In the forest products industry, heavy equipment operators operate machines like articulated haul trucks, tractor-loader-backhoes, excavators, dozers, loaders and graders. Their duties may include assessing sites and terrain. You may also do material handling work – say, stacking lumber and getting it ready for shipping. Being a heavy equipment operator is a fast-paced, physically demanding job that requires attention to detail and good hand-eye co-ordination. You could also find yourself driving heavy equipment to perform a combination of operations at logging areas, like harvesting sections of trees for processing in a sawmill. To do this, you would operate a $300,000-feller-buncher machine on a caterpillar track. Manipulating a powerful, but precise, arm with a saw lets heavy equipment operators practise selective, sustainable harvesting.
Check out our Career Path tool to help you get there.
|Process Engineering Co-op Student|
Quesnel, British Columbia
Generally, you don’t need formal credentials to be a heavy equipment operator. Instead, heavy equipment operators rely on accumulated experience to get and keep jobs. In Nova Scotia, operators must be certified, which involves passing a test. In Quebec, you have to pass four exams. In B.C., you need to complete a specific number of trainee hours to be certified. There are numerous training programs across the country.
|Northern Lights College|
|La Cité collégiale|
The requirements listed are generally required qualifications for this Career Type. The qualifications may vary based on the employer and/or the geographic location of that job.
Use this tool to get job forecasts for the next five years. You’ll see what kinds of jobs are in demand and where.
See how much you’ll save moving to a forest community.