Crane Operator Salary

Men represent the vast majority of Crane Operators in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $24.30 per hour nationwide. In the world of Crane Operators, total cash compensation can vary between $34K and $98K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $10K and $6K, respectively. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by residence, but the specific employer and experience level are influential factors as well. The majority of Crane Operators claim high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — slightly more than a fifth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a strong majority and dental plans are enjoyed by a majority. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$34,727 - $102,890
$35K
$60K
$100K
MEDIAN: $59,880
10%
50%
90%

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$14.72 - $35.92
$15
$24
$36
MEDIAN: $24.30
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
$34,727 - $102,890  
   
Bonus
$405.47 - $10,213  
Profit Sharing
$391.49 - $6,128  
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).
)
$34,140 - $97,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 159
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$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$14.72 - $35.92  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.19  
Overtime
$21.25 - $54.52  
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
$405.47 - $10,213  
   
Profit Sharing
$391.49 - $6,128  
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).
)
$34,140 - $97,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,164

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United States (change)

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Crane Operator


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Crane Operators who take on a higher-level position such as Mobile Crane Operator may get paid a little bit less in that new role, as Mobile Crane Operators on average bring home $51K.

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Pay by Experience Level for Crane Operator

Pay by Experience for a Crane Operator has a positive trend. An entry-level Crane Operator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $50,000 based on 499 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Crane Operator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $57,000 based on 386 salaries. An experienced Crane Operator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $63,000 based on 406 salaries. A Crane Operator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $66,000 based on 268 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $58,107

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

Surpassing the national average by 47 percent, Crane Operators in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Crane Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+36 percent), Houston (+21 percent), Chicago (+7 percent), and Orlando (+7 percent). Compared to the national average, Cincinnati Crane Operators have considerably lower salaries, 36 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Employers also pay below the national average in Milwaukee (24 percent lower) and Tampa (18 percent lower).

Crane Operator Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Crane Operator?

Crane Operator in Houston:
"A highly learned skill that's hands on."
Pros: Watching people smile when I fly a load or my hook to them smooth and wide open.
Cons: Nothing.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Crane Operator

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 111 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
20%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Crane Operator Salaries

▲13%

▲9%

National Average
$58,000

▼2%

▼14%

Skills That Affect Crane Operator Salaries

rigger
▲66%

nccco
▲55%

Certified Crane Operator
▲27%

Heavy Equipment Repair
▲21%


Crane
▲14%

Safety Compliance
▲5%

certified
▲3%


CDL
▼0%

Welder
▼0%

National Average
$58,000

Class A CDL
▼11%

heavy equipment operator
▼23%

Forklift Operator
▼30%

forklift
▼41%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 111 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
vision benefits
Vision: 45%
no benefits
None: 23%
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