Backhoe Operators

ANZSCO ID 721212

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
630
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
79%
Female Share
1%
Average age
54

Summary

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

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.

Characteristics

Job Type
Machinery Operators And Drivers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Earthmoving Plant Operators, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 79% of people employed as Backhoe Operators work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 13 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Construction
53.8%
2
Public Administration and Safety
30.6%
3
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
3.9%
4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
3.6%
5
Other industries
5.0%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

25.2% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

20.8% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

32.4% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

9.9% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

3.8% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

3.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

2.2% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Backhoe Operators All Jobs Average
NSW 25.2 31.6
VIC 20.8 25.6
QLD 32.4 20.0
SA 9.9 7.0
WA 3.8 10.8
TAS 3.7 2.0
NT 2.2 1.0
ACT 1.9 1.9


  • Around 68% of Backhoe Operators live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
54
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
1%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Backhoe Operators is 54 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

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 Bracket Backhoe Operators All Jobs Average
15-19 0.0 5.0
20-24 1.9 9.3
25-34 10.3 22.9
35-44 11.9 22.0
45-54 27.8 21.6
55-59 19.6 9.0
60-64 17.7 6.0
65 and Over 10.8 4.2
Median Age 54 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Backhoe Operator. Although some workers have a certificate III in civil construction plant operations.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.

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 Qualification Backhoe Operators All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.0 10.1
Bachelor degree 0.0 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 1.5 11.6
Certificate III/IV 29.6 21.1
Year 12 6.7 18.1
Year 11 6.7 4.8
Year 10 and below 55.5 12.5

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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 52%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 46%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 45%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 45%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 43%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 43%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 43%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 41%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 41%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 41%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 41%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 41%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 39%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 39%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 39%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 39%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 37%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 54%

    Mechanical

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

  • 52%

    Building and construction

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

  • 44%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 37%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 33%

    Administration and management

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

  • 33%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 32%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 31%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 30%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 30%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 29%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 25%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 23%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 22%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 22%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 20%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 18%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 16%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 13%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 13%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 59%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 59%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 57%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 57%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 55%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 54%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 54%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 52%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 52%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 46%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 45%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 45%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 45%

    Hearing sensitivity

    Tell the difference between sounds.

  • 45%

    Peripheral vision

    See things to your side when your eyes are looking ahead.

  • 45%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Spatial orientation

    Know where things are around you.

  • 43%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 43%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 85%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 81%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 79%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 72%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 70%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 66%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 66%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 63%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 62%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 61%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 61%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 60%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 56%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 53%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 52%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 52%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 52%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 51%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 51%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 46%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 29%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 24%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 67%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 57%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 48%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 43%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 29%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 94%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 90%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 89%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 88%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 88%

    Whole body vibration

    Be exposed to whole body vibration (e.g., operate a jackhammer).

  • 88%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 83%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 82%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 82%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 81%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 81%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 81%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  • 81%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 81%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 80%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 78%

    Pace of work set by equipment

    Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 76%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 75%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

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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