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Pile-Driver Operators
SOC Code: 47-2072.00

Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers.

Sample of reported job titles: Pile Driver, Pile Driver Foreman, Pile Driver Operator, Pile Driving Operator


  • Move hand and foot levers of hoisting equipment to position piling leads, hoist piling into leads, and position hammers over pilings.
  • Move levers and turn valves to activate power hammers, or to raise and lower drophammers that drive piles to required depths.
  • Drive pilings to provide support for buildings or other structures, using heavy equipment with a pile driver head.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Clean, lubricate, and refill equipment.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - GRL Engineers Wave Equation Analysis Program GRLWEAP; Pile Dynamics Case Pile Wave Analysis Program CAPWAP; Pile Dynamics Pile Driving Analyzer PDA
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Mobile location based services software - Global positioning system GPS software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Air compressors - Portable air compressors
  • Ammeters - Digital ammeters
  • Below the hook device - Spreader beams
  • Clock timers - Hour meters
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • Emergency medical services first aid kits - Emergency first aid equipment
  • Fire extinguishers - Multipurpose fire extinguishers
  • Gas generators - Portable generators
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Hand pumps - Hand-operated pumps
  • Hex keys - Allen wrenches
  • Hoists - Fixed leads; Hoisting equipment; Swinging leads
  • Hydraulic quick connectors - Quick-disconnect hose couplers
  • Industrial funnels - Lubricant dispensing funnels
  • Ladders - Extension ladders
  • Life vests or preservers - Life jackets
  • Motor starter controls - Remote control pendants
  • Pile driver tools or its parts or accessories - Diesel hammers; Gravity drop hammers; Pile threaders; Ratchet release shackles (see all 7 examples)
  • Pile drivers - Excavator mounted pile drivers; Pile driving equipment
  • Portable data input terminals - Pile driving analyzers
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Four-point harnesses
  • Slings - Chain slings; Lifting sling
  • Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter - Saximeters
  • Specialty wrenches - Filter wrenches
  • Taglines - Rope taglines
  • Thin client computers - On-board computers
  • Torque wrenches - Digital torque wrenches
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Wire rope - Wire ropes


  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • 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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • 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.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Spatial Orientation - The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.


  • Interest code: RCI
    • 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 outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 78% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 72% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 76% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Contact With Others - 70% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 62% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 44% responded “Very important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 16% responded “Very serious.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 49% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 34% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 60% responded “40 hours.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 30% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure - 31% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 32% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 41% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Level of Competition - 40% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 39% responded “Never.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 28% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 24% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 23% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 42% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
53%High school diploma or equivalent
21%Post-secondary certificate
19%Less than high school diploma

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $27.72 hourly, $57,650 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 4,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 500

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