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Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Male Heavy Equipment Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $18.16 per hour in the United States. Geographic location is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and years of experience are driving factors as well. Although slightly less than a third lack health benefits of any kind, the larger part do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one-half get dental coverage, too. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$27,451 - $72,341
(Median)
$27K
$43K
$72K
MEDIAN: $43,385
10%
50%
90%

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$12.50 - $27.41
(Median)
$13
$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$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$27,451 - $72,341  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,001  
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).
)
$28,521 - $69,066  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 424
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
$12.50 - $27.41  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $5.96  
Overtime
$17.79 - $38.52  
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
$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).
)
$28,521 - $69,066  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,306
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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. A Construction Foreman role is the most common promotion for Heavy Equipment Operators moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $51K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Heavy Equipment Operators is an Equipment Operator position, where earnings are usually $40K.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators flock to Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, Vulcan Materials Co, U.S. Air Force (USAF), and Kinder Morgan Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Heavy Equipment Operators flock to Waste Connections, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $62K lead the pack in compensation.

Waste Management, Inc. reports the lowest median salary in the area (it's only $39K) but some workers make up to $57K, indicating a rather large gap in employee earnings.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in foreman, Blueprints, Welding, and heavy equipment operator are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 20 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Land Surveying and Heavy Equipment Repair. Most people skilled in Equipment Maintenance are similarly competent in Blueprints.

Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Equipment Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. 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 $41K. Heavy Equipment Operators see a median salary of $45K after reaching one to two decades on the job. 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 $48K.

Pay Difference by Location


Heavy Equipment Operators will find that Minneapolis offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 41 percent. Heavy Equipment Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+22 percent), Pittsburgh (+21 percent), Los Angeles (+20 percent), and Las Vegas (+16 percent). The lowest-paying market is Raleigh, which sits 15 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Tampa and Oklahoma City (10 percent lower).

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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 13%

heavy equipment operator
up arrow 10%

Machine Operation
up arrow 2%

Equipment Maintenance
0%

National Average
$43,000

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 3%

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
25%

Common Health Benefits

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