Operating engineers play key roles in the development of many of today's architectural systems around the world. They are often the first individuals to arrive at the construction site and the last to leave, and are responsible for controlling the daily operations of all on-site mechanical equipment, including bulldozers, backhoes, and cranes. They must be proficient in a range of construction engineering-related skills, from equipment operation to advanced mechanical repairing and others to ensure a job's completion by a given deadline.
Operating engineers work in both indoor and outdoor environments which require safety gear such as hardhats and reflective clothing; this means potentially being exposed to harsh conditions depending on the location and time of year. They generally work with other engineers, construction workers, and general contractors such as electricians and plumbers. Depending on their exact role, they may operate independently or as part of a construction company, in which case they report to a site manager. The job's physical demands require the ability to climb, crouch, balance, and tolerate other physically-intense positions. Repairs may be needed in hard-to-reach places or require heavy lifting.
Operating engineers generally work in the construction industry and are required to have at least a high school diploma. They often work eight-hour days, but overtime may be necessary to ensure deadlines are met and some engineers may be asked to travel. Their daily routines may include directing traffic, performing repairs, or welding while suspended several stories above the ground, so workdays are rarely the same.
Operating Engineer Tasks
Be familiar with and conform to all written operating and safety procedures when working on-site.
Conduct preventative maintenance, fix company property, and maintain logs of completed work.
Monitor and adjust mechanical devices, control gauges, thermostats, and other equipment.
Coordinate contractor work orders for projects that require the use of an outside contractor.