Equipment Operator Salary (United States)

Men account for the majority of Equipment Operators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $17.07 per hour. Pay generally spreads from $11.78 per hour to $27.28. While the specific employer and years of experience impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. While 27 percent report receiving no health benefits, most do receive medical coverage, and more than half have dental, as well. For the most part, Equipment Operators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Equipment Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$26,945 - $65,336
(Median)
27K
40K
52K
65K
MEDIAN: $39,699
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Equipment Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$11.78 - $27.28
(Median)
12
17
22
27
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$26,945 - $65,336  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,983  
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).
)
$25,355 - $69,103  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 72
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.78 - $27.28  
   
Overtime
$17.56 - $40.33  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,983  
   
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).
)
$25,355 - $69,103  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 489
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Job Description for Equipment Operator

An equipment operator performs the hands-on aspect of using equipment, applying mechanical skill sets to operate a variety of devices such as a scraper, bulldozer, tractor, motor grader, front-end loader, crane, pile driver, and back hoe. Equipment operators are commonly seen using their equipment for road construction and maintenance. Other common projects that equipment operators work on are building construction, bridge construction, industrial farm work, and other large structures. On top of operating various machines, equipment operators must also perform regular maintenance on the machines they operate and be capable of troubleshooting problems
Read More...
Equipment Operator Tasks
  • Follow safety regulations and remove and minimize potential hazards.
  • Perform routine maintenance and ensure any needed repairs are made.
  • Operate heavy construction machines such as bulldozers, compressors, tractors, and graders.

Common Career Paths for Equipment Operator

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Additional career progression does not lead to a big boost in pay for Equipment Operators. Typically, those who move into a Heavy Equipment Operator role will bring in a similar salary to their current position.

Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Equipment Operator

The biggest paychecks can be found at Baker Hughes Inc—the median salary there is $57,048; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with salaries starting at only $40K and climbing to $78K. Waste Management, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field, with a median salary of just $36,567.

Pay by Experience Level for Equipment Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Equipment Operators do not generally earn higher salaries from more experience in the field—in most many but not all cases, experience is not a driving force behind pay increase. Starting at around $36K, salaries see a boost to $39K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $42K. After a couple decades on the job, Equipment Operators see only modest salary growth, with pay averaging $47K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about a quarter of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 5 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 17 percent. More than half of respondents report having between one and nine years of experience in this field.

Pay Difference By Location

Houston
up arrow 19%
Oklahoma City
up arrow 12%
National Average
$39,000
Dallas
up arrow 10%
Phoenix
up arrow 21%
Charlotte
up arrow 26%
Fort Worth
up arrow 33%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Equipment Operators in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 19 percent above the national average. Equipment Operators will also find cushy salaries in Oklahoma City (+12 percent). Equipment Operators in Fort Worth make 33 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers in Charlotte and Phoenix also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-26 percent and -21 percent, respectively).

Equipment Operator Reviews

What is it like working as an Equipment Operator?
Equipment Operator in Beallsville:
"Maintaining Awareness And Staying Busy Gives A Sense Of Accomplishment."
Pros: Sense of accomplishment and a big part production.
Cons: Working alone for most of the shift.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Equipment Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%
Experienced
up arrow 7%
National Average
$39,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 1%
Entry-Level
up arrow 8%

Skills That Affect Equipment Operator Salaries

heavy equipment operator
up arrow 2%
Machine Operation
up arrow 1%
National Average
$39,000
Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 14%
Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 83 votes.

Gender

Female
6%
female alumni
 
Male
94%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 51%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 27%
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