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What Heavy Equipment Careers Make the Most Money?

By Rae Keinan

There is much more to heavy equipment operating than you might think. Crane operator Elliott Jones, says, “it’s just amazing how those machines are so powerful, what [operators] can do with them … it’s not a day at the office, I tell you.” And if you’re considering this as a career path, you might be asking yourself: what heavy equipment makes the most money?

Heavy equipment jobs are going to grow by 5% from 2014-2024 and you might even find yourself landing a contract to work on a multi-million dollar project.

Check out some of the powerful machines you could be operating with a heavy equipment certificate!

What heavy equipment makes the most money

Backhoe operator: $19.87/ hour ($40.5K)

Sample Tasks: Digging a hole & uprooting a tree.

highest paying heavy equipment operator jobs

Motor grader operator: $20.21/ hour ($47K)

Sample Tasks: Creating a flat surface & producing a drainage ditch.

highest paying operator jobs

Front end loader operator: $19.87/ hour ($40K)

Sample Task: Scooping up sand or gravel and moving it to a different location.

Bulldozer operator: $18.21/ hours ($45K)

Sample Tasks: Pushing a large quantity of soil & flattening debris.

Mobile crane operator: $24.08/ hour ($71K)

Sample Tasks: Carrying a broken car to a tow pound & moving a large load of material between working sites.

Tower crane operator: $32.17/ hour ($58K)

Sample Tasks: Lifting an equipment load of 10 ton & moving around shipping containers.

Excavator operator: $19.88/ hour ($58K)

Sample Tasks: Retrieving an object out of the mud & demolishing a house.

The great part is that you don’t have to specialize only in one machine! Getting a heavy equipment certificate or crane operator certificate could give you the opportunity to operate many of these machines.

Salary ranges are national averages calculated using Payscale.com.

All outcomes information has been collected by Climb on a good-faith-efforts basis, however, this information relies on inputs beyond Climb’s ability to test or control. Accordingly, Climb makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of this information and this information should not be relied on in making a decision whether or not to attend a course at the above-referenced entity. Climb does not endorse or encourage students to attend any specific school.

Schools do not endorse loans originated by Climb InvestCo, LLC, and Climb InvestCo, LLC is not affiliated with any school.

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