Men account for the majority of Crane Operators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $24.40 per hour. 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. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geographic location, followed by the company and experience level. Job satisfaction for Crane Operators is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly one-fifth lack any form of coverage — but a fair number have medical insurance, and a majority have dental, too. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$37,521 - $119,299
(Median)
$38K
$61K
$120K
MEDIAN: $60,787
10%
50%
90%

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$14.55 - $36.45
(Median)
$15
$24
$36
MEDIAN: $24.00
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
$37,521 - $119,299  
   
Bonus
$391.49 - $10,090  
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $6,040  
Commission
$9,500  
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).
)
$34,197 - $98,342  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 152
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
$14.55 - $36.45  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.19  
Overtime
$21.09 - $53.90  
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
$391.49 - $10,090  
   
Commission
$9,500  
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $6,040  
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).
)
$34,197 - $98,342  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,065
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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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Many Crane Operators move into Mobile Crane Operator roles. Mobile Crane Operators seem to make a little less than Crane Operators as their salaries average out to $51K a year.

Crane Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Crane Operator


Pay by Experience Level for Crane Operator

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


For Crane Operators, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $50K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $58K. On average, Crane Operators make $63K following one to two decades on the job. Crane Operators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $67K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $57,598

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

For Crane Operators, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 74 percent above the national average. Crane Operators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+46 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), Houston (+24 percent), and New York (+17 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Crane Operators in Milwaukee earning a whopping 24 percent below the national average. On the whole, employers pay 10 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Cleveland and Tampa.

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Experience Affects Crane Operator Salaries




National Average
$58,000


Skills That Affect Crane Operator Salaries

rigger
up arrow 64%

nccco
up arrow 39%

Crane
up arrow 15%

certified
up arrow 10%

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 9%


CDL
up arrow 1%

Machine Operation
0%

National Average
$58,000

Safety Compliance
up arrow 2%

Certified Crane Operator
up arrow 4%

Welder
up arrow 9%

Class A CDL
up arrow 10%

Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 11%

heavy equipment operator
up arrow 17%

Forklift Operator
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 91 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 77%
dental benefits
Dental: 57%
medical benefits
Vision: 46%
dental benefits
None: 21%
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