Heavy equipment operators clear and grade land for the construction of roads, buildings, and bridges, manufacturing facilities, power generation facilities, dams, levees, and other structures. A heavy equipment operator operates heavy equipment used in engineering and construction projects.

Qualifications: Heavy equipment operators have good mechanical aptitude, experience operating mobile equipment (such as farm tractors), good physical condition, good sense of balance, hand-eye-foot coordination. A commercial driver’s license is often needed to haul equipment to various job sites.

Education: Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training. Three to four years of classroom and on-the-job training is common. Additional training and certification information is available at the North American Heavy Equipment Training Services.

Average Salary: $58,429 Annual; $28.09 Hourly (Source: Build Your Future)