The average salary for a certified operator of heavy equipment

The operators of equipment are heavy workers using heavy equipment to move materials in construction. Operators can work one or more machines, such as pavers, graders and machine load, depending on your area of training and specialization. The average certified salary a heavy equipment operator has depends on factors such as location, working hours, job and experience.

Average Salary

The average income of workers in heavy construction is around $ 21 per hour, or $ 44,000 per year, according to the National Center for Education and Research Building. Salaries vary between US $ 14 to US $ 23 per hour for heavy equipment operators from May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US.. The highest paid workers earn US $ 38 per hour, with the 10 percent paid less than $ 11 per hour. The lowest wages were in the paving equipment operators, while the hammers made the most on average. Annual salaries vary based on average hours worked per week throughout the year.


Along with variations per job, the certified heavy equipment operators also receive different wages based on location, with large metropolitan areas that pay the highest average salary. Work projects available, along with the local climate and its effects on the working outdoors play an important role in determining the salaries of these workers, often resulting in an annual base salary, even for workers with wages more high per hour.

Training and promotion

School graduates  may be offered to provide training on the job, from lighter construction equipment before moving the machinery with more technology and  computerization. The International Union of Operating Engineers offers apprenticeship programs lasting three years of training, including classroom training. Certifications vary by specialization and are available in national professional organizations. Some employers require some type of certification for employment consideration. Operators may advance to supervisory positions or teaching, while others choose to start their own business.

Employment growth

The average job growth through 2018, with growth of over 10 percent in the openings, means that the certified heavy equipment operators must continue to find employment opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experienced operators on multiple machines have increased flexibility, leading to a greater chance of getting quality jobs. Employment growth should be higher in areas related to energy, such as oil rigs and pipelines as these companies increase their infrastructures.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.