Crane Operator Salary

Male Crane Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $23.54 per hour in the United States. Pay ranges from $14.44 per hour on the low end to $35.57 on the high end. Geography and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Crane Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. Although a fair number have medical coverage and just over a half have dental coverage, roughly a fourth claim no health benefits at all. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$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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Crane Operators' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like Mobile Crane Operator. Median pay for Mobile Crane Operators is $51K.

Crane Operator Job Listings

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Survey results suggest that Crane Operators use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $48K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $55K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $60K. Crane Operators who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $62K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $54,373

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

For Crane Operators, New York provides a pay rate that is 68 percent greater than the national average. Crane Operators will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+59 percent), Seattle (+48 percent), Houston (+28 percent), and Denver (+18 percent). The lowest-paying market is Raleigh, which sits 22 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (11 percent lower) and Phoenix (8 percent lower).

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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