A Guide to Employing Machine Operating Professionals

With development rates at an all-time high, construction and renovation are everywhere. Meanwhile, building and changing structures require the operation of heavy machinery. And heavy machines can cause immeasurable damage, risking life and property if they are left in the wrong hands. Due to these circumstances, machine operators require certification and training. Most contractors and project managers spend days hiring needed operators because job postings and interviews can take days, if not weeks. As such, recruiting the best operators can be daunting, but worry not because this guide covers everything you need to know about them. 

Who Is a Machine Operator?

A machine operator is a machinist who operates heavy machines at factories, construction sites, and renovation projects. Heavy machines help in moving debris and assembling massive structures. These include people who can operate forklifts, cranes, bulldozers, loaders, and wheel tractors.

Machine Operator Requirements

Skill Training

A machine operating training course covers all relevant skills needed to operate the machine, navigate them around the site, and move loads carefully and safely. Meanwhile, operating machines safely takes practice, and a training course is a perfect way to learn in a safe space. 


Training courses give an operator technical knowledge, but certifications are the final show of skill and wit. As such, many training operators pursue a certificate after completing their training course. These certificate qualifications vary and mark new skills that an individual can bring to the project. For example, the New Machinery certification implies that a potential employee can assess the safety and efficiency of new equipment before using them in a project. 


Operating heavy machinery at a construction site is an occupation that involves considerable risk. In such cases, an individual should have a High-Risk Work Licence (HRWL) to operate machines. Obtaining such a licence requires adequate performance in theory and practical exams. And these courses typically last two days but can vary depending on an individual’s skills. 


Operating heavy machinery is a skill that takes months of practice. And looking at potential employees’ resumes and understanding their role in projects can give you a clear picture of how invested they will be in future projects. 

What to Look for in a Heavy Machine Operator

Attention to Detail

Heavy machine operators assemble structures and ensure that the load transfers and assembly have structural integrity and are safe to work around. Hence, machine operation requires attention to detail and distribution of labour and materials. 

Machinery Skill

Understanding where and how machines need distribution requires knowledge about how they work. Moreover, ensuring the safety of one machine guarantees the safety of every machine that is part of the project. 

Problem Solving

A crucial portion of machine operation is working with materials available. Moreover, there is always a cascade of obstacles when it comes to construction and assembly. Broken equipment, unprecedented accidents, hazardous materials, maintenance issues, and a lack of resources can create challenges in the workspace. So, heavy machine operators work around these obstacles that require critical thinking. Operators need to analyse the issue, understand the problem, create plans and adopt preventive measures to avoid reoccurrence. 

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Delegation of work is inevitable at a construction site. A heavy machine operator is equipped to show others how to manage, handle and temporarily operate heavy machines and other equipment. Moreover, such an encouraging environment can improve work spirit and coordination. 

So, you may look for operators with previous leadership positions since they can undertake equipment management and equipment operations.

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