How to become an Excavator


If you’ve ever wanted to start a business in the construction, property development or mining industry, becoming an excavator is an option. Excavators are need across a variety of jobs throughout Australia, from civil engineering and demolition to road building and landfill operations. But before you can start working as an excavator, there are a few things you need to know. Let’s take a look at the steps required for becoming an excavator in Australia.

Step 1: Obtain the correct licenses

The first step towards becoming an excavator is to obtain the necessary licenses to operate an excavator machine. In most states, you will need a Heavy Rigid (HR) license or its equivalent. These licences should provide you with coverage Australia-wide and allow you to operate any type of vehicle with more than 4 wheels, while the HR license is designed specifically for heavy vehicles such as excavators. Depending on your state, these licenses may be obtained online or through a local course provider. Whilst there are no formal qualifications required to become an excavator, you’ll want to ensure you have the necessary training and skills to start the job.

Step 2: Get some experience digging

Once you have obtained your licenses, it’s time to get some hands-on experience by receiving on-the-job training. Most people in the field require that potential hires have at least some experience operating excavators before they can be hired full-time. To get this experience, you may consider taking part in short courses or internships offered by local construction companies or trade schools. If you want to become an excavator, your best bet is to get a job with a construction company and complete their training program. This type of practical experience will give you the skills and confidence needed to work safely and effectively on the job site.  

Step 3: Get insured and certified

In order to become certified as an excavator in Australia, you will also need to pass several safety certifications such as Working at Heights Certificate and Confined Space Awareness Certificate. You should also ensure that your insurance covers any potential liabilities that could arise from operating an excavator on the job site. Insurance policies can vary greatly depending on your employer so make sure to check with them before beginning work as an excavator.

Step 4: Purchase or lease an excavator

Now that you have the experience, licences, and insurance you need to start, you can now establish your own excavation business. At this point, it makes sense to look at purchasing or leasing your own excavator. If you are uncertain about how much business you will generate in the early days, it makes sense to lease an excavator, until you have some solid cashflow. To drive business, you’ll have to tap into your network and hope for good word of mouth and referrals. There are several professional organisations for excavators in Australia, such as the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) and the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF). These industry bodies offer networking opportunities, continuing education courses, and other benefits for members.

Step 5: Stay up to date on new technologies.

Excavation is an ever-changing field, and it is important to stay up to date on new technologies if you want to be successful as an excavator in Australia. New technologies can help you work more efficiently and safely, and they can also help you save money on fuel and other operating costs.

Becoming an excavator is a great way to run a business in the booming trade and construction industry. It requires dedication, attention to detail and hard work but it has high demand and is financially very rewarding. By digging deep (pardon the pun) and obtaining the necessary licenses, gaining practical experience through on-the-job training, and getting certified and insured, anyone with a passion for excavation can make their dream come true.

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