Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $18.22 per hour. While the specific employer and experience level impact pay for this group, geographic location is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Heavy Equipment Operators. Although slightly less than a third lack health benefits of any kind, a majority do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one-half get dental coverage, too. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$27,198 - $72,180
(Median)
$27K
$44K
$72K
MEDIAN: $43,538
10%
50%
90%

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$12.62 - $27.56
(Median)
$13
$18
$28
MEDIAN: $18.00
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
$27,198 - $72,180  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,011  
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $7,603  
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).
)
$28,626 - $69,427  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 445
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.62 - $27.56  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.33  
Overtime
$17.84 - $38.84  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,011  
   
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $7,603  
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).
)
$28,626 - $69,427  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,430
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Job Description for Heavy Equipment Operator

Heavy equipment operators are responsible for operating heavy equipment in a safe and effective manner. "Heavy equipment" may refer to forklifts, tankers, 18-wheel tractor-trailers, excavators or other pieces of machinery. They perform daily safety and maintenance checks on their equipment and perform scheduled cleanings. Additionally, they are responsible for maintaining a clean and presentable workplace, which includes storing heavy equipment safely and securely. Heavy equipment operators frequently work on construction sites and in manufacturing plant-type atmospheres. Operators can work indoors (such as in warehouses) or outdoors, and operators may need to work in extreme weather conditions.

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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 who transition into a Construction Project Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $70K per year. As Heavy Equipment Operators progress in their field, many go on to become Construction Foremans. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $51K per year. Another common career choice for Heavy Equipment Operators is to move into an Equipment Operator role. Typically, Equipment Operators get paid $40K.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, Vulcan Materials Co, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Kinder Morgan Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Heavy Equipment Operators. Heavy Equipment Operators seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Waste Connections, Inc., where the average salary comes to $62K.

For Heavy Equipment Operators, below-average salaries can be found at Republic Services Inc; in fact, average earnings are around $39K, the lowest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($33K versus $66K) is great.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Survey results show that Heavy Equipment Operators use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in foreman, Blueprints, Welding, and heavy equipment operator are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 12 percent and 19 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Plant Maintenance, Land Surveying, and CDL. 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.


Heavy Equipment Operators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. The average beginner in this position makes around $38K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $41K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Heavy Equipment Operators make a median salary of $45K. Heavy Equipment Operators with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $48K.

Pay Difference by Location


Williston is home to an above-average pay rate for Heavy Equipment Operators, 83 percent higher than the national average. Heavy Equipment Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+22 percent), Pittsburgh (+22 percent), Los Angeles (+19 percent), and Las Vegas (+17 percent). The lowest-paying market is Raleigh, which sits 16 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Orlando and Tampa (13 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries



National Average
$43,000



Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

foreman
up arrow 19%


Welding
up arrow 12%

heavy equipment operator
up arrow 11%

Machine Operation
up arrow 1%

Equipment Maintenance
0%

National Average
$43,000

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 3%

CDL
up arrow 4%

Land Surveying
up arrow 8%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 541 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
22%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 68% dental benefits Dental: 47%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 31%
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