<< Back

International Union of Operating Engineers

The following information is provided as a general overview/guideline and it subject to change. Information as to earnings and benefits should be verified with the trade office in your geographical area as it can vary from province to province.

International Union of Operating Engineers
1125 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036

Top Officer:
James T. Callahan, General President

IUOE members are operating and stationary engineers, as well as significant numbers of public employees engaged in a wide variety of occupations. Stationary engineers work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes, and in the service industries. Operating engineers operate heavy construction equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, pavers, trench excavators and many other kinds of equipment used in constructing buildings, dams, airports and highways. Operating engineers also work in the sand and gravel, cement and asphalt industries; in the shipyards; on water dredges, oil refineries and oil pipelines; in sewer and water construction; in ports of major cities and many other industries. Most work is done outdoors and depends on the weather.

What do Operating Engineers Do?

Operate heavy construction equipment such as:

  • Cranes
  • Bulldozers
  • Pavers
  • Trench Excavators

What is an Operating Engineers' Apprenticeship Program?

Each of the trades (stationary or hoisting and portable engineer) uses an apprenticeship system. Hours and course description vary between the two classifications, but both have one common goal: to make the Operating Engineer apprentice the most knowledgeable about his/her craft. The National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees have seen the need to update and streamline programs that include training both in the field and practical hands-on training at dedicated training facilities. With new innovations being introduced every day, these programs are constantly retooling to make their apprentices smarter, safer, and more productive, to ready them for today's contractors. Competitive starting wages and progressive wage increases enhance the Operating Engineer apprenticeship programs and add to the apprenticeship goal of "earn while you learn."

How much will I earn?

You earn while you learn the trade. Union journeymen Operating Engineers wages and fringe benefits are negotiated on their behalf by the union through collective bargaining with signatory contractors. Some apprenticeship programs partner with community colleges to offer college credit for apprenticeship classes.

Wages vary according to the geographic location of the local union. The average starting wage for 1st year apprentices is 40 - 50% of the Journeyman's wage rate plus fringe benefits. Your earnings are adjusted annually to reflect your advancing skills and increasing knowledge of the trade.

What type of work will I do?

Across America and Canada, the Operating Engineers build, maintain, and service places where we live, work, worship, study and play. Operating Engineers maintain control centers, boiler rooms, and HVAC units for our safety, comfort, and well-being, and their skills are put to the task every day.

Hoisting and Portable Operating Engineers work on high, operating construction cranes, as well as in deep excavations with earth moving equipment. They turn lines on paper into skylines and roadways across the USA and Canada. Contractors look to the Operating Engineers and its 400,000 members, for their skills, safety, and proficiency. The Operating Engineer has the respect and control to build the foundations of the world. There is not a better feeling than physically seeing the fruits of your labour, and that's the feeling you get from being an Operating Engineer.