Crane Operator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Crane Operators earn an average of $23.54 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $14.44 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $35.57. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Most Crane Operators like their work and job satisfaction is high. While roughly one in four report receiving no health benefits, a strong majority do receive medical coverage, and just over a half have dental, as well.

$34,854 - $123,023
(Median)
$35K
$60K
$120K
MEDIAN: $60,004
10%
50%
90%

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$14.44 - $35.57
(Median)
$14
$24
$36
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$34,854 - $123,023  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,074  
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $4,932  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$32,928 - $94,366  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 139
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$14.44 - $35.57  
   
Hourly Tips
$4.19  
Overtime
$20.11 - $51.43  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,074  
   
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $4,932  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$32,928 - $94,366  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,045
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Job Description for Crane Operator

A crane operator uses a crane to lift and move equipment and/or materials around a job site. In addition to the responsibilities associated with the operation of the crane, they must also perform inspections of the equipment before and after its use to ensure it is in working order. These operators must know and follow safety procedures on using the crane and working on job sites. In some positions, being able to plan operational lifts is an important part of the job.

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Crane Operator Tasks

  • Diagnose problems and maintain a variety bulk handling equipment.
  • Work with crews to load and unload heavy items.
  • Operate a crane to move heavy equipment and cargo.
  • Perform work area housekeeping functions and help with equipment maintenance.

Common Career Paths for Crane Operator


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For Crane Operators, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Crane Operators earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Mobile Crane Operator.

Crane Operator Job Listings

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Crane Operators report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with nccco, CDL, and crane operator are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 43 percent, 32 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Those listing Heavy Equipment Repair and Welder as skills, on the other hand, should be prepared for drastically lower pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Crane Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Crane Operators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $48K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $55K. Crane Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $60K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $62K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $54,373

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Crane Operators will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 68 percent. Crane Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+59 percent), Seattle (+48 percent), Houston (+28 percent), and Denver (+18 percent). Compared to the national average, Raleigh Crane Operators have considerably lower salaries, 22 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Employers in Chicago and Phoenix also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Crane Operator Salaries




National Average
$54,000


Skills That Affect Crane Operator Salaries

nccco
up arrow 43%

CDL
up arrow 32%

crane operator
up arrow 3%

Safety Compliance
up arrow 1%

Certified Crane Operator
up arrow 1%

Machine Operation
0%

National Average
$54,000

Welder
up arrow 9%

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 135 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 75%
dental benefits
Dental: 54%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 24%
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