Also called: Dredge Operator, Dredger
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Moving mountains may sound impossible, but material moving machine operators do it all the time, one load of earth at a time. They use machinery to move heavy materials around building sites, warehouses, ships and mines. Material moving machine operators use a variety of equipment in different settings. Most of these operators drive forklifts moving materials around warehouses, storage yards, or worksites. They may operate conveyor belts to pick up merchandise, and move it to and from large warehouses, building sites and vehicles. Many operators work for underground and surface mining companies digging mines to extract coal, ore and other materials. They load material onto shuttles or conveyors running from a mine to the surface. Some operate platforms and cages that raise workers and materials up to elevated construction sites or lower them down into mines and quarries. In construction, these machine operators clear space for buildings with excavators, and operate cranes to load and unload building materials. Cranes are also used at ports to move cargo, and at iron and steel mills. Dredge operators shift large quantities of sand and gravel from the bottom of rivers, lakes and other waterways so that ships and boats can move freely. Safe equipment operation is a top priority in this field; injury and illness rates are higher than most occupations. Workers wear gloves, hardhats, or respirators as needed. Most material moving machine operators work full time— sometimes with overnight shifts— and overtime is common. Although there are typically no formal education requirements, a high school education may be preferred for some positions, and is often required for crane operators, excavating machine operators, and dredge operators. Some states and cities require licensure for crane operators.
What they do:Operate dredge to remove sand, gravel, or other materials in order to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways.
On the job, you would:
- Move levers to position dredges for excavation, to engage hydraulic pumps, to raise and lower suction booms, and to control rotation of cutterheads.
- Start and stop engines to operate equipment.
- Start power winches that draw in or let out cables to change positions of dredges, or pull in and let out cables manually.
Engineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
- use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Hand and Finger Use
- hold or move items with your hands
- keep your arm or hand steady
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Stress Tolerance
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Industrial control software
- HYPACK DREDGEPACK
- Programmable logic controller PLC software
Mobile location based services software
- Global positioning system GPS software
- Loading & Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining
- Paving, Surfacing, & Tamping Equipment Operators
- Refuse & Recyclable Material Collectors
- Roustabouts, Oil & Gas
- Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders
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