Heavy Equipment Operator Salary
A sizeable majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $18.63 per hour. With some bonuses approaching $5K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $7K, overall incomes of Heavy Equipment Operators spread between $30K and $72K depending on individual performance. While the company and experience level impact pay for this group, residence is the most influential factor. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. While nearly one in three report receiving no health benefits, a majority do receive medical coverage, and one-half have dental, as well.
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
For Heavy Equipment Operators, progressing to a Construction Project Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Construction Project Manager can earn $70K annually. 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
Known for taking on a considerable number of Heavy Equipment Operators, Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and U.S. Marine Corps are leading firms in the industry. Waste Connections, Inc. offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $59K. Heavy Equipment Operators can also look forward to large paychecks at Martin Marietta Materials Inc ($54K), The Lane Construction Corporation ($53K), and Tradesmen International, Inc. ($50K).
U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Vulcan Materials Co are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($29K, $31K, and $35K respectively).
Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator
Survey takers working as Heavy Equipment Operators report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Global Positioning Systems, foreman, and Operations Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 29 percent, 25 percent, and 22 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Safety Compliance and EQUIPMENT OPERATOR. For most people, competency in Equipment Maintenance indicates knowledge of 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. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $39K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $43K. Heavy Equipment Operators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $48K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $52K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Heavy Equipment Operators in Williston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 71 percent above the national average. Heavy Equipment Operators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+22 percent), Indianapolis (+19 percent), Denver (+15 percent), and Houston (+8 percent). In Tampa, salaries are 17 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Charleston and Orlando (12 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Heavy Equipment Operator
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