Heavy Equipment Operator Salary
Men represent the vast majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $18.71 per hour nationwide. Total cash compensation for Heavy Equipment Operators runs from $30K to $73K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $6K and profit sharing that can reach almost $7K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the specific employer and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. About one in three of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a majority report medical coverage and half claim dental coverage as well. Work is enjoyable for Heavy Equipment Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$27,090 - $79,343|
|Bonus||$387.83 - $5,918|
|Profit Sharing||$625 - $6,500|
|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).)
|$29,677 - $73,365|
|Hourly Rate||$13.19 - $29.26|
|Hourly Tips||$0.00 - $4.80|
|Overtime||$19.05 - $40.35|
|Bonus||$387.83 - $5,918|
|Profit Sharing||$625 - $6,500|
|Total Pay (||$29,677 - $73,365|
Job Description for Heavy Equipment Operator
A heavy equipment operator is a construction worker who is specifically tasked with the safe and efficient operations of heavy machinery, such as loaders, dump trucks, backhoes, and graders. The heavy equipment operator ensures that the machinery he or she is about to use is in good working order, and then follows all relevant procedures and protocols while using it. The operator may be asked to provide input into the way some equipment is used on a site, and is required to report any noticed anomalies in operation to a construction manager or equipment repair foreperson. The operator also typically assists with any loading or unloading of the equipment from flatbed trucks or trains.Read More...
The operator must carefully follow the directives of construction managers, and the operation of the equipment is usually far more precise and intricate than may be readily apparent. Equipment operators must stay in control at all times.
The education requirements for working as a heavy equipment operator typically involve some education via a technical school, although some contracting companies provide limited instruction as well. Many jurisdictions also require some certification to operate particular pieces of equipment, and persons in this field will typically work to gain that accreditation, in order to increase the value of their job skills. Most heavy equipment operators work in the field on jobsites during daylight hours, although in some situations, other shiftwork may be required.
Heavy Equipment Operator Tasks
- Operate heavy equipment in a safe and effective manner.
- Store heavy equipment safely and securely.
- Maintain a clean and presentable workplace.
- Clean heavy equipment as scheduled.
- Perform daily safety and maintenance checks.
Common Career Paths for Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Equipment Operators who transition into a Construction Project Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $70K per year. With an annual salary of $51K, Construction Foreman is the most common role for Heavy Equipment Operators to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Equipment Operator role — which usually pays $40K — is also typical for Heavy Equipment Operators, though less common by comparison.
Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator
Leading companies who hire large numbers of Heavy Equipment Operators include Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and The Lane Construction Corporation. Waste Connections, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $59K. Other leaders in compensation levels are The Lane Construction Corporation at $54K, Martin Marietta Materials Inc at $54K, and Cemex, Inc., where Heavy Equipment Operators annually earn $51K.
Employees at U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Vulcan Materials Co can also expect below-average earnings of $28K, $31K, and $37K.
Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Equipment Operators seem to require a rather large skill set. Lucky workers who know Global Positioning Systems can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 30 percent above average. Operations Management and foreman are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 20 percent and 30 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Safety Compliance, EQUIPMENT OPERATOR, and Operator. Most people familiar with Equipment Maintenance also know Blueprints.
Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Equipment Operator
Pay by Experience for a Heavy Equipment Operator has a positive trend. An entry-level Heavy Equipment Operator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 1,844 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Heavy Equipment Operator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 1,485 salaries. An experienced Heavy Equipment Operator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 1,782 salaries. A Heavy Equipment Operator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 1,152 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Heavy Equipment Operators, working in the bustling city of Williston has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Heavy Equipment Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Las Vegas (+25 percent), Indianapolis (+20 percent), Denver (+13 percent), and Pittsburgh (+8 percent). Tampa is the lowest-paying area, 17 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Charleston (14 percent lower) and Orlando (11 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Heavy Equipment Operator
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