Here’s a question to test your memory. Have you ever seen a woman operating a bulldozer?
I guess the majority of people would say “no” to that question. However, let me follow up with a second question. Have you ever really looked at a bulldozer operator?
Most people are fascinated by the bulldozer. The operator is almost unnoticeable. If you have looked a little closer, you may have been surprised since there are a lot of women now operating bulldozers.
It’s not just bulldozers. Women are training to operate heavy equipment in increasing numbers since it a job that relies more on skill and hand-eye coordination than it does strength. Once you put on work clothes, hard hat and gloves, the gender of the person in the operator’s seat is almost impossible to determine. Just as importantly, if you check any of the job ads for bulldozer operators (or heavy equipment operators in general), there is never a reference to gender. The selection criteria is, ultimately, very simple – can you do the job?
Heavy equipment operations is one industry in which new recruits are welcome. Industry in general acknowledges the need for new operators, especially when you consider the average age of operators is now quite high, and many of those operators will be looking at retirement in the next five or so years. Factor in the increase in road and bridge construction and the need for new operators is becoming urgent in some regions.
It’s interesting to note that the percentage of jobs listed in our Saturday jobs guide heavily favors heavy equipment operators. Not only that, they heavily favor operators who can operate a wide range of heavy equipment. If you’re interested in becoming a bulldozer operator, start by attending a heavy equipment training school that doesn’t discriminate, and which offers training on a wide range of heavy equipment. Whether your male or female, all that matters is being capable of doing the job, and that starts with quality training.