Earthmoving Machine Operator Kaiwhakamahi Wakapana Oneone

Earthmoving machine operators use digging machines, such as bulldozers or graders, to move, shape or level earth, rock and rubble.

Earthmoving machine operators may do some or all of the following:

  • use Global Positioning Systems (GPS), plans and diagrams to organise their work 
  • operate large earthmoving vehicles such as bulldozers, graders or excavators
  • excavate earth and other materials and load it onto trucks, using attachments if necessary
  • check and maintain their machines
  • talk to site managers or clients
  • meet health and safety regulations, including writing accident and near-miss reports.

Physical Requirements

Earthmoving machine operators need to be reasonably fit and healthy as they have to work in all types of weather.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for earthmoving machine operators includes:

  • driving heavy vehicles, particularly off-road
  • any work in building construction, roading, forestry, or mining
  • engineering or mechanical work
  • operating heavy machinery.

Personal Qualities

Earthmoving machine operators need to be:

  • able to follow instructions
  • responsible
  • alert and safety-conscious
  • able to work well in a team
  • good at communicating.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for earthmoving machine operators includes:

  • driving heavy vehicles, particularly off-road
  • any work in building construction, roading, forestry, or mining
  • engineering or mechanical work
  • operating heavy machinery.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become an earthmoving machine operator. However, construction and mechanical technologies, English and maths to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Earthmoving Machine Operators can earn around $20-$35 per hour per year.

Earthmoving machine operators may progress into team leader or management roles, or may start up their own businesses.

They may specialise in operating specific types of earthmoving machines such as:

  • bulldozers
  • graders
  • loaders.
Earthmoving Machine Operator

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