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Construction plant operator

Construction plant operators work with machinery and equipment used on building sites.

Potential salary
£14,000 to £35,000
Working hours
48 to 50 a week
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • using 180 and 360 degree excavators
  • moving earth with bulldozers and dump trucks
  • loading shovels
  • operating a crane where you'll work with a slinger signaller who'll attach the loads and direct you by signals or radio
  • levelling out work areas with compactors
  • using piling rigs and concrete pumps
  • using forklifts to unload and move materials around the site
  • carrying out safety checks on the machines you're using, changing buckets and other attachments

You could work on a construction site.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, noisy, at height and dirty.

With experience, you could move into construction management, site supervision, estimating, lift planning and supervision.

You could become a plant or crane supervisor, or a plant coordinator selecting the machinery needed for each new job and assessing new equipment.

You could also move into selling plant equipment.

You can find out more about becoming a construction plant operator from Go Construct and the Construction Plant-hire Association.

Data from National Careers Service.
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