Asphalt Paving Machine Operator

Help create roads by applying the asphalt layer with specialized machinery.
picture of Asphalt Paving Machine Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $60,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Asphalt Paving Machine Operators do?

When a motorist is driving 85 miles per hour, the road beneath the car’s wheels must be smooth. Bumpy, rutted paths could cause the vehicle to shimmy in the lanes and, heaven forbid, have an accident. Luckily, an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator is available to keep the road in good condition. Asphalt Paving Machine Operators spread the sticky material that makes roads a pleasure to drive on.

As an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator, you sit behind the wheel of a large piece of equipment. Your Road Crew Supervisor tells you where to spread the asphalt, although that part of the job might be obvious. You just look for the patch of road that is scraped and bare-looking.

An assistant may help you load your machine with raw materials, but you’re not afraid to do the job yourself. Once your hopper is packed with blocks of asphalt, you turn on the machine and wait for it to heat up. Periodically, you adjust the temperature until you have just the right consistency of black asphalt, ready for spreading.

As Flaggers keep cars out of your path, you drive your machine down the road and drop asphalt. As you go along, you adjust the machine to drop the proper coating of the sticky material. Add too little and the road will buckle with use. Add too much and you’ll create big bumps that motorists might complain about. If the asphalt begins to harden inside your hopper, you adjust the burners and heat the goo back up to liquid form.

Should I be an Asphalt Paving Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Asphalt Paver Operator, Asphalt Screed Operator, Bituminous Paving Machine Operator, Paving-Form Mover See More

    How to Become an
    Asphalt Paving Machine Operator

    Most Asphalt Paving Machine Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9oaaaa&chl=no+college+%2881%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,81,81
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