Heavy Equipment Operator Salary
Men account for the majority of Heavy Equipment Operators in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $18.93 per hour. Cash earnings for Heavy Equipment Operators — including $6K in bonuses and $7K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $30K to $74K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geographic location, followed by the company and tenure. Work is enjoyable for Heavy Equipment Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, nearly one in three are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by more than half and dental insurance is reported by roughly one-half. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$27,938 - $80,359|
|Bonus||$298 - $5,952|
|Profit Sharing||$206 - $6,792|
|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).)
|$30,023 - $74,835|
|Hourly Rate||$13.43 - $29.65|
|Hourly Tips||$0.00 - $5.47|
|Overtime||$19.28 - $41.93|
|Bonus||$298 - $5,952|
|Profit Sharing||$206 - $6,792|
|Total Pay (||$30,023 - $74,835|
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.Read More...
The operator must carefully follow the directives of construction managers, and the operation of the equipment is usually far more precise and intricate than may be readily apparent. Equipment operators must stay in control at all times.
The education requirements for working as a heavy equipment operator typically involve some education via a technical school, although some contracting companies provide limited instruction as well. Many jurisdictions also require some certification to operate particular pieces of equipment, and persons in this field will typically work to gain that accreditation, in order to increase the value of their job skills. Most heavy equipment operators work in the field on jobsites during daylight hours, although in some situations, other shiftwork may be required. (Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)
Heavy Equipment Operator Tasks
- Operate heavy equipment in a safe and effective manner.
- Store heavy equipment safely and securely.
- Maintain a clean and presentable workplace.
- Clean heavy equipment as scheduled.
- Perform daily safety and maintenance checks.
Common Career Paths for Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Equipment Operators may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Construction Project Manager. The latter position pays an average of $70K annually. With an annual salary of $51K, Construction Foreman is the most common role for Heavy Equipment Operators to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Equipment Operator role — which usually pays $40K — is also typical for Heavy Equipment Operators, though less common by comparison.
Heavy Equipment Operator Job Listings
Popular Employer Salaries for Heavy Equipment Operator
Many Heavy Equipment Operators can be found at Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services Inc, U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and The Lane Construction Corporation, firms that are at the top of the field. Waste Connections, Inc. offers the largest salaries in town — $59K on average. Other employers shelling out big bucks include The Lane Construction Corporation, Martin Marietta Materials Inc, and Cemex, Inc., where Heavy Equipment Operators typically earn around $54K, $54K, or $51K, respectively.
Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are U.S. Army ($28K), U.S. Air Force (USAF) ($31K), and Vulcan Materials Co ($37K).
Popular Skills for Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Equipment Operators seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Lucky workers who know Global Positioning Systems can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 28 percent above average. Operations Management and foreman are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 19 percent and 28 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Safety Compliance, EQUIPMENT OPERATOR, and Operator. Those educated in Equipment Maintenance tend to be well versed in Blueprints.
Pay by Experience Level for Heavy Equipment Operator
Pay by Experience for a Heavy Equipment Operator has a positive trend. An entry-level Heavy Equipment Operator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 1,844 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Heavy Equipment Operator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 1,485 salaries. An experienced Heavy Equipment Operator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $49,000 based on 1,782 salaries. A Heavy Equipment Operator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 1,152 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Williston is home to an above-average pay rate for Heavy Equipment Operators, 67 percent higher than the national average. Heavy Equipment Operators will also find cushy salaries in Las Vegas (+23 percent), Indianapolis (+19 percent), Denver (+12 percent), and Pittsburgh (+7 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 18 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Charleston and 12 percent less in Orlando, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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