How to Join the Union for Operating Engineers


The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) has, according to its website, over 400,000 members in 138 local unions. The organization works to ensure heavy equipment operators and others in the construction trade fair wages, modern health care and competitive pension plans. While this group primarily represents operating engineers, it also covers mechanics, surveyors and health industry workers. Membership rules vary based on region. Some local offices may require enrollment in education or apprenticeship programs to qualify. Ultimately, this union may be the key to employment with some contractors.

  • Open the IUOE website on your computer (see Resources).

  • Move to the menu at the top of the screen. Select "Our Locals" from the menu.

  • Press the "Click the map to find a local near you" link on the upper, right-hand side of the Our Locals screen.

  • Click on the arrow next to the "Find a local by U.S. State/Canadian Province:" drop-down menu box. Select the appropriate region. Move down and find the local union for your area.

  • Contact the local union office for an application. Each local union office will have different standards and regulations for membership. You can click on the local website if available, visit the office or call and provide mailing information. Complete the application and return it to the local union office per its instructions.

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  • Photo Credit Hard working construction worker at a construction scene. image by Andy Dean from
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