Overall employment of construction equipment operators is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The likelihood of increased spending on infrastructure to improve roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, and the electric power grid, all of which are in great need of repair across the country, is expected to result in numerous jobs. In addition, population growth increases the need for construction projects such as new roads and sewer lines, which also is expected to generate some jobs. However, without the extra spending on infrastructure by the federal government, employment may be flat as states and localities struggle with reduced taxes and budget shortfalls to pay for road and other improvements.
Workers with the ability to operate multiple types of equipment should have the best job opportunities.
As with many other construction workers, employment of construction equipment operators is sensitive to fluctuations of the economy. Workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. However, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Employment opportunities should be best in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and multifamily buildings are constructed, and in states that are undertaking large transportation-related projects.
In addition, the need to replace workers who leave the occupation should result in some job opportunities.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition