Pile-Driver Operator

Run a machine that drives structural supports deep into the earth.
picture of Pile-Driver Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$27,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Pile-Driver Operators do?

“Pile-Driver Operator” is actually a specific title that falls under the bigger title " Heavy Equipment Operator ." A pile-driver is a big piece of equipment that’s used to drive wood or steel piles (which are sort of like poles) into the ground. These piles form the foundation for everything from bridges to buildings to piers. They’re used when a building needs a deep foundation due to things like weak topsoil or construction design.

It’s the Pile-Driver Operator’s job to work the machine that drives the piles into the ground. Your machine works by pulling the pile high up into the air and then releasing it, letting it slam into the ground and creating a hole. This process is done repeatedly until the pile is resting where it needs to, and you can continue on to the next one that needs to be inserted.

There are a few different types of machines you can use as a Pile-Driver Operator, and each varies in size and power source. The individual job dictates what exactly you use, and you take into account things like the type of material you’re working with and the size of the construction site.

As you might imagine, when working with something that drops heavy metal from a high height, safety is big in this job. You wear a hard hat at all times and make sure to always stay alert while on the jobsite.


Should I be a Pile-Driver 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.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Compressed-Air-Pile-Driver Operator, Concrete-Pile-Driver Operator, Diesel-Pile-Driver Operator See More

    How to become a Pile-Driver Operator

    Most Pile-Driver 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:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2836%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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