Heavy equipment operators run heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures.

You like working with a team.

You have an interest in operating machinery.

You have good balance & hand-eye coordination.


  • Operate heavy equipment such as backhoes, bulldozers, loaders and graders to excavate, move, load and grade earth, rock, gravel or other materials during construction and related activities
  • Operate computer-controlled equipment and hydraulic pumping systems
  • Conduct pre-operational checks & perform minor repairs on equipment
  • Inspect, clean and lubricate equipment
  • Secure special attachments to equipment
  • Operate two-way radios and other communication equipment

Key Skills & Attributes

(technical training and on the job)

  • Good communication skills, reading, numeracy and problem-solving
  • Ability to operate large machinery
  • Ability to calculate basic cuts and fills
  • Ability to read prints, plans and grade
  • Good understanding of basic principles of soil compaction and proper drainage
  • Good judgment

What You’ll Need

Entrance Requirements

  • Minimum valid class 5 driver’s licence
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Physically fit
  • Passed assessment
  • Construction experience preferred

Operating Engineers Training Institute of Manitoba Inc. (OETIM) offers an Entry Level 240-hour Heavy Equipment Operator Course (80 hours theory, 160 hours practical). OETIM has been a leader in heavy equipment operator training since 1986. It is recognized by the federal government as an Education Facility. Curriculum meets provincial standards.

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Hourly Pay

$16 – $31/hr

Projected Construction Worker Retirements

~8,100 by 2029*

*BuildForce Canada

Did You Know?

Some heavy equipment operators work with several different types of equipment, while others choose to specialize. Patience and alertness are important in this career as sitting in vehicles for extended periods of time is common.