Heavy Equipment Operator

$49,420 earning potential

Heavy equipment operators utilize heavy machinery often used in construction. They also clean, control, maintain, inspect and repair the machines.

This option is for you if:

You have good hand-eye-foot coordination

You can recognize and adapt to changing conditions

You're dependable and trustworthy

You're great under pressure

You love big trucks and machines

You don't mind manual labor

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WINSTON RANEY

SURFACING GANG FOREMAN

Hometown: Fordyce

Age: 27

Where I trained: University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College

What I Earned: Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) License

Employer: Union Pacific Railroad in North Little Rock

SALARY INFO:

HIGH-END EARNERS IN ARKANSAS (TOP 10%):

$ 0

AVAILABLE WAGES IN ARKANSAS:

$ 0

Median Annual Wages

$ 0

Median Hourly Wage

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerOneStep

RESPONSIBILITIES:

JOB OUTLOOK:

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Average annual job openings in Arkansas

0 BY 2026

Number of jobs in Arkansas

+ 0 % INCREASE

Expected growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas

I like that there is something new every day, and I also enjoy that I am able to work outside."

UPWARD MOBILITY:

Opportunities for variety and progression! Winston has worked in several positions within the industry, and he has done so in several different towns. He started at Union Pacific as a machine operator, and he gradually took on more responsibilities until he became a surfacing gang foreman. He still has more opportunities for progression within the company ahead of him, such as becoming a track inspector or a manager.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

I get to work at 6:30 a.m. and begin my day with reading the safety rules. From there, I brief my manager on the tasks for the day and figure out what we are going to be doing for the day. Before 10 a.m., I have to send in a curfew request and a signal report ticket to the train dispatcher for the next day’s work so they can start planning their routes around our crew. For the rest of the day, I communicate with the dispatchers to see the times we will be able to work on the track. After working on the track, at the end of the day, I complete our production report."