Most people think of heavy equipment and the construction industry. Ironically, there are probably more heavy equipment operators working outside the construction industry than in. Heavy equipment can be found on the land working with farmers, to mines and on to the sea – in fact, some large ships have onboard cranes, fork lifts and even small loaders that used in the cargo holds.
One of the biggest users of heavy equipment is the mining industry. Mining has been one of the backbones of industry and as mining starts to boom again, so too will the economy. Mining has a reputation for using the biggest and best heavy equipment available. While it does use some very large equipment, it also uses a lot of your more traditional sized heavy equipment. The mining industry also requires truck drivers and crane operators, and because of the remoteness of some mines, they have a high turnover of operators.
The timber industry is another which has a steady demand for heavy equipment operators, crane operators and truck drivers. The heavy equipment used in the timber industry tends to be smaller than that used in mining, however, it is also more specialized and requires further on the job training.
Small contractors are a surprisingly large employer of heavy equipment operators, and can often be the best place for rookie operators to seek employment. Small contractors do generally work on the periphery of construction projects, however, operators and their heavy equipment are hired out to everyone. As an operator you may be working on a new construction site today, helping a farmer build a dam tomorrow and next week in a residential backyard digging a hole for a swimming pool. Small contractors certainly offer diversity and the chance to quickly learn a broad range of skills.
If you are interested in a career as a heavy equipment operator, you’re not restricted to the construction industry. You’ll find your skills are required in a wide range of industries, the only real limitation being your own restrictions on where you want to work.