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Excavator Operators – What Skills Are Employers Looking For?

Do you know what skills employers are looking for in excavator operators. Just as importantly, do you know what skills your excavator training organization is going to teach you? It makes sense, when looking at training programs for excavator operators, to find out who delivers training that provides graduates with the skills that employers are looking for.

Is there a basic set of skills that employers are looking for? It seems I have all the questions – do I have all the answers? I sure do.

When it comes to core skills, there are four that every heavy equipment operator needs to possess. These are:

  • Soil knowledge. Can you differentiate between different soil types? This is an important part of any heavy equipment operator’s working day. Different soils can often require different approaches. Sandy soils, for example, may need support to prevent the sides constantly filling a trench.
  • Safety. I think it is fairly obvious that safety issues would be up amongst the most important skills required by an operator. It is not just knowledge of safety that is important – it is the ability to work putting in place safety practices.
  • Site layouts. Understanding blueprints and how to access sites under construction is also important. You cannot just barge in and start work. Often you have to navigate in and around other areas of the site to get to your part of the job.
  • Heavy equipment maintenance. Like safety, heavy equipment maintenance is an important issue. Every hour of down time is an hour of lost income for an employer. If they are working to a tight schedule, the employer may be forced to hire in a replacement machine. Preventative maintenance is key area of any operator’s job.

Of course, those four core skills form the basis for other skills. The fifth skill that I haven’t mentioned is machine specific and that of course relates to actually operating an excavator. Can you actually use an excavator or can you just tell me how to operate one? Naturally, being able to competently operate an excavator is the important skill.

If you don’t have all of these skills, don’t worry. At ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools we have you trained and ready for the workforce in next to no time. Furthermore, you will have all the skills that employers are looking for.

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