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 $18.37 per hour nationwide. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by the particular city and tenure. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just under a third lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by the greater part and dental coverage is claimed by a little less than half. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$27,333 - $71,248
(Median)
$27K
$43K
$71K
MEDIAN: $43,212
10%
50%
90%

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$12.75 - $28.29
(Median)
$13
$18
$28
MEDIAN: $18.00
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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$27,333 - $71,248  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,071  
Profit Sharing
$296.61 - $7,500  
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).
)
$28,824 - $71,124  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 508
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
$12.75 - $28.29  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $5.50  
Overtime
$18.09 - $39.40  
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
$0.00 - $2,071  
   
Profit Sharing
$296.61 - $7,500  
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).
)
$28,824 - $71,124  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 4,333
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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

  • 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 who transition into a Construction Project Manager role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $70K per year. Going from Heavy Equipment Operator to Construction Foreman is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $51K. Many others choose to work as Equipment Operators, where pay is typically $40K.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator


Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), Vulcan Materials Co, and Kinder Morgan Inc. are all popular places to work. Heavy Equipment Operators flock to Waste Connections, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $59K lead the pack in compensation. Cemex, Inc., Kinder Morgan Inc., and Waste Management, Inc. also offer top salaries for Heavy Equipment Operators. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $48K, $47K, and $43K, respectively.

Vulcan Materials Co seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $37K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $29K and $59K. Other low-paying employers include U.S. Air Force (USAF) at $38K and Republic Services Inc at $39K, though some Heavy Equipment Operators there earn up to $68K.

Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator


Heavy Equipment Operators seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Lucky workers who know crane operator can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 25 percent above average. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and foreman are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 23 percent and 25 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Plant Maintenance, Maintenance, and Team Leadership. 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.


For Heavy Equipment Operators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $38K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $42K on average. Heavy Equipment Operators see a median salary of $46K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Heavy Equipment Operators who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $50K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,947

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 25 percent, Heavy Equipment Operators in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Heavy Equipment Operators will also find cushy salaries in Las Vegas (+23 percent), Pittsburgh (+17 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), and Austin (+13 percent). Orlando ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 16 percent below the national average. Workers in Raleigh and Tampa earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (14 percent less and 13 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries



National Average
$43,000



Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
up arrow 25%

crane operator
up arrow 25%

foreman
up arrow 23%



Operations Management
up arrow 7%

Machine Operation
up arrow 1%

Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 1%

National Average
$43,000

CDL
up arrow 1%

EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
up arrow 1%

Operator
up arrow 2%

Heavy Equipment Repair
up arrow 4%

Team Leadership
up arrow 8%

Maintenance
up arrow 17%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 641 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 47%
medical benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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