Crane Operator Salary

Male Crane Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $24.49 per hour in the United States. Final cash compensation to Crane Operators varies from around $34K to approximately $98K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K and $6K, respectively. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geographic location, followed by the company and tenure. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just under one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and slightly more than half receive dental plans. Most Crane Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$36,269 - $104,379
$36K
$60K
$100K
MEDIAN: $59,674
10%
50%
90%

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$14.70 - $36.01
$15
$24
$36
MEDIAN: $24.49
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
$36,269 - $104,379  
   
Bonus
$395.94 - $10,287  
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).
)
$34,050 - $98,001  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 162
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
$14.70 - $36.01  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.19  
Overtime
$21.18 - $53.54  
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
$395.94 - $10,287  
   
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).
)
$34,050 - $98,001  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,113

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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 often transition into a Mobile Crane Operator position. Mobile Crane Operators report a slightly lower median income of $51K.

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Pay by Experience Level for Crane Operator

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


Crane Operators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $50K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $57K. Crane Operators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $64K. 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 $66K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $57,733

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

Surpassing the national average by 56 percent, Crane Operators in Williston receive some of the highest pay in the country. Crane Operators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+48 percent), Los Angeles (+33 percent), Houston (+21 percent), and New York (+17 percent). Crane Operators in Milwaukee report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 24 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Cleveland and Tampa are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 11 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively.

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 96 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
22%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Crane Operator Salaries

▲15%

▲10%

National Average
$58,000

▼1%

▼13%

Skills That Affect Crane Operator Salaries

rigger
▲67%

nccco
▲44%

Crane
▲15%


certified
▲9%

Heavy Equipment Repair
▲9%

Safety Compliance
▲5%

Machine Operation
▼0%

National Average
$58,000

Welder
▼2%

Certified Crane Operator
▼5%

CDL
▼7%

Class A CDL
▼10%

heavy equipment operator
▼23%

Forklift Operator
▼30%

forklift
▼40%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 96 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 76%
dental benefits
Dental: 55%
vision benefits
Vision: 44%
dental benefits
None: 23%
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