Front End Loader Operator

Operate a scoop or bucket loader on all kinds of job sites.
picture of Front End Loader Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Front End Loader Operators do?

A favorite of little kids everywhere, front end loaders are the big yellow machines you see at construction sites. Known by other names such as bucket loader or scoop loader, these yellow tractors have attached front buckets that move dirt, rocks, trees, and just about anything else you can imagine. A Front End Loader Operator drives one of these large pieces of equipment.

This job is most often found on construction or job sites, but as a Front End Loader Operator, you can just as easily work at a warehouse, manufacturing plant, or auto body shop — basically anywhere that needs heavy pieces of material or equipment moved from place to place. While you work, you coordinate closely with the Material Handler or Construction Foreman. They’re the ones who let you know what to move, where, and when.

Once you have your directions, you get to work. The first thing you want to do is check out your loader to make sure it’s in good condition. You look for things like leaking fluids, low tire pressure, and broken switches.

If anything is wrong and it’s easily fixable, you might take on the role of a Heavy Equipment Mechanic and fix it right there. Otherwise, you contact your Manager and arrange for the machine to be fixed.

While operating the front end loader, you make sure to keep an eye on safety. As with most large pieces of equipment, this one can be very dangerous if used incorrectly or if not enough attention is paid to your surroundings. While you work, you always wear a hard hat and make sure you have enough Front End Loader Operator training to feel comfortable driving.

Should I be a Front End Loader Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Cat Skinner, Checker Loader, Front-End Loader Operator, Lead Loader, Skidder Loader, Skip Load Driver See More

    How to Become a
    Front End Loader Operator

    Most Front End Loader 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:9jaaaa&chl=no+college+%2887%25%29|certificate+%2813%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,87,87
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