Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Men represent the vast majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $18.71 per hour nationwide. Total cash compensation for Heavy Equipment Operators runs from $30K to $73K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $6K and profit sharing that can reach almost $7K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the specific employer and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. About one in three of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a majority report medical coverage and half claim dental coverage as well. Work is enjoyable for Heavy Equipment Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$27,090 - $79,343
$27K
$46K
$79K
MEDIAN: $45,904
10%
50%
90%

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$13.19 - $29.26
$13
$19
$29
MEDIAN: $18.71
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
$27,090 - $79,343  
   
Bonus
$387.83 - $5,918  
Profit Sharing
$625 - $6,500  
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).
)
$29,677 - $73,365  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 536
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
$13.19 - $29.26  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $4.80  
Overtime
$19.05 - $40.35  
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
$387.83 - $5,918  
   
Commission
$504  
Profit Sharing
$625 - $6,500  
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).
)
$29,677 - $73,365  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,770

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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

  • 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


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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. With an annual salary of $51K, Construction Foreman is the most common role for Heavy Equipment Operators to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Equipment Operator role — which usually pays $40K — is also typical for Heavy Equipment Operators, though less common by comparison.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Heavy Equipment Operators include Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and The Lane Construction Corporation. Waste Connections, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $59K. Other leaders in compensation levels are The Lane Construction Corporation at $54K, Martin Marietta Materials Inc at $54K, and Cemex, Inc., where Heavy Equipment Operators annually earn $51K.

Employees at U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Vulcan Materials Co can also expect below-average earnings of $28K, $31K, and $37K.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators seem to require a rather large skill set. Lucky workers who know Global Positioning Systems can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 30 percent above average. Operations Management and foreman are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 20 percent and 30 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Safety Compliance, EQUIPMENT OPERATOR, and Operator. Most people familiar with Equipment Maintenance also know Blueprints.

Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Equipment Operator

Pay by Experience for a Heavy Equipment Operator has a positive trend. An entry-level Heavy Equipment Operator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 1,844 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Heavy Equipment Operator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 1,485 salaries. An experienced Heavy Equipment Operator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 1,782 salaries. A Heavy Equipment Operator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 1,152 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $44,877

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 (+25 percent), Indianapolis (+20 percent), Denver (+13 percent), and Pittsburgh (+8 percent). Tampa is the lowest-paying area, 17 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Charleston (14 percent lower) and Orlando (11 percent lower).

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 683 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
23%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

▲16%

▲8%

National Average
$45,000

▼4%

▼12%

Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries


▲20%


OSHA Compliance
▲11%

▲10%

Welding
▲9%

excavator
▲4%



CDL
▲1%


National Average
$45,000

Equipment Maintenance
▼1%

▼5%


Safety Compliance
▼16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 683 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: 39%
no benefits
None: 32%
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