USA Career Guide- Material Moving Machine Operators
Education, Training & License of Material Moving Machine Operators
To become Material Moving Machine Operators generally do no require any formal education. Although to get high school degree comes handy when employers hire.
The International Union of Operating Engineers offers apprenticeship programs for heavy equipment operators, such as excavating machine operators or crane operators. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with technical instruction.
If your work involves the use of potentially dangerous equipment or chemicals, your employer may offer additional training in safety procedures, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Employers must certify that each operator has received the proper training. Operators who work with hazardous materials receive further specialized training.
LicensesSeveral states and many cities require crane operators to be licensed. To get a license, operators typically must complete a skills test in which they show that they can control a crane. They also usually must pass a written exam that tests their knowledge of safety rules and procedures.
Pay of Material Moving Machine OperatorsThe median annual wage of material moving machine operators was $30,800 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,780, and the top 10 percent earned more than $49,100.
The median wages for material moving machine operator occupations in May 2010 were the following:
$46,230 for crane and tower operators
$45,910 for underground mining loading machine operators
$37,670 for hoist and winch operators
$36,920 for excavating and loading machine and dragline operators
$33,690 for dredge operators
$29,780 for industrial truck and tractor operators
$29,270 for conveyor operators and tenders
Job Prospects of Material Moving Machine OperatorsEmployment of material moving machine operators is projected to grow 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be favorable. A
high number of job openings should be created by the need to replace
workers who leave these occupations.
As automation increases, the
technology used by these occupations will become more complex. Employers
will prefer workers who are comfortable using technology such as tablet
computers and hand-held scanners.Employment of both conveyor operators and tenders and industrial truck and tractor operators is expected to grow 12 percent. Both of these occupations are heavily concentrated in warehouse environments.
Industrial Overview of Material Moving Machine OperatorsMaterial moving machine operators work in a variety of industries. The distribution of the different kinds of material moving machine operators across the industries is listed below:
Industrial truck and tractor operators held about 522,200 jobs in 2010, mostly in Manufacturing 34%.
Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators held about 61,500 jobs in 2010, most commonly in the Specialty trade contractors 22%
Dredge operators held about 2,100 jobs in 2010, most commonly in Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying - 47%
Underground mining loading machine operators held about 3,900 jobs in 2010, most commonly in the Coal mining 55%
Crane and tower operators held about 40,100 jobs in 2010, most commonly in the Specialty trade contractors 22%
Hoist and winch operators held about 2,800 jobs in 2010, most commonly in the Manufacturing 33%
Conveyor operators and tenders held about 36,300 jobs in 2010, most commonly in the Couriers and express delivery services 22%
Source: Bureau of Labor
Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,