Equipment Operator Salary (United States)

Men make up the majority of Equipment Operators in the in the United States, bringing in about $17.07 per hour. Pay generally spreads from $11.78 per hour to $27.28. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and tenure. Health benefits are not claimed by all—27 percent lack any form of coverage—but most have medical insurance, and more than half have dental, too. Job satisfaction for Equipment Operators is high. 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
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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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Equipment Operators do not experience a change in pay as they move up the career ladder. Oftentimes, an upper-level role like Heavy Equipment Operator will not bring in more money than some lower-level roles.

Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Equipment Operator

Though Baker Hughes Inc leads the field in terms of pay with a median salary of $57,048, employees there receive a range of salaries, from $40K on the low end all the way up to $78K. The consistently lowest paying firm on the list is Waste Management, Inc., where the median salary is just $36,567.

Pay by Experience Level for Equipment Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Equipment Operators, experience is not a major factor in determining pay, and incremental pay growth is standard. Salaries increase to $39K from around $36K after five to 10 years. Pay amounts to $42K after 10 to 20 years. Though minimal, Equipment Operators continue to experience salary development even after two decades, and pay is estimated at $47K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 23 percent 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. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field—more than half of those surveyed fit this bill.

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.
With a pay rate for Equipment Operators that is 19 percent greater than the national average, Houston offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. 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).

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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