Operating Engineers work as light and heavy equipment operators, crane operators, mechanics and welders in the construction, road building, paving, mining, marine, pipeline, and oil and gas industries. They are highly skilled and masters of a large variety of equipment.


  • 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

What You’ll Need

Entrance Requirements

  • Grade 10 Math required

Apprenticeship Program:
3 years (Crane Operators) or 4 years (Heavy Duty Mechanic), includes technical and on-the-job training, and exam. Journeyperson certificate awarded after successful completion. As an apprentice, you also earn while you learn.

Key Skills & Attributes

(technical training and on the job)

  • Strong communication, numeracy, reading & problem-solving skills
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination & depth perception
  • Good concentration and stamina
  • Mechanical aptitude & manual dexterity
  • A safety conscious attitude

Start Building Your Skills

Do you have the foundational skills to succeed in the construction building trades? Create an account/log in for FREE learning resources, tutorials and more to get started and through a career in construction.

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Hourly Pay

Contact the local union for more information on hourly pay, benefits, pensions and more.

Projected Retirement

8,700 + 
Projected construction worker retirements in the next decade

*BuildForce Canada

You are a team player.

You have a strong work ethic.

You are reliable and have a good attitude.

Did You Know?

There is always a need for highly skilled operating engineers!