Heavy equipment operators (except crane) (NOC 7521)

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Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2016-2018)
Minimum 18.00$
Median 26.38$
Maximum 37.00$
Job prospect
(2017-2021)
Employment in 2016
14,000
Skill level
Intermediate (generally a secondary school diploma)

Occupation targeted by the Workplace Apprenticeship Program

Please note that detailed information for each of the occupations under the Workplace Apprenticeship Program is only available in French.

Significant seasonality

Nature of work

Heavy equipment operators operate heavy equipment used in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, airports, gas and oil pipelines, tunnels, buildings and other structures; in surface mining and quarrying activities; and in material handling work. They are employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors, public works departments and pipeline, logging, cargo-handling and other companies.

Main duties

  • Heavy equipment operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - 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 bulldozers or other heavy equipment to clear brush and stumps prior to logging activities and to build roads at logging and surface mining sites
  • - Operate heavy equipment with pile driver head to drive piling into earth to provide support for buildings, bridges or other structures
  • - Continued…
  • - Operate heavy dredging equipment to deepen waterways or reclaim earth fill
  • - Operate heavy paving and surfacing equipment to lay, spread or compact concrete, asphalt and other surface materials during highway and road construction
  • - Operate power shovels to excavate rock, ore or other materials from open-pit mines, strip mines, quarries or construction pits
  • - Operate heavy equipment to move, load and unload cargo
  • - Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment and clean, lubricate and refill equipment.

Employment requirements

  • * Some secondary school education is required.
  • * Completion of a one- to two-year apprenticeship program or Some high school, college or industry courses in heavy equipment operating combined with on-the-job training are required.
  • * Trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • * Internal company certification may be required by some employers.

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