Public Works Maintenance Equipment Operators and Related Workers

(NOC 7522)

in All Trades and Transportation

Public works maintenance equipment operators operate vehicles and equipment to maintain streets, highways and sewer systems and operate trucks to collect garbage and recyclable materials. This group also includes workers who clear vegetation close to power lines, workers who inspect the condition of utility poles and workers who locate underground utility lines and pipes. They are employed by municipal, provincial and federal public works departments, private contractors under contract with government public works departments and private companies involved in the collection of refuse and recyclable materials.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 75 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Public Works Maintenance Equipment Operators and Related Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 47% of Public Works Maintenance Equipment Operators and Related Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $51,040. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$19.00

Median

$22.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,872

Minimum

$40,033

Median

$60,670

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Public works maintenance equipment operators operate vehicles and equipment to maintain streets, highways and sewer systems and operate trucks to collect garbage and recyclable materials. This group also includes workers who clear vegetation close to power lines, workers who inspect the condition of utility poles and workers who locate underground utility lines and pipes. They are employed by municipal, provincial and federal public works departments, private contractors under contract with government public works departments and private companies involved in the collection of refuse and recyclable materials.

Job duties

Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate garbage trucks to remove garbage and other refuse and dump loads at designated sites.
  • Operate street cleaning equipment such as street sweepers or other vehicles equipped with rotating brushes to remove sand, litter and trash.
  • Operate snowplow or trucks fitted with plough blades to remove snow from streets, highways, parking lots and similar areas.
  • Operate sewer maintenance equipment such as rodders and sewer jet cleaners to maintain and repair sewer systems.
  • Operate trucks equipped with road sanding and other similar apparatus.
  • Operate chainsaws and other clearing equipment to fell trees and cut back vegetation close to power lines.
  • Operate equipment and hand tools to inspect and test utility poles for decay and deterioration.
  • Operate equipment and instruments to locate underground utility lines and pipes.
  • Check, lubricate, refuel and clean equipment and report any malfunctions to supervisor.

Sample job titles

  • garbage truck driver - public works
  • public works maintenance equipment operator
  • recycling truck driver - public works
  • salt truck operator - public works
  • sanitation truck driver
  • snowplough operator
  • utility arborist
  • utility pole inspector
  • utility tree trimmer

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should have good health, physical stamina, and strength. Agility, coordination, and a mechanical aptitude would be helpful. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by supervisors.

Job requirements

  • Some high school may be required.
  • Experience as a public works labourer is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.
  • A driver's licence appropriate to a specific type of equipment may be required.

Other considerations

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

620

employed in 2016

85.2%

employed full-time

3.2%

self employed

3.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
50.9

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

33.0%

Halifax

22.3%

Northern

21.3%

Cape Breton

12.7%

Southern

11.2%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

48.0%

Management, Admin & Other Support

26.0%

Public Administration

9.4%

Construction

7.9%

Transportation and Warehousing

2.4%

Utilities

What is the age of Employment?

31.0%

45-54

26.5%

35-44

24.8%

55-64

8.8%

65+

7.1%

25-34

1.8%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

35.4%

Less than high school

$39,682 median annual income
33.3%

High school

$47,739 median annual income
16.4%

Trades certificate

$47,244 median annual income
13.8%

College certificate or diploma

$46,187 median annual income
1.1%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Service Nova Scotia
PO Box 2734
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5
Tel: (800) 670-4357
Fax: (902) 424-0720

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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