How to become a Mobile Plant Operator

Mobile plant operators drive backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, front-end loaders, graders, scrapers, skid-steer loaders, rollers and forklift trucks to level, excavate, move and load earth, rock and other material.

Personal requirements of a Mobile Plant Operator

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Able to follow precise instructions
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Good eyesight (may be corrected)
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to work without supervision

Education & Training for a Mobile Plant Operator

You can work as a mobile plant operator without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a mobile plant operator through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

slight growth

Employment by state:

ACT 0%

NSW 22.2%

NT 0.3%

QLD 23.8%

SA 14.8%

TAS 6.7%

VIC 17.7%

WA 14.6%

Hours worked:



above average

Gender split:

Male 91.4%

Female 8.7%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 13.6%

Not completed Year 12: 47.6%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 16.5%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 22.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 0%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 35.7%

Above 35 years: 64.4%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Additional Information
Industry standards often require mobile plant operators to hold a licence to Perform High Risk Work issued by the WorkCover or WorkSafe body in each state and territory. To gain a licence, you will need to register with an approved Registered Training Organisation and work under the supervision of a licensed operator, and keep an approved logbook to record competencies achieved during training. Assessment by an independent assessor will then be required. You must be 18 years of age to obtain a licence. However, training may commence at a younger age. All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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