Heavy Equipment

Heavy Equipment Operating

Operating heavy equipment is like playing a video game–but with a $100,000 machine. Once you get in a rhythm, the machine becomes an extension of your body and you move earth, gravel or other construction materials. Just a few of the types of equipment you may operate include excavators, pile-drivers, bulldozers, road-graders, forklifts and loaders.

When operating heavy equipment, safety is key. You must be aware of your surroundings and constantly communicating with your team with hand and audio signals.

As spending on infrastructure increases in Colorado, many new heavy equipment operator jobs will become available. Plus, heavy equipment is needed in nearly every stage of a construction project–from initial excavating to finish landscaping. Many construction companies will train you on-the-job if you are willing to start out in a labor position on the ground. If you take the time to learn how to operate heavy equipment, you will have plenty of well-paying job opportunities.

Average wages in CO


per year


per hour

Skills & Qualities Needed

  • Ability to drive and maneuver equipment
  • Communication skills
  • Awareness of surroundings
  • Knowledge of materials and equipment
  • Ability to perform basic maintenance
  • Jobsite safety
  • Operator’s licences for certain machines


  • Opportunity to drive heavy equipment
  • Outdoor work environment
  • Plenty of work opportunities