A Building Equipment Contractor oversees the construction equipment for a site. They may schedule and manage equipment vendors and trades workers, and they may also serve as the central communication point for involved parties. They are responsible for coordinating the construction equipment necessary to complete a project, which involves assessing project status, progression, conflicts and maintenance relative to the equipment. Such a ‘contractor’ is chosen by a ‘client’ through a bidding process and becomes involved during the pre-construction and construction phase of a project.
Typically, power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement are in the realm of oversight by the Building Equipment Contractor.
Individuals in this construction sub-sector career likely often have experience with building and construction materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads in addition to mechanical experience with machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building Equipment Contractors are typically responsible for and/or have direct contact with:
- Positioning construction or extraction equipment
- Locating equipment or materials in need of repair or replacement
- Monitoring construction equipment operations
- Operating heavy-duty construction or installation equipment
- Operating equipment or vehicles to clear construction sites or move materials
- Moving construction or extraction materials to locations where they are needed
- Loading or unloading materials used in construction or extraction
- Signaling equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning
- Maintaining construction tools or equipment
- Reviewing blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements
- Communicating with clients about products, procedures, and policies
- Selecting construction equipment
- Assisting skilled construction or extraction personnel
- Estimating construction project costs relative to building equipment needs or requirements
Education and Experience
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed to enter the field of construction equipment operator usually through an apprenticeship. Progressing in the sub-sector field to a Building Equipment Contractor requires both additional training/coursework and work experience. Math courses are useful, and courses in auto/construction equipment mechanics can be helpful as this job requires the oversight of workers who may perform maintenance on the equipment.
- Annual pay: In 2019 the average salary for a Building Equipment Contractor was approximately $90,000
- Employment of Building Equipment Contractors is projected to grow 7-10% from 2018 to 2028
- Entry-level education: Typically requires a high school diploma to enter as construction equipment operator
Career Growth Opportunity
Increases in construction spending drive demand for Construction Equipment Contractors. Employment growth opportunities should be best in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and residential buildings are constructed, and in states that undertake large transportation-related projects. Spending on infrastructure is expected to increase, resulting in new positions over the next 10 years.
- AACE International - AACE members are supported with the technical tools and expertise to support successful projects and programs.
- American Council for Construction Education - The mission of ACCE is to be a leading global advocate of quality construction education; and to promote, support, and accredit quality construction education programs.
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers – This organization seeks to be the leading organization in North America enabling construction and agricultural equipment manufacturers to be successful in the global marketplace.
- American Institute of Constructors - The purpose of AIC is to promote individual professionalism and excellence throughout the related fields of construction.
- American Society of Civil Engineers - ASCE is a leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content, and an authoritative source for codes and standards that protect the public.
- Construction Managment Association of America - CMAA’s mission is to promote the profession of construction management and the use of qualified construction managers on projects and programs.
- AEC Business - This website is a blog and podcast forum for construction innovations. It is a great resource for construction business owners looking to up their game with strategic insights. Filled with useful how-to's and a simple writing style, it’s a must-read for construction managers wanting to stay “in the know.”
- Historical Construction Equipment Association - This organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving for public education the history of the construction, dredging and surface mining equipment industries.
- Association of Equipment Management Professionals - AEMP is the premier organization serving those who manage and maintain heavy, off-road fleets. Their mission is building excellence in Equipment management.
- Pile Driving Contractors Association - The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) is an organization of pile driving contractors that advocates the increased use of driven piles for deep foundations and earth retention systems.
- National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operator - NCCCO aims to enhance lifting equipment safety, reduce workplace risk, improve performance records, stimulate training, and give due recognition to the professionals who work in, with, and around load handling equipment.
- Home Builders Institute - This organization’s mission is to advance and provide education, career development, training and placement of men and women serving the building industry.
- Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - ABC's mission is the advancement of the merit shop construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.
- National Association of Home Builders - NAHB represents the largest network of craftsmen, innovators and problem solvers dedicated to building and enriching communities operating at the local, state and national levels.
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) - This mission of this organization is to build a safe, productive and sustainable workforce of craft professionals. Their vision is to be universally recognized by industry and government as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for construction and maintenance craft professionals.
- The Associated General Contractors of America - The Associated General Contractors of America works to ensure the continued success of the commercial construction industry by advocating for federal, state and local measures that support the industry.
- National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies - Search here for NASCLA accredited electrical examination programs.
- North America’s Building Trades Union - NABTU is dedicated to the stability of employment and economic security of organized construction workers in North America. Its purpose is to create more work opportunities, achieve living wages and protect benefit standards, not just for the members of its 14 national and international union affiliates, but for all construction workers.
Publications and Magazines
- Construction Today - This online magazine is all about best practices in the general building, heavy construction and associated specialty trade sectors.
- Point of Beginning Magazine - current issue, archives, news, products, e-newsletter
- Equipment World - equipment, better roads, business, tech, workforce
- Construction Equipment Guide - offers construction and industry news and information along with new and used construction equipment for sale from dealers in your area.
- Construction Business Owner – strategy, marketing, management, tech, equipment, safety
- Equipment Today - articles (equipment selection, maintenance, management, protection and regulation)
- Compact Equipment - includes sectors such as farming, forestry, landscaping
Courses, certificate and associate programs at community colleges may be of interest to individuals considering a career as a Building Equipment Contractor.
Search technical institutes and two-year colleges for offerings. Use such keyword strands as:
- heavy equipment technology
- building construction technology
- building construction sciences
- project management
- building site management
Depending on the work you do, some states may require additional licensing to work in this career sector.