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A career as a heavy equipment operator is always challenging, but it can be very rewarding as well. Demand for operators has been steadily climbing in recent years, particularly as our workforce ages. For some reason, heavy equipment has not been a popular choice amongst our youth so the average age for operators is quite high. The forecast over the next few years is for negative growth as more older operators retire. This will benefit new operators since demand is expected to continue to grow.
With negative growth in the workforce and demand steadily increasing, the fear in some sectors is that by 2012/2013 there will be a shortage of operators, particularly experienced operators. Those that undertake training now should be able to gain the experience required to fill those ‘experienced’ vacancies when they occur. Heavy equipment training creates a platform which can be quickly built upon once you’re in the workplace. However, that heavy equipment training needs to cover a broad range of subjects, most particularly safety, operations, and preventative maintenance.
So what is in store for 2011? Demand will continue to grow, especially in areas where Federal stimulus spending is continuing to build roads, bridges and public infrastructure. The economy is slowly lifting out of the doldrums and there are predictions that new home building projects will start to increase. Business is also starting to fight back with success, and if consumers continue to spend at reasonable rates, you can see further expansions in those areas, including new construction. If construction does improve as predicted, then the demand for heavy equipment operators will also improve.
In a nutshell, this is a perfect time to consider heavy equipment operations as a career. The future looks good, wages are good, and working conditions are getting better every year. Make a start now to attend a good quality heavy equipment training program. Once you have completed the course, you should be ready to commence work as an entry level operator where you can gain further skills. 2011 and beyond looks very promising for new heavy equipment operators.