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Heavy Equipment Operator Job Description

Heavy Equipment Operators drive and control large equipment and vehicles, usually for construction. This equipment includes bulldozers, forklifts, backhoes, dump trucks, cargo trucks, and/or hydraulic truck cranes, among other tools. Therefore, a heavy equipment operator is a valuable member of any company. Without a skilled professional, many safety hazards could arise.

In order to ensure you are hiring the best heavy equipment operator you can find, you will have to create a professional, comprehensive heavy equipment operator job description. Keep reading to learn more about the position and how to create a description that matches your company’s needs!

The Complete Guide to a Heavy Equipment Operator Job Description

Job Summary

The first part of any job description is the job summary. 

The summary is a succinct paragraph that explains a short overview of the company as well as an explanation of the position. This includes outlining the expectations you have for the candidate. However, don’t provide too much information. You don’t want to repeat any information you will outline in the rest of the job description. In the end, this should outline the basic description of the role, as well as company-specific information.


There are numerous responsibilities you should include in your heavy equipment operator job description. Here is a list of general responsibilities required for the position. However, make sure to add any additional responsibilities that are specific to your business.

  • Operate, drive, and control heavy equipment.
  • Load and unload equipment from vehicles.
  • Have complete knowledge of machine settings.
  • Check and maintain equipment functionality often.
  • Keep performance records of machine functionality regularly.
  • Provide preemptive maintenance on equipment to prevent malfunction.
  • Comply with the company’s safety policies and procedures.
  • Conduct pre-trip and post-trip evaluations of equipment.
  • Perform minor repairs and report issues for larger repairs.


To understand what qualifications of a heavy equipment operator, you should first learn the process of how to become one. Below is a list of qualifications a person must have either on their resume or through future training.

  • High school diploma or GED. 
  • Degrees and/or certifications will make candidates stand out, but are not necessary.
  • Have an up-to-date Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  • Some states require additional certifications to operate certain equipment and some don’t. Make sure to find out if your state requires certification for the specific equipment used at your business.
  • Clean driving record.
  • Experience varies, but typically, companies prefer at least three years of experience.
  • Rigorous on-the-job training. Typically, employers arrange for training classes or apprenticeships. Usually, these programs are sponsored by unions or associations. During training, they will learn a variety of important topics:
    • Know how to repair and maintain equipment.
    • Awareness of workplace safety practices.
    • Knowledge of both manual and electronic operations.
    • Experience varies, but typically, companies prefer at least three years of experience.


Skills are a vital part of any job. While anyone can acquire qualifications, not everyone possesses the skills needed to be a heavy equipment operator. These are some of the necessary skills any heavy equipment operator must possess. However, be sure to add any skills that specifically pertain to your business.

  • Hand and foot coordination.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written. 
  • Ability to work as a team.
  • Strong critical thinking ability.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Ability to make decisions that prevent accidents and damage to property.
  • Physical ability to work a strenuous work environment and strength to operate heavy equipment.
  • Decision-making abilities. 

Start the Process of Hiring Your Heavy Equipment Operator Today!

After you create and customize your heavy equipment manager job description, you, of course, have to start the hiring processes. One of the easiest ways to find the perfect candidate is to go through a staffing agency. These agencies help businesses find qualified employees who fit well with company culture. 

Corporate Job Bank is one of the leading staffing agencies in Arizona. We offer full training and certification programs for forklift and PIT operators – Learn More HERE!

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