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Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States, bringing in about $18.05 per hour. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but the specific employer and experience level are influential factors as well. Most Heavy Equipment Operators like their work and job satisfaction is high. While some workers in this profession — slightly less than a third — do not have any health coverage, the larger part do receive medical benefits and a little less than one-half have dental insurance. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$27,085 - $71,185
(Median)
$27K
$44K
$71K
MEDIAN: $43,574
10%
50%
90%

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$12.39 - $27.27
(Median)
$12
$18
$27
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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$27,085 - $71,185  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,001  
Profit Sharing
$305.21 - $7,630  
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).
)
$28,279 - $68,871  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 415
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
$12.39 - $27.27  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $5.96  
Overtime
$17.64 - $38.61  
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 - $2,001  
   
Profit Sharing
$305.21 - $7,630  
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).
)
$28,279 - $68,871  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,162

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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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Construction Project Manager. The average Construction Project Manager brings home $70K per year. The most common promotion for Heavy Equipment Operators is Construction Foreman, a position that typically pays $51K annually. Another standard transition for Heavy Equipment Operators seeking advancement is to assume an Equipment Operator role, where pay is often $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. The biggest paychecks can be found at Waste Connections, Inc. — the median salary there is $53K.

Bringing up the rear, Waste Management, Inc.'s median pay of $39K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $57K.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Blueprints, Welding, heavy equipment operator, and Machine Operation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 15 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Land Surveying and Heavy Equipment Repair. The majority of those who know 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 for the relatively untried average out to around $37K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $45K in this role. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $48K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 21 percent, Heavy Equipment Operators in Pittsburgh receive some of the highest pay in the country. Heavy Equipment Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+20 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), Houston (+12 percent), and Denver (+12 percent). With compensation 16 percent below the national average, Raleigh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers in Tulsa and Tampa also lean toward paying below-median salaries (13 percent lower and 12 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries



National Average
$42,000



Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries


heavy equipment operator
up arrow 13%

Welding
up arrow 13%

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 1%

National Average
$42,000

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 4%

Land Surveying
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 538 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
21%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 46%
vision benefits Vision: 37% employee benefits None: 32%