Crane and Tower Operators Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Crane and Tower Operators
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Crane and Tower Operators

Other names for this job might include Acid Crane Operator, Boom Cat Operator, Boom Crane Operator, Boomswing Operator, Bottom Crane Operator, Bridge Crane Operator, Burial Vault Deliverer and Installer, Cantilever Crane Operator, Cathead Operator, Charging Crane Operator

  • $55280
  • 60%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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How Much Do Crane and Tower Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Crane and Tower Operators make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Crane and Tower Operator will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$55280 per year

Hourly wage
$26.580 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Crane and Tower Operators make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Crane and Tower Operators is $55280. Their salary can also be as low as $31570 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $82600 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $26.580 and can range from $15.180 to $39.710 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Crane and Tower Operator will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Crane and Tower Operator to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Crane and Tower Operators make with other careers, they have a salary rank of B.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$39.710$82600
Senior (Top 25%)$32.170$66910
Middle (Mid 50%)$25.080$52170
Junior (Bottom 25%)$18.800$39110
No experience (Bottom 10%)$15.180$31570

Entry-level Crane and Tower Operators who starts out at $39110 can expect to make $52170 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $15.180 per hour while the top 10% makes over $39.710 per hour.

While the median wage is $52170 per annum or $25.080 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Support Activities for Water Transportation33.2469140
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing33.2169070
Support Activities for Transportation30.7864030
Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors30.1162620
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution30.0262440
Oil and Gas Extraction29.962180
Metal Ore Mining29.5561460
Other Specialty Trade Contractors29.3361010
Utility System Construction29.360940
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction29.1360580
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing28.8660040
Specialty Trade Contractors28.6859650
Federal Executive Branch28.6159510
Federal government, including the US Postal Service28.6159510
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing28.1258490
Transportation and Warehousing28.0658360
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction2858240
Residential Building Construction27.7157640
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors27.757610
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service27.4957170
Federal, State, and Local Government27.4757140
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service27.4757140
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing27.1656500
Support Activities for Mining26.6655450
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction26.6355380
Local government, including schools and hospitals26.555120
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals26.4955100
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors26.4555030
Truck Transportation26.3254750
Other Building Equipment Contractors26.2854670
Building Equipment Contractors26.2454570
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation26.2354550
Construction of Buildings26.0254110
Specialized Freight Trucking25.9754010
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services25.9253920
Nonresidential Building Construction25.9253910
All industries25.7553550
All industries, private ownership only25.7153470
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing25.6153280
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing25.3352680
Rental and Leasing Services25.3352680
Other Food Manufacturing25.252420
Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors24.9751940
Management of Companies and Enterprises24.8451670
Waste Collection24.7451450
State government, including schools and hospitals24.6451260
Waste Management and Remediation Services24.4750890
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals24.4750890
Food Manufacturing24.4250790
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing24.4250790
Mining (except Oil and Gas)24.2650460
Chemical Manufacturing24.0950100
Ship and Boat Building24.0349970
Machinery Manufacturing24.0149930
Rail Transportation23.8349570
Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction23.7849460
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers23.749300
Water Transportation23.4548770
Support Activities for Road Transportation23.4148700
Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing23.3548580
Inland Water Transportation23.1248090
Roofing Contractors23.0948020
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services22.947630
Support Activities for Rail Transportation22.8947610
Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel22.8247460
Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing22.7947400
Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance22.7347280
Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying22.6847180
Iron and Steel Mills and Ferroalloy Manufacturing22.5846960
Waste Treatment and Disposal22.5846960
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)22.5446880
Repair and Maintenance22.5446880
Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing22.4146620
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing22.2846350
Building Finishing Contractors22.1646100
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance21.9545660
Primary Metal Manufacturing21.9345610
Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing21.4844680
Forging and Stamping21.4544610
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services21.3444390
Masonry Contractors21.2744240
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing20.9643590
Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing20.9643590
Warehousing and Storage20.8443340
Wood Product Manufacturing20.8243300
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing20.7543150
Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers20.743050
Administrative and Support Services20.6943030
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods20.4542530
Employment Services20.2642150
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing20.0741750
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods20.0741750
Wholesale Trade20.0241650
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing20.0141620
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing19.9541490
Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing19.9441470
Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing19.8741330
Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers19.6440850
Sawmills and Wood Preservation19.3140170
Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers19.340140
Plastics Product Manufacturing19.0739670
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers18.4138290
Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities18.2337930
Services to Buildings and Dwellings18.1337720
Landscaping Services18.1337720
Miscellaneous Manufacturing17.5536500
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing17.5536500

Not all industries pay the same for Crane and Tower Operators.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Crane and Tower Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NY doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at NY may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Crane and Tower Operators are in the states of NY, HI, WA, CA and NJ. The average salary in NY is $78870.

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Rank: C+
Salary: $48020

They operate one or several types of power construction equipment, such as motor graders, bulldozers, scrapers, compressors, pumps, derricks, shovels, tractors, or front-end loaders to excavate, move, and grade earth, erect structures, or pour concrete or other hard surface pavement. May repair and maintain equipment in addition to other duties.
Rank: C
Salary: $44160

They operate or tend machinery equipped with scoops, shovels, or buckets, to excavate and load loose materials.
Rank: C+
Salary: $56200

They operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers.
Rank: C
Salary: $50740

They lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.
Rank: D
Salary: $33500

They cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.

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