Heavy equipment operators (except crane) (NOC 7521)

About this job

Heavy equipment operators run heavy equipment used in the building and maintenance of:

  • roads
  • bridges
  • airports
  • gas and oil pipelines
  • tunnels
  • buildings and other structures

As well, they operate heavy equipment used in surface mining and quarrying activities and in material handling work.

Want to learn more? Watch this WorkBC Career Trek video and see what it’s like to work in this type of career.

5:02

Heavy equipment operator


People in this career work for heavy equipment contractors, public works departments, as well as construction, pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies.

Common job titles
  • engineer, operating - heavy equipment
  • erector, structural hydraulic jack
  • forest road machine operator
  • operator, marine railway
  • operator, mole
  • operator, mucker / mucking machine
  • engineer, operating - heavy equipment
  • erector, structural hydraulic jack
  • forest road machine operator
  • operater, dozer
  • operator, aerial tram
  • operator, boom-conveyor

Duties

Heavy equipment operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • operate heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, loaders and graders to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities
  • run bulldozers or other heavy equipment to clear brush and stumps prior to logging activities and to build roads at logging and surface mining sites
  • operate heavy equipment with pile driver head to drive piling into earth to provide support for buildings, bridges or other structures
  • run heavy dredging equipment to deepen waterways or reclaim earth fill
  • operate heavy paving and surfacing equipment to lay, spread or compact concrete, asphalt and other surface materials during highway and road construction
  • run power shovels to excavate rock, ore or other materials from open-pit mines, strip mines, quarries or construction pits
  • run heavy equipment to move, load and unload cargo
  • do pre-operational checks on equipment and clean, lubricate and refill equipment

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work is done using various types of heavy equipment.
  • Working with machinery can be a source of injury.
  • Work often takes place in hazardous locations such as construction sites and underground sites.
  • Workers may be exposed to dust, noise and vibration.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources