Want to become a paving machine operator. Read this article carefully to know more about the career opportunities and professional outlook in this field.
Education and Training required for Paving Machine Operators
Most paving machine operators start as apprentice or a trainee and work under an experienced operator. Training can also be taken from vocational schools. The best institution is The International Union of Operating Engineers which offers training to an apprentice and to those who are interested to make a career in this field. The duration of the course is up to 4 years.
An operator should possess good communication skills, as he have to take and give directions while operating the machine.
They should easily deal with large and complicated heavy equipment and also have comprehensive knowledge about them so that the machines can be maintained and repaired well and quickly.
The career prospects in this sector are lucrative, bright and full of optimism. There are 54,460 posts available to the operators in a research conducted by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.This sector will witness a employment growth of 20 percent by the end of the year 2022 according to the BLS.
Other Career Options Available
Apart from driving a paving machine an operator can also find jobs as Material Moving Machine Operator and Heavy Tractor Driver.
Material Moving Machine Operator
A material moving machine operator makes application of heavy construction equipment such as cranes or conveyor belts to move thing from one site to another. They can find work in different industries, or in places like a storehouse, mine or sea harbour and ports. There are no proper education qualification for becoming material moving machine operator , but a high school diploma and experience in the construction industry will stand you in a good stead as many industries prefer it.; You can start as an apprentice and there are scopes for growth. However in order to be a crane operator you will need special license for operating it.
In future the job opportunities of material moving machine operators is believed to remain unaltered starting from the year 2012-2022, with job growth approximately at 1%.
Heavy Tractor Driver
Becoming heavy tractor driver is another option available to the operators. A heavy tractor driver is a professional driver who complies with the rules laid by the federal regulations. A proper commercial driver’s licence is a prerequisite, as you need to drive the machines carrying hazardous materials and other perilous cargoes. The tractors are heavy and can weigh up to 26000 pounds. The operator also needs to keep in touch with the dispatcher for solving various tractor related problems. They are also responsible for maintaining mileage and also plan the long distance routes.
To sum up paving machine operation is a specialised job and the operators have to undergo extensive training to develop and gain good skills and comprehensive knowledge to operate them. They also need practical experience and exposure to drive such large and complicated equipment.