Job Classifications

Applicants to the Apprenticeship Program are required to identify the particular job classification they are most interested in being assigned.

Applicants should understand some of the classifications are more numerous in the workplace than others, and hence, are more likely to require more apprentices than others. Accepted applicants are ​only brought into the Apprenticeship Program when a need arises in the workplace.

Applicants that select some classifications over others on their applications may find their entry into the program delayed due to lack of demand for that particular classification(s).

The Different Job Classifications Are:

Equipment Operator

This is the largest classification of operators in the workplace and provides the largest quantity of work for Operating Engineers. As the name implies, Equipment Operators operate the heavy construction equipment on the jobsite. This includes cranes and earthmoving equipment such as dozers, scrapers, compactors, backhoes, motor graders, etc. Also included in this classification are grade checking and other support tasks as may be required for the job. This classification offers the most diversity in operating various types of equipment in many different applications and settings

Heavy Duty Repair Person

This classification refers to those Operating Engineers that maintain and repair heavy equipment. This can be a very demanding profession, frequently requiring work at night, and the need for the repair person to purchase personal tools as individual skills and experience grow in the trade. It is not uncommon for heavy duty repair persons to have thousands of dollars invested in their tools. It is recommended that applicants selecting this classification have some measure of mechanical ability. The demand for this classification varies, but is usually lower when compared to Equipment Operators.

Plant Equipment Operator

Workers in this classification operate portable rock plants. Similar to the Rock, Sand, and Gravel classification, these operators must be able to maintain and repair the plant as well as run the various types of equipment to support plant operations. Demand for Plant Equipment Operators is usually similar to Rock, Sand, and Gravel Operators.

Building Construction Inspector

Building Construction Inspectors perform inspections and testing during the construction phase on such things as reinforced concrete, soils, structural masonry, prestressed concrete, structural steel, and welding. Building Construction Inspectors must have various certifications to perform their work. During training, Building Construction Inspector apprentices will be taught the necessary knowledge to correctly perform their work and to pass the required certification examinations. Demand for Certified Building Construction Inspectors varies with the needs of the construction industry.

Rock Products Industry Equipment Operator 

This classification involves those Operating Engineers who work at sites that produce rock products. Rock, Sand, and Gravel Operators usually work at the same locations for long periods of time in permanent rock product facilities. In the beginning, this work may involve heavy manual labor work such as shoveling. This type of work also involves plant maintenance, requiring skills in electrical systems, welding, and conveyor belt repair along with the operation of support equipment such as loaders. This classification is typically in low demand.

Dredge Operator

This is the smallest classification of work within the Operating Engineers. This work is somewhat seasonal, and only occurs around bodies of water. The work is difficult and demanding, and as the name implies, involves the use of heavy equipment to dredge soil and material from waterways and harbors.