Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Men account for the majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $18.19 per hour. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geographic location, but the company and tenure are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction for Heavy Equipment Operators is high. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just under one in three lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a majority and dental coverage is claimed by a little less than one-half. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$28,007 - $70,957

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$12.54 - $27.56

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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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$28,007 - $70,957  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,019  
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).
)
$28,608 - $68,996  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 429
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.54 - $27.56  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.33  
Overtime
$17.77 - $38.66  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,019  
   
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).
)
$28,608 - $68,996  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,497
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like Construction Project Manager, where median compensation is $70K annually. The most common career progression for Heavy Equipment Operators leads to becoming a Construction Foreman, where average pay is $51K annually. However, many Heavy Equipment Operators also opt to become Equipment Operators. Typically, an Equipment Operator brings home $40K.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Dominating the field, Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, Vulcan Materials Co, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Kinder Morgan Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great 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.

Offering a median of only $40K, Republic Services Inc pays the least. Moreover, the compensation range seems pretty narrow; employees make $33K on the lower end and $61K on the higher end.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in foreman, Blueprints, heavy equipment operator, and Welding are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 12 percent and 20 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Plant Maintenance, Maintenance, and Land Surveying. Most people experienced in Equipment Maintenance also know 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. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $38K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $42K. Heavy Equipment Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $45K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $49K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Heavy Equipment Operators, Williston provides a pay rate that is 83 percent greater than the national average. Heavy Equipment Operators will also find cushy salaries in Las Vegas (+27 percent), Seattle (+24 percent), Pittsburgh (+21 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Raleigh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Orlando and Tampa are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 13 percent lower and 12 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 20%



Welding
up arrow 12%

Machine Operation
up arrow 1%

Equipment Maintenance
0%

National Average
$43,000

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 3%

CDL
up arrow 4%

Arc Welding
up arrow 5%

Land Surveying
up arrow 8%

Maintenance
up arrow 16%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 540 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
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 47%
vision benefits Vision: 37% employee benefits None: 31%
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