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Jobs Outlook: Construction Equipment Operators




Job opportunities for construction equipment operators are expected to be good through 2012 due, in part, to the shortage of adequate training programs. In addition, many potential workers may choose not to enter training programs because they prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions.

Employment of construction equipment operators is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2012 even with improvements in equipment expected to continue to raise worker productivity and to moderate demand for these workers. Employment is expected to increase as population and business growth create a need for new houses, industrial facilities, schools, hospitals, offices, and other structures. More construction equipment operators also will be needed as a result of expected growth in highway, bridge, and street construction. Bridge construction is expected to grow the fastest, due to the need to repair or replace structures before they become unsafe. Poor highway conditions also will spur demand for highway maintenance and repair. In the last several years, Congress has passed substantial public works bills to provide money for such construction projects, including mass transit systems. In addition to job growth, many job openings will arise because of the need to replace experienced construction equipment operators who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

Like that of other construction workers, employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. Workers may experience periods of unemployment when the level of construction activity falls.