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Equipment Operator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Equipment Operators earn an average of $17.13 per hour. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Although approximately one-fourth lack health benefits of any kind, a strong majority do enjoy medical insurance, and a little over a half get dental coverage, too. Job satisfaction for Equipment Operators is high. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,976 - $72,122
(Median)
$26K
$42K
$72K
MEDIAN: $41,638
10%
50%
90%

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$11.78 - $26.68
(Median)
$12
$17
$27
MEDIAN: $17.00
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$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$25,976 - $72,122  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,918  
Profit Sharing
$750 - $3,100  
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).
)
$25,391 - $69,447  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 108
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 - $26.68  
   
Overtime
$17.57 - $39.67  
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 - $5,918  
   
Profit Sharing
$750 - $3,100  
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).
)
$25,391 - $69,447  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 811

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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

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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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For Equipment Operators, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Equipment Operators earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Heavy Equipment Operator.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Equipment Operator


Waste Management, Inc. offers the lowest pay, with a median salary of just $35K. The pay scale doesn't vary widely, either; compensation ranges from $24K to $52K.


Equipment Operators who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Machine Operation, Equipment Maintenance, heavy equipment operator, and Heavy Equipment Repair are correlated to pay that is above average. Heavy Equipment Repair and heavy equipment operator, on the other hand, are typically associated with much lower pay. Equipment Maintenance and Machine Operation are correlating skills — those who know the former usually know the latter.

Pay by Experience Level for Equipment Operator

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


For Equipment Operators, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $36K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $40K. Equipment Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $41K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Equipment Operators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $47K.

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

United States (change)

Experience Affects Equipment Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Experienced
up arrow 3%

Mid-Career
0%

National Average
$40,000


Skills That Affect Equipment Operator Salaries

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 1%

National Average
$40,000

heavy equipment operator
up arrow 6%

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 26%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 131 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 73% dental benefits Dental: 54%
vision benefits Vision: 46% employee benefits None: 26%