Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operators 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.

  • Operate machines to spread, smooth, level, or steel-reinforce stone, concrete, or asphalt on road beds.
  • Observe distribution of paving material to adjust machine settings or material flow, and indicate low spots for workers to add material.
  • Control traffic.
  • Light burners or start heating units of machines, and regulate screed temperatures and asphalt flow rates.
Read more about what does a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$44360 per year

Average hourly wage
$21 per hour

Paving Equipment Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $27260 and $32570 while the more experienced ones can earn over $51320 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
WA $32 $66,520
AK $32 $66,250
OR $31 $64,000
MA $29 $60,260
IL $29 $59,540

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator is to move to a higher paying state like WA. Right now, the highest paying states for Paving Equipment Operators are WA, AK, OR, MA and IL.

However, a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Paving Equipment Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation
Read more about how to become a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

63% of Paving Equipment Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Paving Equipment Operators

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Related career information

Paving Equipment Operators job description, Paving Equipment Operators salary, Paving Equipment Operators information, what is the job of a Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operator like, pros and cons about Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operators, colleges and universities for Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operators, is Paving, Surfacing and Tamping Equipment Operators the right career for me, careers in Construction and Extraction

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Asphalt Distributor Tender, Asphalt Paver, Asphalt Paver Operator, Asphalt Paving Machine Operator, Asphalt Raker, Asphalt Roller Operator, Asphalt Roller Person, Asphalt Screed Operator, Asphalt Spreader Operator, Asphalt Surface Heater Operator

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