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Career profile Paving Equipment Operator

Also known as Asphalt Paver Operator, Asphalt Paving Machine Operator, Asphalt Raker, Asphalt Roller Operator, Equipment Operator (EO), Loader Operator, Maintenance Equipment Operator (MEO), Paver Operator, Roller Operator, Screed Operator

Paving Equipment Operator

Also known as Asphalt Paver Operator, Asphalt Paving Machine Operator, Asphalt Raker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$29,030 - $72,860 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Start machine, engage clutch, and push and move levers to guide machine along forms or guidelines and to control the operation of machine attachments.
  • Fill tanks, hoppers, or machines with paving materials.
  • Control paving machines to push dump trucks and to maintain a constant flow of asphalt or other material into hoppers or screeds.
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What does a Paving Equipment Operator do?

Paving Equipment Operators operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways or for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials.

In addition, Paving Equipment Operators includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.

What kind of tasks does a Paving Equipment Operator perform regularly?

Paving Equipment Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Start machine, engage clutch, and push and move levers to guide machine along forms or guidelines and to control the operation of machine attachments.
  • Fill tanks, hoppers, or machines with paving materials.
  • Control paving machines to push dump trucks and to maintain a constant flow of asphalt or other material into hoppers or screeds.
  • Observe distribution of paving material to adjust machine settings or material flow, and indicate low spots for workers to add material.
  • Drive machines onto truck trailers, and drive trucks to transport machines and material to and from job sites.
  • Coordinate truck dumping.
  • Set up and tear down equipment.
  • Inspect, clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using mechanics' hand tools, or report malfunctions to supervisors.
  • Operate machines to spread, smooth, level, or steel-reinforce stone, concrete, or asphalt on road beds.
  • Light burners or start heating units of machines, and regulate screed temperatures and asphalt flow rates.
  • Control traffic.
  • Shovel blacktop.
  • Operate tamping machines or manually roll surfaces to compact earth fills, foundation forms, and finished road materials, according to grade specifications.
  • Operate oil distributors, loaders, chip spreaders, dump trucks, and snow plows.

The above responsibilities are specific to Paving Equipment Operators. More generally, Paving Equipment Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People
Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

What is a Paving Equipment Operator salary?

The median salary for a Paving Equipment Operator is $41,540, and the average salary is $46,400. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Paving Equipment Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Paving Equipment Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Paving Equipment Operators earn less than $29,030 per year, 25% earn less than $34,580, 75% earn less than $53,820, and 90% earn less than $72,860.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Paving Equipment Operators is expected to change by 5.8%, and there should be roughly 5,100 open positions for Paving Equipment Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$41,540
Typical salary range
$29,030 - $72,860
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.8%

What personality traits are common among Paving Equipment Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Paving Equipment Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Paving Equipment Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Paving Equipment Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Paving Equipment Operators strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Paving Equipment Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Paving Equipment Operators moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Paving Equipment Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Paving Equipment Operators, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Paving Equipment Operators need?

Working as a Paving Equipment Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Paving Equipment Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Paving Equipment Operators

  • 20.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 53.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 18.0% completed some college coursework
  • 5.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 2.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Paving Equipment Operators

Paving Equipment Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, mechanical, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Paving Equipment Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Paving Equipment Operators

Paving Equipment Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Paving Equipment Operators need abilities such as control precision, problem sensitivity, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Paving Equipment Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Critical Skills needed by Paving Equipment Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Paving Equipment Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Paving Equipment Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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