Employment of construction equipment operators is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected to vary across the construction equipment operator occupations (see table below). Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in many new positions over the next ten years. Across the country, many roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems are in great need of repair. In addition, population growth will require new infrastructure projects such as roads and sewer lines, which are also expected to generate jobs.
Pile-driver operators, the smallest of the three occupations in this profile, is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 600 new jobs over the 10-year period.
Workers with the ability to operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities, and veterans are viewed favorably during initial hiring. In addition, employment opportunities should be best in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and residential buildings are constructed, and in states that undertake large transportation-related projects.
As with many other types of construction worker jobs, employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Construction Equipment Operators
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Construction trades workers
Construction equipment operators
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program