Dredge Operators
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Dredge Operators
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
16 16 0 -0.37% 0 2 2 $21.05 $43,774 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Operate dredge to remove sand, gravel, or other materials from lakes, rivers, or streams; and to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Move levers to position dredges for excavation, to engage hydraulic pumps, to raise and lower suction booms, and to control rotation of cutterheads.
  • Start and stop engines to operate equipment.
  • Start power winches that draw in or let out cables to change positions of dredges, or pull in and let out cables manually.
  • Pump water to clear machinery pipelines.
  • Lower anchor poles to verify depths of excavations, using winches, or scan depth gauges to determine depths of excavations.
  • Direct or assist workers placing shore anchors and cables, laying additional pipes from dredges to shore, and pumping water from pontoons.


Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Work Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.


Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi

Work Styles

Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values