Motor Grader Operator

Operate powerful grading machines that level the ground for new roads.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Motor Grader Operators do?

As a Motor Grader Operator, you use heavy equipment to level out sections of ground for construction. Establishing a level “grade” is vital to laying a solid, even foundation as a Motor Grader Operator, or just getting other pieces of construction equipment through. You rearrange dirt, grass, rocks, and any other materials on a construction site into a level configuration so that building can commence.

Like all heavy equipment-related jobs, there’s an element of danger and risk when you’re a Motor Grader Operator. You work with some of the most powerful machines on the planet, in a setting where people are always moving in all directions, performing all manner of tasks. Attention to safety is your number one concern.

Communicating with your team helps you do this: You rely on hand signals and walkie-talkies when just plain shouting won’t cut it. You probably work an average eight-hour shift, but depending on the worksite and timeline for the project, you could be pulling some long hours from time to time.

Attention to detail is the other main concern of a Motor Grader Operator. Using blueprints and schematics, you remake the real world to match a design. When moving massive amounts of earth, it’s important to do it right the first time. Mistakes can be costly — even impossible — to correct.

Maintaining your equipment is also important to your job. Trying to dig up and level out an entire construction site is really hard with just a shovel!

Should I be a Motor Grader Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Blade Grader Operator, Gang Mower Operator, Gradall Operator, Grader Operator, Grader Patrol See More

    How to become a Motor Grader Operator

    Most Motor Grader 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:95aaaa&chl=no+college+%2852%25%29|certificate+%2848%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,52,52
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