Being a front end loader operator may seem like a simple job, but there’s actually quite a bit involved in training and becoming licensed to perform this important and fairly well paying job. In this article, we outline the steps and licensing requirements necessary to become a front end loader operator. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
How Much Does A Front End Loader Operator Make?
Generally speaking, an operator can expect to make about $16 an hour or approximately $33,000 annually. Jobs in this field are fairly plentiful with nearly 40,000 opportunities in the US today and an expected growth rate of about four percent by 2028.
What Skills Does A Front End Loader Operator Need?
In terms of innate skills, a competent front end loader operator must have good judgment and common sense, good eyesight, an alert and observant personality and the ability to listen and to communicate with others quickly and easily.
You must be dependable, helpful, cooperative, persistent, calm and honest.
In terms of learned skills, good reading and writing skills, public security and safety knowledge and awareness are important.
Additionally, many successful front end loader operators also have the ability to operate other types of heavy equipment, such as dump trucks and fork lifts.
The ability to perform a number of different tasks (e.g. grading, digging, etc) within the construction and heavy equipment industry makes it easier to find and secure work.
By the same token, when searching front end loader work online, a general search using these keywords – construction work or manufacturing work – may actually yield more front end loader results than searching with a more pinpointed term.
What Do You Have To Do To Become One?
Begin by attending to your basic education. You should at least have a GED, but a high school diploma and/or an associates’ degree may serve you better.
Surprisingly, nearly ten percent of front end loader operators have earned bachelors’ degrees, and there are even a few who have masters’ degrees.
If you plan to pursue higher education before seeking work as a front end loader operator, a general education will suffice. Of course, classes that focus on heavy machinery maintenance and operation and/or construction work will be helpful.
What Licensing Is Required?
To become a front end loader operator, materials handling worker or general heavy equipment operator, you may be able to get your foot in the door simply by being over the age of 18 and capable of physically performing the work.
There are still some employers who will hire under these circumstances and provide on the job training in the form of an internship or apprenticeship.
If you go this route, be sure that your employer has Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification.
If you want to attain formal licensing and training, you’ll have to at least have a high school diploma. You can find applicable training and course work through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
In addition to front end loader/heavy equipment operation training, you may also need certification in the handling of toxic chemicals for some work sites.