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Excavator Operator

Operate heavy machinery such as backhoes, bulldozers, rollers and graders

What's it like to be an Excavator Operator?

Excavator Operators are responsible for operating heavy machinery (including backhoes, bulldozers, rollers and graders) in order to dig, transfer and load soil, rock, debris and rubble from one place to another.

Excavator Operator
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Excavator Operators commonly work in hot, dusty, muddy and noisy environments. Being an Excavator Operator requires precise manipulation, so excellent hand-eye coordination is important.

Excavator Operators need to be comfortable working as part of a team and accepting instructions from other professionals on the working site.

What can I earn as an Excavator Operator?

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Excavator Operator roles in Australia were typically advertised between $90k and $130k in the last 3 months.
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Latest Excavator Operator jobs on SEEK

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Source: Full time annual package based on job ad data.

How to become an Excavator Operator


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While formal qualifications aren’t required to operate an excavator in Australia, registration or licencing is usually preferred in order to work as an Excavator Operator.

  1. Undertake a course that teaches you how to operate an excavator. This enables you to have a ‘ticket’ or a licence to operate an excavator. A common course is the RIIMPO320E Conduct Civil Construction Excavator Operations. Depending on your background and experience, the duration of the course varies.
  2. Complete your logbook together with on-the-job training followed by your assessment in order to become a licenced Excavator Operator.
  3. Excavator Operators who want to further their career can specialise and become hydraulic rockbreaker operators or trench digging machine operators.

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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Job market trends for Excavator Operators
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Job opportunities

Excavator Operator jobs on SEEK
2,863
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Role Reviews

Latest Excavator Operator reviews

Latest reviews from 44 Excavator Operators surveyed on SEEK
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Positive
Negative
Nov 2018
The greatest job in the world but stay alert
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Horticulture (Landscape)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Civil
The good things
You feel a good sense of accomplishment, feel proud of what you achieve. If willing can learn both sides, hows to operate and how to repair making you more valuable to an employer. Various locations, ...
The challenges
Know your abilities and don’t get cocky, if have fear of heights and edges then make sure you take roles that on on level ish grounds. Had some very steep embankments, machinery slipping down and try...
Read more
May 2021
A career that can get you work all around Australia
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Earthmovers
The good things
Easy on the body. Working unsupervised.challenging variety of work
The challenges
Fast paced environment.working around live services. Meeting expectations
Read more
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews