Crane Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Crane Operators in the United States, bringing in about $23.06 per hour. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Crane Operators like their work and job satisfaction is high. Some workers in this field — just under a fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by the greater part. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$35,198 - $122,315
(Median)
$35K
$60K
$120K
MEDIAN: $59,844
10%
50%
90%

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$14.58 - $35.38
(Median)
$15
$23
$35
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$35,198 - $122,315  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,895  
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $4,562  
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).
)
$33,334 - $93,560  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 103
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$14.58 - $35.38  
   
Overtime
$20.13 - $50.36  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,895  
   
Profit Sharing
$197.27 - $4,562  
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).
)
$33,334 - $93,560  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 787
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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 a Mobile Crane Operator role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Mobile Crane Operators on average bring in a similar salary to Crane Operators.

Crane Operator Job Listings

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Survey takers who work as Crane Operators report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, facility with CDL, crane operator, and Certified Crane Operator are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 20 percent, 7 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Welder.

Pay by Experience Level for Crane Operator

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


For Crane Operators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $46K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $53K. On average, Crane Operators make $58K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $61K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 129 percent, Crane Operators in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Crane Operators will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+68 percent), Seattle (+38 percent), Houston (+20 percent), and New Orleans (+19 percent). Compared to the national average, Raleigh Crane Operators have considerably lower salaries, 20 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Fort Worth and Milwaukee (18 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Crane Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

Experienced
up arrow 9%


National Average
$53,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Skills That Affect Crane Operator Salaries

CDL
up arrow 20%


Certified Crane Operator
up arrow 3%

National Average
$53,000

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

Welder
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 119 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 23%
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