Men make up the majority of Tower Crane Operators in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $31.10 per hour. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Tower Crane Operators claim high levels of job satisfaction. While just under one in three report receiving no health benefits, the larger part do receive medical coverage, and the greater part have dental, as well. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$39,992 - $98,531
(Median)
$40K
$60K
$99K
MEDIAN: $59,682
10%
50%
90%

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$18.66 - $45.74
(Median)
$19
$31
$46
MEDIAN: $31.00
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
$39,992 - $98,531  
   
Bonus
$4,793  
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).
)
$41,208 - $108,977  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 29
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
$18.66 - $45.74  
   
Overtime
$15.25 - $68.62  
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
$4,793  
   
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).
)
$41,208 - $108,977  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 83
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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.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $57K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $79K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $73K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $85K.

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 22%

Mid-Career
up arrow 12%

Experienced
up arrow 4%

National Average
$70,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 7 votes.

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
24%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
34%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 58%
medical benefits
Vision: 47%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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