Tower Crane Operator Salary

A sizeable majority of Tower Crane Operators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $29.22 per hour. While nearly one in three report receiving no health benefits, the larger part do receive medical coverage, and approximately one-half have dental, as well. Most Tower Crane Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$39,732 - $98,382
(Median)
$40K
$59K
$98K
MEDIAN: $59,321
10%
50%
90%

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$18.18 - $47.02
(Median)
$18
$29
$47
MEDIAN: $29.00
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
$39,732 - $98,382  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,817  
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).
)
$40,833 - $106,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 18
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$18.18 - $47.02  
   
Overtime
$15.21 - $59.80  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,817  
   
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).
)
$40,833 - $106,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 77
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Job Description for Tower Crane Operator

Tower crane operators are specialists in the construction industry who operate a specific piece of heavy machinery that lifts, transports and moves construction equipment and materials all over their construction site. These materials are needed to build concrete foundations, floors, walls, decks, roofs and other parts of high-rise buildings and other multistory structures. Tower crane operators must adhere to established load limits for their crane, control crane movement as instructed by their supervisors or signalers, and understand specific hand signals and/or instructions given to them via radio. They must also be able to operate crane using remote controls or remote consoles, as well as ensure their cranes are regularly inspected to promote safe use.

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Tower Crane Operator Tasks

  • Steer the crane utilizing levers within the control console or remotely via a remote console.
  • Base crane movements upon hand and radio signals from ground supervisor or signaler.
  • Operate tower crane to move large and heavy objects such as construction materials and shipping containers.

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Pay by Experience Level for Tower Crane 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. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $54K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $71K. Tower Crane Operators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $74K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $78K on average.

Tower Crane Operator Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Tower Crane Operator in Miami:
"Huge responsibility."
If you're thinking about becoming a tower crane operator call your local union the international union of operating engineers and join their apprenticeship program.

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Experience Affects Tower Crane Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 20%

Experienced
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$65,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 10 votes.

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
25%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
34%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 62%
dental benefits
Dental: 48%
medical benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 33%
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