Construction Operator- Full-time

Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned, nonprofit institution dedicated to the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.  We welcome more than 1.1 million guests every year to our 1,718 acre site in the western suburbs of Chicago with about 16 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of roads,and 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 plant taxa that are cared for in our landscapes, collections, and natural areas.  We are seeking an experienced, diligent, and safety conscious Construction Operator who can perform the following functions including but not limited to operating large and small equipment, pouring cement, installing benches, participate in snow removal, load and unload shipments of equipment and materials, general development and care of the arboretum grounds. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a team working together to make The Morton Arboretum exceptional.

Position Summary: Perform a variety of skilled and semi-skilled duties, primarily involving physical labor and equipment operation, relating to the general development and care of the Arboretum grounds.

Essential Functions: 

  • Operate large and small equipment. Grade land, install asphalt surfaces, spread stone, roll roads, and conduct road striping.
  • Replace, straighten, and paint barrier posts, gate posts, sign posts. Erect and repair chain-link, woven wire, barbed wire and wooden fences. Assist with the installation of the Arboretum’s sign system and benches.
  • Remove or transplant trees and shrubs; install sod; provide rough land clearing, and maintain mulch and compost piles.
  • Pour and finish cement, lay blocks, flagstone, wood and other pavings. Sealcoat exposed aggregate walkways.
  • Load and unload shipments of equipment and materials. Move equipment, materials and furniture.
  • Participate in snow removal operations, and may take on role of snow equipment crew leader assisting the Head of Horticulture with the management of snow removal operations. Duties include coordinating efforts of assigned snow team members, directing and inspecting work during snow events, calling staff in for snow removal shifts, and keeping the Head of Horticulture posted on progress with snow removal operations.
  • Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent required. Ability and experience in operating large equipment, such as trucks and tractors, preferred. Adept at using tools and small equipment required. Requires a Class A Commercial Driver’s License, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Ability to obtain and maintain an Illinois Pesticide Operators license and a fork lift license required. Certification in First Aid and CPR preferred (classes provided). Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors: Ability and willingness to adapt to a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Ability to perform labor requiring strength and endurance in all kinds of weather. 

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires significant amount of physical activity: some lifting and carrying (up to 100 lbs.), bending, climbing (up to 8 ft.), pushing, pulling, standing, walking, kneeling, and traveling by vehicles. Sense of vision, hearing and smell in the normal range with or without correction. Sense of touch and the ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment required.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed primarily outdoors in all weather conditions. Exposure to loud or prolonged noise and/or vibration. Exposure to chemicals and pesticides. 
  • Equipment: General office equipment, two-way radio, construction equipment, material handling equipment, landscape equipment, truck, snow plow.
  • Schedule: May require some early arrival, evening and weekend work. Must be willing to respond to snow removal or other critical project work.

Currently, the expected hiring range is between $22-25/hour based on experience that will be evaluated during the candidate selection process, along with internal equity.


The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

Loading Job Application......

If you have questions, please contact jobs@mortonarb.org