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Career and Education Opportunities for Black Top Paver Operators in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for black top paver operators in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 2,420 jobs for black top paver operators in Illinois and this is projected to grow 8% to about 2,610 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for black top paver operators are expected to grow by about 11.5%. Black top paver operators generally operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials.

The income of a black top paver operator is about $24 per hour or $51,590 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $33,270 yearly on average. Earnings for black top paver operators are better than earnings in the general category of Paving in Illinois and not quite as good as general Paving category earnings nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a black top paver operator. Given that the most common education level for black top paver operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a black top paver operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Black Top Paver Operator

Black Top Paver Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, black top paver operators operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. They also includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.

Every day, black top paver operators are expected to be able to coordinate both hands in a single activity. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for black top paver operators to shovel blacktop. They are often called upon to drive machines onto truck trailers, and drive trucks to transport machines and material to and from job sites. They also direct truck dumping. They are sometimes expected to operate tamping machines or manually roll surfaces to compact earth fills and finished road materials, in line with grade specifications. Somewhat less frequently, black top paver operators are also expected to inspect and repair equipment, using mechanics' hand tools, or report malfunctions to supervisors.

Black top paver operators sometimes are asked to set up dies and extensions to screeds onto machines, using hand tools. They also have to be able to position strips of material such as cork or steel into joints, or position rolls of expansion-joint material on machines that automatically insert material And finally, they sometimes have to operate machines that clean or trim expansion joints in concrete or asphalt and that rout out cracks in pavement.

Like many other jobs, black top paver operators must believe in cooperation and coordination and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Core Drill Operator. Operate a variety of drills--such as rotary, churn, and pneumatic--to tap sub-surface water and salt deposits, to remove core samples during mineral exploration or soil testing, and to facilitate the use of explosives in mining or construction. May use explosives. Includes horizontal and earth boring machine operators.
  • Highway Maintenance Worker. Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road or plow snow from roadway.
  • Mine Cutting and Channeling Machine Company Miner. Operate machinery--such as longwall shears, plows, and cutting machines--to cut or channel along the face or seams of coal mines, stone quarries, or other mining surfaces to facilitate blasting, separating, or removing minerals or materials from mines or from the earth's surface.
  • Track Layer. Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and road bed tamping machine operators.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Black Top Paver Operator Training

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has a one to two year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification in Construction Materials - Asphalt: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged specifically in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Concrete: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certification in Construction Materials - Soils: This certification program was designed for field and laboratory technicians engaged in the testing and inspection of construction materials.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Maintenance: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians involved in the inspection/supervision of street and highway maintenance activities.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Materials: This certification program is for highway engineering technicians involved in laboratory and field testing of highway materials such as aggregates, asphalts, concrete, soils, paints, and metals.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway System Maintenance and Preservation: This certification is designed for engineering technicians who perform and inspect highway system maintenance and preservation work; the program is applicable to both private and public sector technicians.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.