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Heavy Equipment Operations The Fastest Growing Employment Sector

According to the latest Bureau of Labor statistics report, heavy equipment operations is the fastest growing employment sector in the US. Now, when we say the ‘latest’ statistics, they do refer to the period 2010-2020, however, the figures used in their report do appear to be holding up with heavy equipment operators being in high demand around the nation. We have often mentioned the fact that Baby Boomers are now approaching retirement age, and those numbers have not been factored into the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. So what are the expectations in 2010?

The report estimated a growth of 23% for general construction heavy equipment operators with the exception of pile-driver operations where growth was expected to be around 36% (you’ll need a crane operator’s certificate in many states for these positions). The average growth rate for all occupations is around 14%, so heavy equipment operations is certainly an area worth considering if you’re looking for long term job prospects.

What do these percentages mean? In 2010, there were over 400,000 heavy equipment operators in work, and by 2020, the expectation is that 500,000 heavy equipment operators will be required. That’s a growth of around 100,000 over 10 years, or 10,000 new jobs each year. If we take a conservative figure of 25% or those 400,000 being ‘Baby Boomers’ who will be retiring around 2020, then that’s another 100,000 operators that will be required – a total of 200,000 new operators by 2020. Those numbers don’t factor in natural attrition caused by those who move on to other careers.

Other interesting facts from the 2010 census include wages with a median of around $40,000 per year, or almost $19 per hour. Heavy equipment operations is not just a growing field of work, it is also a reasonably well paid field. Even more appealing is the fact that it only takes three weeks of full time training to become a heavy equipment operator – all in all, a good career option.

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