Heavy Equipment Operator's

By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

The charts below will describe the overall scenario of the job in the context of salary per hour and year. If one is into a high-paying job that requires less education, this is one of the trendings. However, this job is highly male dominating. It is because of the nature of the job which requires huge mussels strength.

The national average Heavy Equipment Operator Salary will be around $48,360 per year and $23.25 per hour. However, people with more than ten years of experience can earn $85,560 yearly. One of the good things is, experienced people will get value in every city in the United State.

In case you are interested, you must pass high school and get a driving license for heavy vehicles. Moreover, you will need some other skills which are discussed below.

Heavy Equipment Operator Salary

Have you ever noticed any heavy vehicles on construction sites or roads? Well, this type of thing needs specialties to be operated. People with regular driving licenses or experience cannot drive or operate those.

Normally, people holding the title of this job get expertise in three areas.  The position will not require so much academic education but it requires skills and fearless dedication to the work. Being one of the trickiest jobs, the wage range of it is like any other average employment. There is nothing special here.

Mainly, because of the requirements of less education and skills, the employers took this job as a low salary range. Moreover, the minimum and average wage estimated by the government are the same as other thinking. In general, the minimum wage range will be,

Percentile10%25%50%75%90%
Hourly Wage$17.38$18.54$23.25$30.14$41.13
Annual Wage $36,150$38,570$48,360$62,690$85,560

According to the data provided by the government, the minimum wage of a beginner heavy equipment operator should be around $17.38 per hour and $36150 per year. That means a starter will get something like that but it can be different based on the employment.

Stating to the data, the average salary supposes to be $23.25 hourly and $48360 years. It will also keep changing depending on many things. However, one can predict that they are going to have that with average experience and skills.

However, many organization or company offers so much more than the illustrated data. People with experience of fewer years but having nonreplaceable skills also earn a handsome amount. Let’s see how much variation this job going to have according to years of experience.

Heavy equipment operator salary according to experience level

We all know that having more experience can lead you to the best company with the best income. This theory is true for almost all kinds of jobs including this one. The more years one passed in this occupation, the more one will be their earnings.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$37,644
Early career (1 to 4 years)$43,382
Mid-career (5 to 9 years)$53,666
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$67,055
Late career (20+ years)$89,100

The entry-level operator of heavy equipment with less than one year of experience will get $37644 or a little less. However, once one starts gaining experience, it will increase by 5% to 6% every year. People with an early career of 1 to 4 years of experience can expect a salary range of $43,382.

Moreover, mid-career professionals of heavy equipment runners can earn up to $52000 per year. If you are expecting the highest amount, you should have experience of more than 20 years.

Which is the top-paying industry for heavy equipment operators?

Many industries require a variation of professionals to run and complete the project or work. From the name of the profession, we can assume the industry of demand. For this one, it is mostly the job of constructing a site of any kind. However, let’s not assume but have a proper idea of the industry which will also pay a high salary.

IndustryEmployment Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
Natural Gas Distribution1,100$ 40.04$ 83,280
Scientific Research and Development Services70$ 38.58$ 80,240
Building Finishing Contractors340$ 35.14$ 73,090
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution1,950$ 35.08$ 72,970
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas250$ 33.53$ 69,740

As to the data above, the natural gas distribution will provide the maximum average with mid-level experience or little more than that. We all know that this industry requires carrying heavy equipment, digging, entering heavy pipelines into the ground, and many more. All those work is done by heavy vehicles that require some expert drivers.

Measuring the risk factor of the job place, they will be offering more than $80,000. The good news is this place also have the second highest employment which is 1100. So, getting a job here will not be a tough job. Moreover, the Scientific Research and Development Services also offers something close to this one.

If we look for a salary in the range of seventy thousand, Building Finishing Contractors and Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution will be on the list. Two of these industries has more than 2200 employment position offering more than $72000.

What are the cities that offer maximum wages to the operators of heavy equipment?

Unlike many countries and subcontinents like Europe, the USA has different rules for salary. In Europe, every city the country has similar rules for everything. However, in the USA for the same employment, skill level, and experience, the pay scale will be different in different cities.

It is because of the rules of tax, cost of living, the environment of the work, and so on. This statement is true for every job including the one we are discussing. That is why many people ask which city has the highest pay range for this job. One will find the answer below.

Metropolitan areaEmployment Hourly mean wageAnnual mean wage 
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA3,190$ 44.67$ 92,910
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA10,990$ 44.16$ 91,860
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,130$ 43.81$ 91,120
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ190$ 40.78$ 84,830
Santa Rosa, CA620$ 40.01$ 83,220
Urban Honolulu, HI1,170$ 39.77$ 82,710
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA440$ 39.43$ 82,000
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA4,530$ 39.40$ 81,950
Trenton, NJ180$ 39.35$ 81,850
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI7,580$ 38.93$ 80,980

San Francisco is a city that offers a maximum wage of $ 92,910 annually. Moreover, New York City, New Jersey is in the second position in case of high pay for the heavy vehicle operator. Also, these cities have the highest number of employment positions with the number 10,990. One with proper skill and experience can earn at least $90000 here.

Moreover, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale also share a range of over ninety thousand a year in this area of job. If we look at the pay scale of 80K or over, there are many cities to name. mainly, Atlantic, Santa Rose, Honolulu, and Seattle with thousands of places offering more than 80K wages.

Which skills increase the pay range of heavy equipment drivers?

For every kind of job, some specific skills can boost the salary range. Normally, people learn about the job doing the job. That is why experienced people get the highest pay range. However, many do not know which skill is necessary to learn for their files of work.

As for the heavy equipment operator, there are more skills less education, or more education. The main thing is the skill in this field. Many can learn those skills before joining or at the beginning of their work life. By that, they can ensure a healthy salary from the beginning of the mid-point. Below we will learn about those.

SkillsAffect
Land Surveying▲34%
Energy / Utilities▲20%
HAZMAT▲17%
Plant Maintenance▲13%
Blueprints▲10%
Operations Management▲8%
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)▲4%
Safety Compliance▲1%

Land surveying skill is the most wanted skill which can boost your salary by 34% in this field. That means the ability to analyze the soil for the job. This skill is required mainly in the natural gas extraction industry. To gain that skill one will have to get a specific degree and learn about the process.

Another skill is a vast knowledge of energy or utilities which can increase income by 20%. We have already mentioned that the energy industry has a high demand for this position. If one does not know what they will be working on, it is not a wonder that they will get a low wage.

Moreover, some other skills such as HAZMAT, Plant Maintenance, Blueprints, operation management, and more skills will affect positively the annual salary.

What are the high-paying heavy equipment operator jobs?

Many do not know that the job of operating heavy equipment has a different position. Also, they have a variety of wage ranges. Some of the places have a high range of salary and some of them are not. Below, I have gathered some data on the entry-level wage range of different positions.

I like to mention before going further, the level of this job is based on the title of the equip0ment or vehicle.

PositionSalary range
Winch Truck Driver$50,000-$57,000
Construction Equipment Operator$39,500-$50,500
Crane Operator$38,000-$62,500
Front Load Driver$38,000-$50,000
Backhoe Operator$37,500-$56,500
Concrete Mixer Truck Driver$37,500-$46,000
Dump Truck Operator$36,500-$46,000
Rigger$36,000-$52,000
Yard Manager$34,000-$58,000
Equipment Operator$33,500-$47,500
Yard Driver$31,500-$43,000
Lift Truck Operator$28,000-$35,500
Sweeper Driver$26,000-$34,500
Sweeper$23,500-$31,000

As of the data, an entry-level winch truck driver is going to get the highest pay of more than $50,000. This is the only position that has half a lakh range.

Moreover, all the other positions will share a range of 40K to 25K as a starting range. For example, Construction Equipment Operator, Crane Operator, Front Load Driver, and Backhoe Operator going to get something close to $40000 or a little more.

So, before choosing any level one must recognize the wage range of different positions. It is important to know to lead a proper life ensuring the fulfillment of every need.

How to become a heavy equipment operator?

A good thing is, becoming an operator of heavy equipment is not a tough job. Even though it is one of the easiest processes to get in. however, they have to learn some specific skills to be a person eligible for handling such a job.

First of all, a high school diploma is more than enough for education qualifications. After that, they will need to get some license such as a driving license for heavy vehicles. Moreover, training is necessary to gain proper experience.

Some of the people trained themselves on the job but many of them get proper training before joining. This will ensure a proper salary range in the entry.

If you are looking forward to a job that requires fewer academic qualifications and certificates, this one can be your pick. However, you must know other things such as which level, city, and skills will ensure a good salary for you.

Heavy Equipment Operator's Salary

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