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Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in heavy equipment operations will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.

Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.

Heavy equipment operation and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated heavy equipment operation field.

Role Model Videos: Career Options for Women -- Heavy Equipment Operation


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Item #: EDV58

Career Options for Women -- Heavy Equipment Operation:

This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in heavy equipment operation:

  • Chelsea Orvis, a haul truck operator who transports excavated oil-rich material
  • Stephanie Jacques, a professionally trained crane operator
  • Nathalie Desrosier, a tarmac heavy equipment operator who clears snow and ice from landing areas

Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.

Meet the role models featured in the Heavy Equipment Operation video:

career-videos-heavy-equipment-operationteaser2Chelsea: Haul Truck Operator

Chelsea works at the tar sands of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, hauling excavated oil rich material to the mill for processing. Once the oil is removed, the remaining material is hauled back.

Chelsea likes her work, but cuts to the chase when it comes to salary. Payday's the best part of the job and why wouldn't it be. With overtime, an experienced operator can make upwards of a hundred grand a year! “I enjoy what I am doing. I see lots of room for improvement and advancement. And I can see myself doing this until retirement.”

Heavy equipment operation offers quite a range of job opportunities, none of which were on Chelsea's resume when she wheeled in to apply. Chelsea's background was office work and a university education. Being a desk jockey was not her driving ambition however. After coming across an ad for heavy equipment training at a local college, Chelsea chose a different route to success.


career-videos-heavy-equipment-operationteaser3Stephanie: Crane Operator

Size doesn't matter when it comes to operating a crane. Just ask Stephanie Jacques, the first woman in Quebec to be professionally trained as a crane operator. She's tiny!

Still an apprentice, Stephanie admits to being a bit awestruck when following crane operators on-site. You have to know your stuff and there's very little room for mistakes. Once she's put in enough hours, Stephanie will be granted her Class A permit and be ready to scale the heights of her profession. Stephanie had to go through a rigorous selection process once she applied to be a crane operator. There were math tests, manual dexterity tests and 3-dimensional eye exams. In the end, she was one of 15 applicants selected by the committee.

Stephanie enjoys good working conditions and there can be big money in operating a crane. The more experience she gets, the more money she will make.


career-videos-heavy-equipment-operationteaserNathalie: Tarmac Heavy Equipment Operator

For Tarmac Heavy Equipment Operator Nathalie Desrosier, the more nontraditional the job, the better. She's cleared a path for other women, working first as a railway conductor before landing a job at Dorval International airport as an equipment operator. She helps keep the runways in perfect condition in rain or shine - or in several tons of snow!

Nathalie can operate all types of heavy equipment at the airport. This involves clearing snow, de-icing the landing area and performing basic maintenance duties on the machinery.

Nathalie enjoys the solitude of her job. Even in a team, she works alone, because the only contact when in action is over the radio. Her easy-going personality is an asset in this male-dominated environment. She takes things with a grain of salt, just as they do.


Role Model Videos: Career Options for Women -- Heavy Equipment Operation


Print order form

Item #: EDV58


Video details:

Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Year: 2006
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University

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