hourly pay for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
do Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators make a lot of money

Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

Other names for this job might include Angle Dozer Operator, Back Hoe Operator, Backhoe Operator, Blade Grader Operator, Blade Operator, Bulldozer Engineer, Bulldozer Operator, Bulldozer/Loader/Compactor/Scraper, Bush Hog Operator, Cable Engineer

  • $50560
  • 65%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Construction Machine Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators make.

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

Average salary

Annual salary
$50560 per year

Hourly wage
$24.310 per hour

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

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Construction Machine Operators is $50560. Their salary can also be as low as $29730 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $80200 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $24.310 and can range from $14.290 to $38.560 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

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

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$38.560$80200
Senior (Top 25%)$29.560$61480
Middle (Mid 50%)$22.060$45890
Junior (Bottom 25%)$17.190$35760
No experience (Bottom 10%)$14.290$29730

Entry-level Construction Machine Operators who starts out at $35760 can expect to make $45890 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $14.290 per hour while the top 10% makes over $38.560 per hour.

While the median wage is $45890 per annum or $22.060 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
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)31.4665440
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors29.4361210
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution29.0360380
Roofing Contractors28.7259730
Building Finishing Contractors28.5659410
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services28.4359140
Natural Gas Distribution28.0358300
Repair and Maintenance27.7757770
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance27.7757770
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned27.6457480
Rail Transportation27.3956970
Facilities Support Services27.1956560
Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors27.0256190
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)26.5355180
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors26.4455000
Hospitals, Privately owned26.3754860
Scientific Research and Development Services26.3654820
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences26.3654820
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors26.3154730
Federal Executive Branch26.0854250
Federal government, including the US Postal Service26.0854250
Other Building Equipment Contractors25.7153470
Lessors of Real Estate25.6753390
Waste Collection25.5953220
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction25.5653160
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing25.4652950
Nonresidential Building Construction24.8751720
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction24.8351640
Construction of Buildings24.8251630
Building Equipment Contractors24.8251620
Residential Building Construction24.6751310
Masonry Contractors24.5150990
Basic Chemical Manufacturing24.4350820
Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing24.4250800
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction24.3850700
Utility System Construction24.3650680
Pipeline Transportation24.3350600
Coal Mining24.2150370
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas24.1650260
Waste Management and Remediation Services24.0950100
Chemical Manufacturing23.9549820
Real Estate23.8549600
All industries, private ownership only23.7849470
Engineering Services23.6549190
Office Administrative Services23.5949080
Support Activities for Rail Transportation23.5548990
Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors23.4148690
Support Activities for Road Transportation23.3648590
Specialty Trade Contractors23.3248500
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services23.2948440
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers23.2648380
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services23.1248080
All industries23.0948020
Primary Metal Manufacturing23.0848010
Other Specialty Trade Contractors22.9547750
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services22.8547530
Support Activities for Transportation22.8547520
Personal and Laundry Services22.7847380
Death Care Services22.7847380
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services22.7747370
Transportation and Warehousing22.7347290
Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction22.7347280
Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing22.5947000
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing22.5947000
Land Subdivision22.5546910
Machinery Manufacturing22.4846750
Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers22.4446680
Mining (except Oil and Gas)22.4246640
Support Activities for Mining22.1846140
Waste Treatment and Disposal22.0345820
Metal Ore Mining21.9945730
Water, Sewage and Other Systems21.9345610
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing21.9145560
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers21.7345190
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation21.6845090
Support Activities for Water Transportation21.6545030
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing21.4744670
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing21.2744230
Services to Buildings and Dwellings21.2644210
Landscaping Services21.2644210
Rental and Leasing Services21.1343950
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries21.0643800
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing20.9743610
Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying20.9543570
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods20.7743200
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing20.7543150
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing20.7343110
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting20.7143080
Forestry and Logging20.5242680
Ship and Boat Building20.542630
Iron and Steel Mills and Ferroalloy Manufacturing20.2942190
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals20.2842180
Local government, including schools and hospitals20.2842180
Oil and Gas Extraction20.2442100
Federal, State, and Local Government20.1441890
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service20.1441890
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service20.1241850
Lime and Gypsum Product Manufacturing20.0241630
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations19.9941570
General Freight Trucking19.7841140
Administrative and Support Services19.7641090
Accommodation and Food Services19.4640470
Wholesale Trade19.4440430
Traveler Accommodation19.3440230
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations19.2440010
Truck Transportation19.1739870
Specialized Freight Trucking19.1239770
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods19.0839680
Wired Telecommunications Carriers19.0739670
Management of Companies and Enterprises19.0739660
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing18.9439390
Wood Product Manufacturing18.8739260
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers18.6638820
Other Support Services18.6638810
Educational Support Services (including private, state, and local government schools)18.6538800
Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers18.6238740
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned18.5438570
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)18.5338550
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned18.5138490
Educational Services, Privately owned18.538480
Sawmills and Wood Preservation18.4738420
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals18.4138290
Educational Services, State government owned18.4138280
State government, including schools and hospitals18.4138280
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)18.3838220
Educational Services, Local government owned18.2637980
Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers18.2237890
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned18.1437730
Employment Services18.1437720
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)17.8337080
Clay Product and Refractory Manufacturing17.6636720
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries16.4334170

Not all industries pay the same for Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment 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 Construction Machine 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 Construction Machine Operators are in the states of NY, IL, HI, AK and NJ. The average salary in NY is $72610.

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Rank: C
Salary: $53550

They operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.
Rank: C
Salary: $44160

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

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Career type

Construction and Extraction
Green Increased Demand
Green Construction
Transportation Operations

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