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.

$27,938 - $80,359
$28K
$47K
$80K
MEDIAN: $47,341
10%
50%
90%

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$13.43 - $29.65
$13
$19
$30
MEDIAN: $19.11
10%
50%
90%

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$0$80K
Salary $27,938 - $80,359
Bonus $298 - $5,952
Profit Sharing $206 - $6,792
Commission $504
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
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 18 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 570
Hourly Data $0$41
Hourly Rate $13.43 - $29.65
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $5.47
Overtime $19.28 - $41.93
Annual Data $0$74K
Bonus $298 - $5,952
Commission $504
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
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 18 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 4,720

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.

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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


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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

National Average: $45,808

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

Heavy Equipment Operator Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Heavy Equipment Operator?

Heavy Equipment Operator in Parma:
"Gratification."
Pros: Different every day something new all the time. Keeps it interesting.
Cons: When it rains of the weather becomes on on able to work perform the job.

Heavy Equipment Operator in York:
"Ready to get out of Pennsylvania."
Pros: Working with my hands and at my own pace alone most of the time.
Cons: Constant check ups from supervisor, the union, working 3rd shift.

Heavy Equipment Operator in Colorado Springs:
"Fun."
Pros: I get to run heavy equipment and the jobs sight changes.
Cons:

Heavy Equipment Operator in Dade City:
"I."
Pros: It's fun.
Cons: I have to do every thing.

Heavy Equipment Operator in Shelbyville:
"Low stress."
Pros: No responsibility, no pressure, reasonable hours.
Cons: Overtime, work on-call, adverse weather conditions.

Heavy Equipment Operator in Lima:
"Enjoyable."
Pros: Get to operate equipment and baler. Because I am skilled in other areas as well.
Cons: Staff and employee attitude and pay.

Heavy Equipment Operator in Lynnville:
Pros: Never do the same thing everyday.
Cons: Have to work in bad weather conditions.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Heavy Equipment Operator

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 803 votes.
Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
23%

Experience Affects Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries

▲13%

▲6%

National Average
$46,000

▼6%

▼14%

Skills That Affect Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries


▲18%


OSHA Compliance
▲9%

▲7%

Welding
▲6%

excavator
▲2%


National Average
$46,000


CDL
▼1%


Equipment Maintenance
▼3%

▼7%


Safety Compliance
▼18%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 803 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 49%
vision benefits
Vision: 40%
no benefits
None: 32%