hourly pay for Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
do Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators make a lot of money

Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

Other names for this job might include Aerial Tram Operator, Air Shovel Operator, Back Digger Operator, Back Filler Operator, Back Hoe Machine Operator, Back Hoe Operator, Backhoe Operator, Clam Shovel Operator, Coal Equipment Operator, Diesel Scoop Operator

  • $45230
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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How Much Do Excavating Machine Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators make.

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

Average salary

Annual salary
$45230 per year

Hourly wage
$21.740 per hour

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

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Excavating Machine Operators is $45230. Their salary can also be as low as $27220 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $69280 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $21.740 and can range from $13.090 to $33.310 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of An Excavating Machine 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 An Excavating Machine 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 Excavating Machine Operators make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$33.310$69280
Senior (Top 25%)$25.720$53490
Middle (Mid 50%)$19.720$41030
Junior (Bottom 25%)$16.100$33500
No experience (Bottom 10%)$13.090$27220

Entry-level Excavating Machine Operators who starts out at $33500 can expect to make $41030 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $13.090 per hour while the top 10% makes over $33.310 per hour.

While the median wage is $41030 per annum or $19.720 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
Natural Gas Distribution41.2885860
Engineering Services30.7263900
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing28.7159710
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services28.3258900
Support Activities for Transportation28.0558330
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution27.0256210
Forestry and Logging26.5355190
Pipeline Transportation26.4555010
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas26.4555010
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting26.0154110
Rail Transportation25.3852790
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills25.1352260
Paper Manufacturing25.1152220
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services24.951790
Rental and Leasing Services24.8451660
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing24.8451660
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing24.7251420
Management of Companies and Enterprises24.5951140
Metal Ore Mining24.2650470
Coal Mining24.0550030
Waste Treatment and Disposal23.8449600
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction23.4448760
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors23.3348520
Basic Chemical Manufacturing22.9147650
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing22.6347070
Transportation and Warehousing22.4846760
Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors22.3646510
Support Activities for Mining22.3546480
Landscaping Services22.1746110
Chemical Manufacturing21.8945520
Waste Management and Remediation Services21.8545450
Services to Buildings and Dwellings21.745140
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services21.6545040
Specialty Trade Contractors21.5744870
Other Specialty Trade Contractors21.5644840
Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers21.4544620
Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores21.4544620
Retail Trade21.3844460
Building Equipment Contractors21.3744450
All industries, private ownership only21.3144320
Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors21.344310
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction21.2644220
All industries21.2344160
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing21.2244150
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction21.244100
Residential Building Construction21.1343950
Mining (except Oil and Gas)20.9443540
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors20.9343530
Utility System Construction20.6742990
Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing20.4342500
Specialized Freight Trucking20.4342490
Administrative and Support Services20.3742380
Truck Transportation20.3742360
Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction20.2842190
Wood Product Manufacturing20.1341880
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals19.8341240
Local government, including schools and hospitals19.8341240
General Freight Trucking19.8141210
Construction of Buildings19.6540860
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services19.4340410
Personal and Laundry Services19.3840320
Death Care Services19.3840320
Federal, State, and Local Government19.3440220
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service19.3440220
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service19.3240190
Nonresidential Building Construction19.2640070
Waste Collection19.2239980
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)19.1739880
Land Subdivision18.9139330
Sawmills and Wood Preservation18.8539210
Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying18.8539200
Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers18.3838220
Food Manufacturing18.2637980
Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing18.237860
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods17.6136620
Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing17.4736340
Wholesale Trade17.335990
Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers16.7934930
Employment Services15.7732800
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods15.5332300
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers15.4432120
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals15.1131430
State government, including schools and hospitals15.131400

Not all industries pay the same for Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline 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 An Excavating Machine Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like MA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at MA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Excavating Machine Operators are in the states of MA, WY, WA, NY and CA. The average salary in MA is $70660.

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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: C
Salary: $42460

They operate equipment used for applying concrete, asphalt, or other materials to road beds, parking lots, or airport runways and taxiways, or equipment used for tamping gravel, dirt, or other materials. Includes concrete and asphalt paving machine operators, form tampers, tamping machine operators, and stone spreader operators.
Rank: C
Salary: $45640

They operate dredge to remove sand, gravel, or other materials in order to excavate and maintain navigable channels in waterways.
Rank: D
Salary: $37910

They maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road or plow snow from roadway.
Rank: C
Salary: $40730

They lay pipe for storm or sanitation sewers, drains, and water mains. Perform any combination of the following tasks: grade trenches or culverts, position pipe, or seal joints.

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