Are you looking for a new career? A job where there’s room to grow? One where the future is bright, career advancement is possible, and you’ll go to work every day happy to do what you do?
We’ve all had jobs we didn’t like. Maybe the work was tedious. Maybe there was little opportunity. Or maybe it felt confining to be in an office day in and day out. Whatever the reason, everyone has probably had a moment where they decided they needed to move on.
When you’re in that situation, it’s hard to know where to go next. If you’re tired of the office grind and are looking for something you know you can build a career on, you should consider becoming a heavy equipment operator. With good pay and a growing field, it might just be the path for you.
Here are 6 reasons you should consider becoming a heavy equipment operator.
- Good pay
Having job satisfaction and room to grow in a field is important, but at the end of the day it all boils down to the money. You can’t expect to have a career in a field where you don’t have financial security. Luckily, being a heavy equipment operator might provide you the pay you need.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national median yearly wages of a heavy equipment operator is $46,080, which breaks down to just over $22 an hour. Most positions are full time, so you’ll really be able to support yourself. It makes sense. There will likely always be a need for heavy equipment operators.
- Growing field with high demand
As cities grow and more infrastructure projects get funded, you can expect that more jobs will be created. Not only is the field growing, but there are also plenty of positions to fill. As heavy equipment operators retire, more opportunities open up. If you’re looking for a way to become a heavy equipment operator, now is the right time to start looking.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of heavy equipment operators is predicted to grow by 12 percent between now and 2026. That’s faster than the average for all other occupations.
Spending on infrastructure is also expected to increase over the next 10 years, with more positions being created to fill the need for labor. Workers skilled with multiple types of equipment should see the most opportunity, so you have even more of a reason to start now.
- Opportunities to Learn New Skills
These aren’t just work opportunities, either. You could be in the position of learning the job from someone who’s been in the position for decades. That kind of hands-on education doesn’t come with every career. Many new heavy equipment operators start at the bottom, learning from the more experienced people on the job. You don’t need a college degree to start working, either. Many heavy equipment operators move into this career with a high school diploma and learn their trade through apprenticeships.
If you feel like you need more education beyond what’s offered on the job, there are plenty of vocational schools that offer programs for different career opportunities. You can gain real experience in the field to hone the skills you need. The more training and experience you have can translate directly to higher wages and more opportunities in the future, so taking the time to learn more will only help you in the long run.
- Satisfying, engaging work
Heavy equipment operators, working in heavy construction, can actually see the results of their labor at the end of the day. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing the project change over the course of the workday. It’s exciting to see something come together one step at a time. And when the project is complete, you can look at the finished building or structure and know you personally had a hand in making it.
You should never get bored with the work. Often times, each day presents new challenges and new chances to flex your problem-solving skills. You won’t be stuck in front of a screen, entering data into a spreadsheet day in and day out. You’ll get to use massive pieces of equipment to slowly piece together something tangible, using your hand-eye coordination and critical thinking every step of the way.
- Get out of the office
Heavy equipment operators are needed all over the country, meaning you’re not tied to one place or building. Wherever you do end up, you don’t need to worry about being burnt out on office life. A heavy equipment operator can be sent wherever their help is needed, giving you variety in your workplace. You’ll get varying scenery day to day, or job site to job site, not just the same drab view from your cubicle.
One job might take you out to a quiet suburb where you’ll help build new houses for young families. On another job, you might be in the middle of the city, putting together the skeleton of a massive skyscraper. After that, you might be sent out to build a bridge over a quiet river out on the edge of town. Few jobs in the world have this kind of shifting working environment.
- It’s important work
As a heavy equipment operator, you can have a direct impact on your community. What would we do without our buildings, our roads, or our bridges? Some operators work in recycling, waste processing, forestry, and mining. Modern society depends on the raw materials produced and the environmental services realized through this work. The work of a heavy equipment operator affects everyone, whether or not they realize it.
You can be the person who helps build the badly needed highway, cutting down congestion for everyone in rush hour traffic. You can have a hand in building a new school, replacing the old building that hasn’t changed in fifty years.
People depend on the work of a heavy equipment operator. Without them, our infrastructure would age and crumble. Housing projects would never be completed, and cities would not be able to keep up with growth. You can be an active participant in the development of your community, providing a vital service to the people who live there.
So what are you waiting for? Start training for your new career and making a difference today.