What Does a Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Do?
As a paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operator, it is your job to use machinery to apply materials such as asphalt and concrete, creating frequently traveled surfaces. Among some of the more common jobs are airport taxiways and runways, road beds and parking lots. Additionally, this equipment is also used to flatten out these materials so that these surfaces remain even and durable for as long as possible.
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Skills and Abilities
In a job like this involving heavy duty equipment, you need to have knowledge of procedures, policies and strategies used in the local area so that everyone on site is kept safe. Other than just operating these machines, it also helps to know how they work. Having a basic understanding of mechanics and repair work can help make a job go much faster. A part of this is being able to read any dials, gauges or other indicators that might point out that something is wrong so that you can handle any problem before it becomes job-cripplingly severe. Physical calmness and coordination is also a necessity, as most pieces of heavy equipment require multiple things to be done simultaneously or in a certain order.
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Duties
There is far more to this job than simply dumping some material. You might be called upon to do a number of other tasks. Some of the common ones include controlling traffic, filling machines, hoppers or tanks with materials, setting up and tearing down equipment before and after a job and using the equipment to break up any unwanted pre-existing materials.
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Tools and Technology
The field of paving, surfacing and tamping can involve a wide variety of equipment specialized to take on specific tasks. A few of the more common pieces of machinery include road pavers, material mixers, bituminous material distributors, rollers and asphalt finishers. As far as software is concerned, you will need to have access to programs for e-mail, time accounting, spreadsheets and project management. Often, construction jobs have large teams of people working at any given time. It is crucial to the stability and logistics of operations that this kind of technology is available to keep everything coordinated.
Education and Training for Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
Though it is not always required, most construction companies prefer you to at least have earned a high school diploma before applying for a position. You do not necessarily need a great deal of prior work experience for this job, but expect to go through fairly extensive on-the-job training with more seasoned workers to ensure you have all the required knowledge before you operate anything.
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Salary
Though this may not be the highest paying position in the construction business, it is nevertheless a fairly reliable one as just about every job requires surfacing or material moving at some point. The median figure for the United States sits at around $39,000, while the lowest ten percent of workers make just over $25,000. On the high end of the top ten percent, wages are a little over $66,000 per year.
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operator Job by Geography
Currently, California, Texas and Pennsylvania boast the highest concentrations of jobs in this position, though the greatest growth over the next few years is expected to happen in smaller states like Arizona, Hawaii and Kentucky. If you are willing to move away from home to make a bit more money, look into equipment operator jobs in Illinois, Nevada, Hawaii and the District of Columbia where median annual wages are all above $55,000.