Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Male Heavy Equipment Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $18.64 per hour in the United States. In the world of Heavy Equipment Operators, total cash compensation can vary between $30K and $73K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $5K and $7K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geographic location, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly one in three lack any form of coverage — but more than half have medical insurance, and roughly one-half have dental, too. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$27,506 - $80,380
$28K
$46K
$80K
MEDIAN: $45,929
10%
50%
90%

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$13.11 - $29.02
$13
$19
$29
MEDIAN: $18.64
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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$27,506 - $80,380  
   
Bonus
$396.41 - $5,232  
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $6,851  
Commission
$504  
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).
)
$29,597 - $72,709  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 494
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$13.11 - $29.02  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $4.88  
Overtime
$18.79 - $40.04  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$396.41 - $5,232  
   
Commission
$504  
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $6,851  
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).
)
$29,597 - $72,709  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,512
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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United States (change)

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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.

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Heavy Equipment Operator Tasks

  • Clean heavy equipment as scheduled.
  • Perform daily safety and maintenance checks.
  • Maintain a clean and presentable workplace.
  • Operate heavy equipment in a safe and effective manner.
  • Store heavy equipment safely and securely.

Common Career Paths for Heavy Equipment Operator


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Heavy Equipment Operators may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Construction Project Manager. The latter position pays an average of $70K annually. A Construction Foreman role is the most common promotion for Heavy Equipment Operators moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $51K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Heavy Equipment Operators is an Equipment Operator position, where earnings are usually $40K.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Many Heavy Equipment Operators can be found at Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and The Lane Construction Corporation, firms that are at the top of the field. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Waste Connections, Inc. offers the most; Heavy Equipment Operators earn $59K on average there. The Lane Construction Corporation, Martin Marietta Materials Inc, and Cemex, Inc. also offer top salaries for Heavy Equipment Operators. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $54K, $54K, and $51K, respectively.

Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at U.S. Army ($28K), U.S. Air Force (USAF) ($31K), and Vulcan Materials Co ($37K).

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Global Positioning Systems, Operations Management, and foreman are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 31 percent, 22 percent, and 21 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Safety Compliance, EQUIPMENT OPERATOR, and Operator. Those educated in Equipment Maintenance tend to be well versed in Blueprints.

Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Equipment Operator

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Heavy Equipment Operators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $43K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $39K. For Heavy Equipment Operators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $49K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $52K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $44,423

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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 (+26 percent), Indianapolis (+21 percent), Denver (+15 percent), and Pittsburgh (+9 percent). Tampa is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 16 percent. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Charleston and Orlando (13 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Heavy Equipment Operator

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 603 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
23%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

▲17%

▲9%

National Average
$44,000

▼3%

▼11%

Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries



▲21%

OSHA Compliance
▲12%

▲11%

Welding
▲10%

excavator
▲5%



CDL
▲2%


Equipment Maintenance
▼0%

National Average
$44,000

▼4%


Safety Compliance
▼15%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 603 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 66%
dental benefits
Dental: 48%
vision benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 33%
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