Crane Operator Salary
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.
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.Read More...
The crane operator works in an enclosed environment while in the crane, but environmental conditions in their work area may reach extremely high or low temperatures. The crane operator must also work for long periods of time in a small space. These professionals can work in a variety of locations, from very high above ground to working in a shipyard, and so they must be able to handle any relevant challenges to their working environment.
The ability to communicate effectively through radio and hand signals is often required and is desired of the crane operator. Good job attendance and workplace safety performance are also necessary. Candidates may also be required to be familiar with the operation manuals of the machinery on which they work, and they may be required to submit reports regarding machinery inspection and maintenance. Education requirements generally include a high school diploma or equivalent; technical training and certifications are highly recommended.
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.
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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
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.