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!
Backhoe operator: $19.87/ hour ($40.5K)
Sample Tasks: Digging a hole & uprooting a tree.
Motor grader operator: $20.21/ hour ($47K)
Sample Tasks: Creating a flat surface & producing a drainage ditch.
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.
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