Backhoe Operators operate backhoes and attachments to excavate, break, drill, level and compact earth, rock and other material.

    You can work as a Backhoe Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • Prepares and positions plant for operation.
    • Selects, fits and removes attachments.
    • Operates controls.
    • Monitors operation of plant and adjusts controls to regulate pressure, speed and flow of operation, and ensure safety of other workers.
    • Raises, lowers and manipulates attachments using manual and hydraulic controls.
    • Services, lubricates, cleans and refuels plant and performs minor adjustments and repairs.

    All Earthmoving Plant Operators

    • $1,491 Weekly Pay
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Backhoe Operators

    • 630 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 79% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 54 years Average age
    • 1% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Backhoe Operators (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
    from 1,000 in 2011 to 630 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Backhoe Operators work in many parts of Australia. Queensland has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Construction; Public Administration and Safety; and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (79%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 54 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (76%).
    • Gender: 1% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Construction55.4
    Public Administration and Safety31.5
    Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services4.1
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services3.7
    Other Industries5.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateBackhoe OperatorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW25.231.6
    VIC20.825.6
    QLD32.420.0
    SA9.97.0
    WA3.810.8
    TAS3.72.0
    NT2.21.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketBackhoe OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.05.0
    20-241.9-9.39.3
    25-3410.3-22.922.9
    35-4411.9-22.022.0
    45-5427.8-21.621.6
    55-5919.6-9.09.0
    60-6417.7-6.06.0
    65 and Over10.8-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationBackhoe OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree0.0-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.5-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV29.6-21.121.1
    Year 126.7-18.118.1
    Year 116.7-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below55.5-12.512.5

    You can work as a Backhoe Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Training is available through VET (Vocational Education and Training). A course in civil construction plant operations might be helpful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • Backhoe ticket
    • forklift licence
    • manual drivers licence
    • medium rigid (MR) driver's licence
    • heavy ridged (HR) driver's licence
    • national police check
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Earthmoving Plant Operators who are reliable and hardworking.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      54% Skill level

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. Building and Construction

      52% Skill level

      Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

    3. Public Safety and Security

      44% Skill level

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    4. Mathematics

      37% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    5. Administration and Management

      33% Skill level

      Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7032.00 - Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

      99% Important

      How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

    2. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

      94% Important

      How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

    3. Face-to-Face Discussions

      90% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    4. Work With Work Group or Team

      89% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    5. Contact With Others

      88% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7032.00 - Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators.

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