Job Position

Equipment Operator

Equipment operators run and maintain construction machinery used to install or upgrade irrigation systems. Dedicated equipment operators typically work on larger system installations and move from job site to job site as directed by the project manager/supervisor. For smaller projects, irrigation technicians/installers operate trenchers, pipe pullers and other power equipment as needed.


  • Operate and maintain backhoes, graders, trenchers, front-end loaders and other heavy equipment needed to install, repair or upgrade irrigation systems, and for other landscaping projects.
  • Communicate with project manager/supervisors, job site foremen and crew members.
  • Follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration health and safety guidelines for operating heavy equipment.

Education & Experience

  • High school diploma/GED required.
  • Two to three years required experience operating and maintaining heavy equipment.


  • $40,000 – $55,000*

*Irrigation industry compensation information is based on reporting by Irrigation Association members, industry recruiters, online job postings and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation varies by candidate experience and job location. This data is provided for information only and does not represent a guarantee or commitment by the Irrigation Foundation.​

Possible career path: Job Site Foreman