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Tower Crane Operator Salary

Male Tower Crane Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $28.62 per hour in the United States. Work is enjoyable for Tower Crane Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and close to one-fourth lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a fair number and dental coverage is claimed by around half. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$16.60 - $45.15
MEDIAN: $28.00

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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.
Hourly Rate
$16.60 - $45.15  
$23.49 - $67.40  
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.
$0.00 - $2,517  
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).
$40,176 - $127,392  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 59
United States (change)

Job Description for Tower Crane Operator

Tower crane operators are specialists in the construction industry, as they operate a specific type of equipment. Their job may be very dangerous to themselves and others, so a tower crane operator must be able to pay attention and never be distracted, and must be safety-oriented. These workers aid in building pretty much any structure people would see in their everyday lives.


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.

Tower Crane Operator Job Listings

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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.

Tower Crane Operators with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $66K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $56K. On average, Tower Crane Operators make $81K following one to two decades on the job. 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 $93K 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.

Experience Affects Tower Crane Operator Salaries

up arrow 27%

up arrow 10%

National Average

up arrow 11%

up arrow 24%

Job Satisfaction

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


9 %
91 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 72% dental benefits Dental: 51%
vision benefits Vision: 42% employee benefits None: 26%