7521 Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
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Lead statementHeavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures; in surface mining and quarrying activities; and in material handling work. They are employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies.
- backhoe operator
- bulldozer operator
- excavator operator
- gradall operator
- grader operator
- heavy equipment operator
- heavy equipment operator apprentice
- loader operator – construction
- side boom tractor operator
- surface mining equipment operator
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
- Operate 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
- Operate 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
- Operate power shovels to excavate rock, ore or other materials from open-pit mines, strip mines, quarries or construction pits
- Operate heavy equipment to move, load and unload cargo
- Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment and clean, lubricate and refill equipment.
- Some secondary school education is required.
- Completion of a one- to two-year apprenticeship program
or some high school, college or industry courses in heavy equipment operating combined with on-the-job training are required.
- Trade certification for heavy equipment operator (dozer, excavator, tractor-loader-backhoe) is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.
- Internal company certification may be required by some employers.
- Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified heavy equipment operators upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
- Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
- The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.