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Loading Machine Operators

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This is a Demand OccupationA Demand Occupation is defined as follows.

The hierarchy for qualification is the Regional Demand
(the occupation had a entry wage equal to or greater
than 90% of the Economic Development Region (EDR) negotiated
wage as an average of all LWIA’s in the EDR AND at
least 25 annual average job openings in the EDR);
State Wide (the occupation qualified for at least
5 of the Regional Demands and thus was added to all
ten EDR lists); Career Cluster (the occupation is
listed on at least one of the six career clusters
Illinois has identified as priority [data is available
under the career clusters on the The National
Association of State Directors of Career Technical
Education Consortium website at ]), and Regional
Request (an LWIA received approval of a request to
add an occupation code to its EDR list based on substantiative
data and information supporting a need in the region).
NOTE: Only those occupations with a Source of Regional
Demand or State Wide will be eligible for incentive
bonus award under the Minimum Training Expenditure
policy requirements.

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Loading Machine Operators - Occupation Overview

  • Run scraper loaders, backhoes, draglines, conveyors, and other machines
  • Work alone most of the time
  • Sometimes wear hard hats, safety glasses, and earplugs
  • Almost always work outdoors
  • Have good depth perception
  • Train on the job
  • About 21 percent are self-employed
  • Earn $20,618 - $50,937 per year (Illinois median)
  • Earn $29,610 - $52,110 per year (national median)

Material moving machine operators use machines to move earth, mining products, and other heavy loads.

Material moving machine operators set up and inspect material moving equipment. They operate the equipment and move materials according to a schedule or production plan. When necessary, they make minor repairs to their machinery. They also record materials they move and where it was moved to and from.

Material moving machine operators operate several types of machines:

Industrial truck and tractors
Industrial truck and tractor operators move materials around warehouses, storage yards, and worksites. Their trucks are usually called forklifts.

Excavating and loading machine and draglines
These machines have scoops or shovels. They dig sand and earth and load them onto conveyors to be transported elsewhere.

Dredge operators excavate waterways. They remove material from harbors so that ships can navigate waterways. Sometimes they help to restore wetlands and rebuild beaches.

Underground mining loading machines
Operators use these machines to load coal, ore, and other rocks onto shuttles. These mine carts will be transported out of a mine.

Crane and tower equipment
Crane and tower operators use towers and cable to lift and move materials, cargo, and other heavy objects at construction sites or major ports.

Hoist and winch equipment
Hoist and winch operators control the movement of platforms, cables, and cages used move workers at worksites such as high-rise construction sites. Some work in industrial sites.

Conveyor systems
Conveyor operators operate machines that move materials on an automatic belt. They move materials to and from places in a mine or production facility.


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