Earnings for Heavy Machine Operators in the United States come in at around $15.29 per hour on average. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The vast majority of Heavy Machine Operators (88 percent) who took the survey are men. Most Heavy Machine Operators like their work and job satisfaction is high. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, approximately one in four are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by over one-half. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,059 - $101,864
(Median)
$24K
$45K
$100K
MEDIAN: $45,000
10%
50%
90%

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$11.02 - $23.65
(Median)
$11
$15
$24
MEDIAN: $15.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$24,059 - $101,864  
   
Bonus
$200.00 - $7,500  
Profit Sharing
$3,500  
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).
)
$24,244 - $62,569  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 41
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$11.02 - $23.65  
   
Overtime
$15.70 - $33.87  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$200.00 - $7,500  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,500  
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).
)
$24,244 - $62,569  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 393
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Job Description for Heavy Machine Operator

Heavy machine operators are responsible for operating heavy machinery in a safe and efficient way. They are responsible for ensuring that their machines are cleaned and maintained, and they must report any issues to their supervisors. They also must make sure that they follow all policies and regulations set in place by their employer.

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Heavy Machine Operator Tasks

  • Follow safety regulations and remove and minimize potential hazards.
  • Perform routine maintenance and ensure any needed repairs are made.
  • Operate heavy construction machines such as bulldozers, compressors, tractors, and graders.

Common Career Paths for Heavy Machine Operator


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At the upper end, Heavy Machine Operators who move into a Production Supervisor role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Production Supervisors is a much higher $51K per year.

Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Machine Operator

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


For Heavy Machine Operators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $33K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $40K. Heavy Machine Operators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $40K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Heavy Machine Operators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $45K.

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Experience Affects Heavy Machine Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 21%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

Skills That Affect Heavy Machine Operator Salaries

Machine Operation
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

National Average
$37,000

Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 50 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
medical benefits
Vision: 41%
dental benefits
None: 27%
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