Paving Equipment Operator

Paving and surfacing equipment operators apply concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways. They may also use equipment for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials.

Paving Equipment Operator

Average Hourly Earnings



High School Diploma with moderate on the job training


  • Operate machines to spread, smooth, level, or steel-reinforce stone, concrete, or asphalt on road beds
  • Observe distribution of paving material to adjust machine settings or material flow, and indicate low spots for workers to add material
  • Control traffic
  • Light burners or start heating units of machines, and regulate screed temperatures and asphalt flow rates
  • Inspect, clean, maintain, and repair equipment, using mechanics' hand tools, or report malfunctions to supervisors
  • Operate tamping machines or manually roll surfaces to compact earth fills, foundation forms, and finished road materials according to grade specifications
  • Start machine, engage clutch, and push and move levers to guide machine along forms or guidelines and to control the operation of machine attachments
  • Fill tanks, hoppers, or machines with paving materials

Work Environment

They use their hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls. People in this job have their bodies shaken frequently. The environment in this job can be uncomfortable because workers work outdoors with exposure to very hot or cold temperatures and to high noise levels. This job can be dangerous because workers are sometimes exposed to hazardous equipment and contaminated materials. To remain healthy in this work setting, people must frequently wear protective or safety equipment. Equipment operators may experience stress related to time pressure. Their workdays sometimes include face-to-face discussions.

Key Traits

Realistic. Often involves work activities that includes practical, hands-on problems and solutions. Usually includes working with actual materials – many times in an outdoor setting.