but it did not. I was either 30 years too late, or too soon. After 15 years with the DOT, I did transfer to a heavy equipment crew, that worked in 7 counties in our district. It took me that 15 years, to be making what I would have been as an apprentice back in '73. The money wasn't great, but we had good benefits, and the ability to retire after 30 years of service. If I'd have stayed in the OE's, I'd still be looking at working until I was 65, rather than retiring over 7 years ago, at age 50.
    It does seem to be picking back up some. With the infrastructure of the US outliving it's life expectancy by probably 15-20 years or more, it will need to definitely need to be rebuilt. It's going to take some serious money to do this.
    When the interstate system was built, through the 60's, it cost 1 million dollars per mile on average to build. Now, it is 1 million + per mile, just to replace/revamp the pavement, bridges, and improve drainage systems.
    With the economy in it's present shape, it will be hit and miss for a while. You have a few years to check things out, and hopefully the powers that be will work together to get this country back on track.
    Like my Dad told me many years ago... 90% of your job, is loving what you do. I loved operating, so I loved going to work at least 95% of the time. I'd do it all over again, in a heartbeat....

  8. #18
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    4,022
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    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
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    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Quote Originally Posted by rubes2311 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the info I appreciate it. Ill will think of these things before I choose what school to go to and what job Ill pick
    If you are like many young folks, you will change your mind about prospective careers, maybe several times. I have read that about 50% of college students change their majors at least once. That number seems reasonable based on my experience (30 years) as an undergraduate adviser.

    Good luck as you pursue your education.

    Steve

  9. #19
    Veteran Member MHarryE's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    1,422
    Location
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD 7720; Kubota M135GX, NH TS115A; JD 6230; Kubota L5740

    Default

    Up in my neck of the woods, Minnesota iron mining, there is a shortage of drivers for heavy mining equipment. Not sure what training is required but I hear from the HR people at the mines the problem is finding people who can pass the aptitude and drug tests. Operating the heavy mining equipment can be boring whether it is an OHT driver, shovel operator, dozer operator, or working road maintainable but the pay is above average and the equipment treats the operator well for an outside job - to get and keep good operators climate controlled operator stations are a given.
    JD7720; KubotaM135GX; NH TS115A; JD6230; KubotaL5740

  10. #20
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    10,234
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    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Heavy machinery operator

    Good insight from guys who have been there. I would also add that heavy equipment skills can be a basis for forming your own business and being self-employed.

    I know a fellow I have hired for jobs that is always busy, even in this poor economy and living in a fairly poor area. He is successful because he will take on any job from small to big, does them well, returns calls and shows up when he says he will. His hourly rates aren't cheap, but he gets a lot done in an hour He also plows snow in the winter when the frost is too deep for dirt work, mostly for commercial customers. He seems happy. Something to consider.

    Like Steve says, you may change your mind, but it's never a bad thing to have some job skills in your pocket.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

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