Careers at Caterpillar


Caterpillar’s mission is to enable economic growth through infrastructure and energy development, and to provide solutions that support communities. It is focused on the development of outstanding products and solutions through innovation and technology.

Business segments

Founded in 1925, Caterpillar is headquartered in Peoria, IL, and is listed on the NYSE (Ticker: CAT). The company manufactures and markets construction and mining equipment, diesel & natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide.

Energy & Transportation: (38% of FY15 sales)

  • Supports customers in oil & gas, power generation, marine, rail and industrial applications
  • Offers reciprocating engines, generator sets, marine propulsion systems, gas turbines, turbine-related services, diesel-electric locomotives, and other rail-related products

Construction Industries: (35% of FY15 sales)

  • Caters to heavy & general construction, rental, mining & quarry, and aggregates markets
  • Offers backhoe, small wheel, skid steer, multi-terrain, compact track, medium and compact wheel, and track-type loaders
  • Also, offers mini, wheel, and track excavators, track-type tractors, select work tools, motor graders, telehandlers, soil compactors, and pipelayers

Resource Industries: (16% of FY15 sales)

  • Primarily responsible for supporting customers using machinery in mine and quarry application; provides electric rope & hydraulic shovels, draglines, drills, highwall & longwall miners, hard rock vehicles
  • Also, offers articulated, large mining, and off-highway trucks; large wheel loaders; wheel tractor scrapers; wheel dozers
  • Additionally, offers machinery components, hard rock continuous mining systems, electronics & control systems, and select work tools for use in mining and quarry applications

Financial Products & Others: (11% of FY15 sales)

  • Provides retail and wholesale financing for Caterpillar equipment, machinery, and engines
  • Offers property, casualty, life, accident, health insurance and insurance brokerage services
  • Also, remanufactures Cat engines and components, and provides remanufacturing services


1800’s: The first combined harvester was built by Benjamin Holt in Stockton, CA, and in 1890, Holt built his first steam traction engine tractor. In 1892, The Holt Manufacturing Company was incorporated.

1900’s: Holt tested his steam-powered track-type tractor prototype and gasoline-powered track-type tractor prototype; in 1909, Holts purchased an existing plant in East Peoria, IL.

1910’s: Best established C.L. Best Gas Traction Company and in 1912 manufactured the first track-type tractor. In 1910, The Holt Manufacturing registered "Caterpillar" as a trademark and subsequently, Caterpillar tractors were used in 1914 to support World War I.

1920’s: The Holt Manufacturing Company and C. L. Best Tractor Co. merged to establish the Caterpillar Tractor Co; the merger was a result of the financial crisis due to the post war decrease in sales of tractors used for transportation of artillery and equipment. In 1928, Caterpillar acquired Russell Grader Manufacturing Company.

1930’s: Caterpillar released the industry's first true motor grader and in 1931, commenced producing diesel tractor model.

1940’s: Introduced first wheel tractor as well as a matching wagon product line; the company’s products support the Allies during World War II. In the post war construction boom, the Company grew at a rapid pace and constructed more than 70,000 miles of highways throughout the U.S. Subsequent to 1940’s the Company grew through acquisitions as well as international expansion.

1950’s: Established first overseas subsidiary – Caterpillar Tractor Co. Ltd. in the U.K in 1950, introduced wheel tractor-scraper in 1951 and in 1954, launched D9 Tractor.

1960’s: Launched first off-highway truck and In 1967, established a new worldwide headquarters building in Peoria, IL.

1970’s: International sales exceed domestic U.S. sales; in 1972, launched first hydraulic excavator, and in 1977, introduced the D10 Track-Type Tractor.

1980’s: Acquired Solar Turbines in 1981; in 1985 launched first backhoe loader, and in 1986, launched D11 Track Type Tractor.

1990’s: In 1998, introduced the world’s largest mechanical drive mining truck and in 1998, launched a compact construction equipment product line. In 1998, the company acquired Varity Perkins and renamed it as Perkins Engines Company.

2000’s: In 2006, the company acquired Progress Rail Services, Inc and in 2008, launched the first-of-its-kind electric drive track-type tractor. In 2008, the company acquired Shandong SEM Machinery Co., Ltd in China.

2010’s: In 2011, the company acquired Bucyrus International, Inc and MWM GmbH, and in 2013, acquired Walter Berg AB. In 2015, acquired ESRG Technologies Group LLC, and Yard Club Inc; subsequently in 2016, acquired Rail Product Solutions, Inc.

Business model of Caterpillar

Customer Segments

Caterpillar has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment.

It sells the majority of its machinery and power systems to independently owned and operated dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to meet the demands of their customers and the end users.

Key end markets include infrastructure & building construction, mine & quarry machinery, forestry, paving, tunneling, industrial, waste processing, electric power, petroleum, marine and rail-related end markets.

Value Proposition

Caterpillar focuses on delivering valued, quality products, services and solutions to its customers that provide them the best economic proposition for their business. This value proposition, enabled by their unmatched customer support, creates the largest global field population, highest customer loyalty and attractive profitability through the business cycle.

The company offers five primary value propositions:

  • Integrity – The company delivers what it promises and believes in being trustworthy and complete fair service.
  • Excellence – It takes pride in its quality, have an intense, acute focus on its customers, acts with a sense of urgency and achieves excellence through the Caterpillar Production System and 6 Sigma.
  • Teamwork – It utilizes the unique talents of its available resources and collaborates with employees, dealers, distributors and suppliers to create value.
  • Commitment – The company is committed to deliver class-leading services and is personally accountable to meet its client’s goals.
  • Sustainability – It creates and captures value through sustainable products, services, solutions and operations.

The company follows a ‘Vision 2020’ target where they aspire to be recognized as the leader across all verticals, helps succeed its clients through its products, services and solutions; offer competitive advantage through its distribution system and supply chain, drive superior results through its business model and consistently rewards its stockholders.


Caterpillar has a distribution network and supply chain that is world class, which provides a significant competitive advantage.

The company distributes principally through a worldwide organization of dealers, 48 located in the United States and 127 located outside the United States, serving 182 countries and operating 3,593 places of business, including 1,274 dealer rental outlets.

Reciprocating engines are sold principally through the dealer network and to other manufacturers for use in products. The FG Wilson branded electric power generation systems are sold through its worldwide network of 290 distributors located in 145 countries.

Some of the large, medium speed reciprocating engines are also sold under the MaK brand through a worldwide network of 19 distributors located in 130 countries.

Some products, primarily turbines and locomotives, are sold directly to end customers through sales forces employed by the company.

Customer Relationships

Caterpillar lays special emphasis on customer service, quality and building strong relationships.

It has dealers in over 180 countries that provide expert service and knowledgeable advice to the customers and end users to enhance every aspect of the operation so as to increase efficiency.

The company’s dealers do not deal exclusively with its products; however, in most cases sales and servicing of its products are the dealers’ principal business.

Some products, primarily turbines and locomotives, are sold directly to end customers through sales forces employed by the company. At times, these employees are assisted by independent sales representatives to deliver effective customer service.

It runs Caterpillar University which offers classes, e-learning and development opportunities to sharpen the skills of its dealers, suppliers and most importantly its customers.

Key Activities

Caterpillar’s business model entails manufacturing and selling of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide.

Key Partners

The company has partnered with industry, government and academic institutions around the world to leverage world-class expertise and speed up the pace of research and development

Key Highlights

  • 28 strategic partner schools
  • More than 50 affiliated schools for research and talent
  • Affinity and technical partnerships

Government and industry research partnerships

  • Energy Technologies Institute
  • DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
  • S. Department of Energy
  • Diesel Technology Forum
  • NASA
  • Sandia, Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories
  • InnovateUK
  • European Union Research Executive Agency

Key Resources

Caterpillar’s main resources are its human resources. They include over 105,700 persons employed across the globe including 58,000 outside the US.

The company has 500 facilities including manufacturing, marketing, logistics, service, R&D and related facilities at various locations including the US, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, India, Hungary, Indonesia, Poland, Russia, UK and Singapore among others.

Cost Structure

Caterpillar operates in a highly competitive market with a focus on high product quality along with a superior shareholder return.

The company has substantially reduced its operating costs through enhanced restructuring and cost reductions plans implemented in recent years.

Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing, research/development, and administration, all fixed costs.

Revenue Streams

Caterpillar has various revenue streams including:

  • Sale of machinery in infrastructure and building construction applications, and mining and quarrying applications
  • Sale of engines, turbines, diesel-electric locomotives and related parts across industries serving power generation, industrial, oil and gas and transportation applications
  • Financing provided to retail and wholesale customers for purchase of various Caterpillar products

Our team

Douglas R. Oberhelman,
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

info: Douglas holds a Bachelor's Degree from Millikin University; he joined the Caterpillar treasury department in 1975 and has led a wide variety of businesses across the company. He previously served on the boards of Eli Lilly and Company and Ameren Corporation. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of Exxon Mobil Corporation and is the Chairman of Business Roundtable; also, he serves as the Vice President of the Wetlands America Trust, Chairman of board of trustees for the Easter Seals Foundation of Central Illinois

Bradley M. Halverson,
Chief Financial Officer

info: Bradley graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1982, and earned an Executive MBA in 1996, both from the University of Illinois. He is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of CPAs. He joined the company in 1988 as an accountant after four years of public accounting experience with Price Waterhouse and a year of financial reporting experience with Rolscreen Company

Julie A Lagac,
Chief Information Officer

info: Julie earned dual bachelor's degrees in economics and management from Illinois State University and has a master's degree in business administration from Bradley University. She is also a Certified Management Accountant. Previously, served as VP with responsibility for the Finance Services Division; has also served as the CFO for Caterpillar Global Mining

Gwenne A. Henricks,
Chief Technology Officer

info: Gwenne graduated from Bradley University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, in 1981 with a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and in 2003 from the University of Illinois with a master’s in business administration. Also, serves as the VP of the Company with responsibility for Product Development & Global Technology. Since joining the company in 1981, has held numerous senior management positions including VP of Electronics and Connected Worksite Division and VP of Industrial Power Systems Division.