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What are typical heavy equipment operator salaries? Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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TommyZ. in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont

87 months ago

JGR in Trumbauersville, Pennsylvania said: Unfortunately there continues to be little financial incentive to become a Heavy Equipment Operator; and most companies career track good Operators out of the seat and into other field managerial positions.

Most offer no performance bonuses, merit pay increases, or advanced equipment operator training; the entire construction industry seems to view Operators now as a necessary evil, not the true backbone of the industry they have helped to build.

If this very mis-guided trend continues, experienced, and very highly skilled, Heavy Equipment Operators are heading towards extinction.

For no amount of technological investment can, or will, ever replace the capabalities of a good Operator!

I agree with this 100%. I am 45 yrs.old, and have been involved in the construction, demolition, trucking, excavation and related trades since I was old enough to pay attention.My background is in heavy equipment operating primarily around residential sitework, but have done a lot of creative work in related fields. I was in the business as an owner/operator of a couple of machines for 5 years in my area, but due to the heavy competition, the low rates that the newcomers will work for, and the short seasons in upper New England, forced me out of the business I truly still love, but cannot afford to run.
Currently I am working for an equipment rental company who happens to love hauling oversize loads, so I am driving my time away (although not exactly suffering with an '06 Pete and an '07 Fontaine Specialized lowbed,) hauling equipment all over the country. Mostly excavation equipment, but some military and other machinery.I just would like to stay at a job from now on where I could carry my lunch to work every day, and sleep in my own bed and use my own facilities every night.The money is always an issue too.It's too bad companies won't recognize the potential of a versatile individual, and compensate for it...

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painfull in Rensselaer, Indiana

80 months ago

crane operators were making 80-100k 5 years ago. Try 120-170k.
something to be said for a strong union.I would not leave my house
for less than 40$ on the hour. I sure would not run to the border
for 100,000. a year.

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joeshop8

80 months ago

Hey,You should come to So.California, thanx to the Illegals You could make upwards of 9 dollars and hour driving a big rig.

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Earth Maggott in Lower 48 states

80 months ago

Salaries for HEO's can vary quite a bit in just a short distance or miles. Places I've reviewed found just a difference in 100 miles could mean a difference of 8-12 dollars per hour difference!

Things to take in account when searching for salary answers are:

1. Location of work.
2. Duration of the job.
3. Skills needed to complete the job.
4. Seasonal aspects involved.
5. Finish operator skills.
6. Qualifications or time in the trade.
7. Weather
8. Finnancial strenght of your company.
9. Pecking order.
10.Reputation of the company your appling at.

These are just starter for you to ponder, but the whole thing in a nutshell is YOU.
How well can you be an employee all accross the board? This means more than just a joker standing around waiting to be told everything when they stated they could do it all.
This trade is not an easy fix to your unemployment status. Trust me you'll get ate up like lunch meat real quick in this trade. You start from the begining in this trade. Rather you learned it from grandpa or a LEGIT HEO training school you need to be on top of your game always and especially when asking for a job.

Interested people think "ahh their just pushing dirt around" there's nothing to it! Wrong. This trade takes a great eye for grade, knowledge, experience, patience, and the thought that you always learn something new everyday all the time!
Playing with Tonka trucks or toys was great and its ten times as great once you know how to finish a job with real tractors and get paid for it on time. It takes alot of patience to become a highly respected high paid operator. The get the top pay right away as a rookie will never happen I don't care what they told you. It takes time cuz and you better not be impatient or you'll have trouble maker wrote on your forehead and it follows you from contractor to contractor if you stay localized in your area!

This is a very rewarding field for income but you can expect a quick fix for your income.

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Earth Maggott in Lower 48 states

80 months ago

Earth Maggott in Lower 48 states said: Salaries for HEO's can vary quite a bit in just a short distance or miles. Places I've reviewed found just a difference in 100 miles could mean a difference of 8-12 dollars per hour difference!

Things to take in account when searching for salary answers are:

1. Location of work.
2. Duration of the job.
3. Skills needed to complete the job.
4. Seasonal aspects involved.
5. Finish operator skills.
6. Qualifications or time in the trade.
7. Weather
8. Finnancial strenght of your company.
9. Pecking order.
10.Reputation of the company your appling at.

These are just starter for you to ponder, but the whole thing in a nutshell is YOU.
How well can you be an employee all accross the board? This means more than just a joker standing around waiting to be told everything when they stated they could do it all.
This trade is not an easy fix to your unemployment status. Trust me you'll get ate up like lunch meat real quick in this trade. You start from the begining in this trade. Rather you learned it from grandpa or a LEGIT HEO training school you need to be on top of your game always and especially when asking for a job.

Interested people think "ahh their just pushing dirt around" there's nothing to it! Wrong. This trade takes a great eye for grade, knowledge, experience, patience, and the thought that you always learn something new everyday all the time!
Playing with Tonka trucks or toys was great and its ten times as great once you know how to finish a job with real tractors and get paid for it on time. It takes alot of patience to become a highly respected high paid operator. The get the top pay right away as a rookie will never happen I don't care what they told you. It takes time cuz and you better not be impatient or you'll have trouble maker wrote on your forehead and it follows you from contractor to contractor if you stay localized in your area!

Don't expect this to be a McDonalds jo

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Earth Maggott in Lower 48 states

80 months ago

Sorry I replied twice, mouse error.

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Earth Maggott in Lower 48 states

80 months ago

My last line in both comments was Don't expect the HEO trade to be a quick fix for your income.
This isn't McDonalds or Wal-Mart as they pay crummy minimum wage anyhow!

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Brad in Beverly, Massachusetts

80 months ago

I went to school for heavy equipment a year ago, took out a $16,500 loan and havent found a solid company to work for. i live in the boston area and will travel anywhere for experience if anyone can give me a chance. looking to join the seabees if i can't find a job operating, please help me! 21 years old, NCCER certified, MA license to operate, MA drivers license, put me to work operating!!

bradgat@hotmail.com

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charlton in Manhattan, Illinois

78 months ago

If you are in a union you can make very good money, here in Bill Dugan country local 150 operating engineers 40$ is the norm. The more you can do the more that you can make! If you can get in a quarry they have steady work but only pay about 30$, plus bennies per hour. You should be able to make 100 G a year

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Dallas in Victorville, California

77 months ago

hello im start ATS school next week im trying to do a level 2 class but im not sure i will be aproved for the money but i am for the level 1 class i would like to know how much around starting pay would be when i start work?

thanks

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nathan in Gatineau, Quebec

77 months ago

alberta canada, with the oil industry it's crrrazy

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twogunz in Ottawa, Ontario

77 months ago

Forget Alberta. too many bodies all trying for the hi paying job. Stake out Saskachewan, they have just found more oil sand than all of Alberta has and then some. It is fully undeveloped and ripe to get in on the ground floor. Sask has just sold their first leaes in the oil sands, and it is a richer deposit with many billions of barrels oil more than Alberta

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Bugs Sauve in alexandria, Ontario

72 months ago

twogunz in Ottawa, Ontario said: Forget Alberta. too many bodies all trying for the hi paying job. Stake out Saskachewan, they have just found more oil sand than all of Alberta has and then some. It is fully undeveloped and ripe to get in on the ground floor. Sask has just sold their first leaes in the oil sands, and it is a richer deposit with many billions of barrels oil more than Alberta

Set me up! bugssauve7@hotmail.com

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Aaron Zehr in Owen Sound, Ontario

72 months ago

Host said: What are typical heavy equipment operator salaries? Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

Repl

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Aaron Zehr in Owen Sound, Ontario

72 months ago

Roger in Bellevue, Washington said: Check out the Wall Street Journal last week. Equipment operators in the oil sands of Alberta are making 100,000.00 a year. That's one hundred thousand american. WOW! How do we get work visas to get up there?

How

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cole in Medicine Hat, Alberta

72 months ago

Saskatchewan is the mad money right know, Southern Alberta is slow as hell but dont give up on alberta right yet. The northern half is starting to boom hard, over in Saskatchewan they need to get up to date with the kind of equipment that can operate else where but not there. Many people say its the the economy thats effecting Alberta, with the market falling everyday big companies are selling there shares and waiting for the market to hit the low then buy them back, watch the increase then start the work back. Sounds weird I know.

As for getting your crane licence or your pickers licence to operate something like a 40 ton picker, start out as a swamper (helper) get to know the equipment, how to operate, and you need to get around 300 hours experience with an operator before you can get the full licence. But once your with a company they'll have ways of getting around the 300 hrs. Swamper starting pay $20 - $25, operators starting pay $30 - $35. After the years pass you'll be up too $40 in know time. Big payouts with overtime. This is Alberta of course.

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Mike in Orlando, Florida

71 months ago

cole in Medicine Hat, Alberta said: Saskatchewan is the mad money right know, Southern Alberta is slow as hell but dont give up on alberta right yet. The northern half is starting to boom hard, over in Saskatchewan they need to get up to date with the kind of equipment that can operate else where but not there. Many people say its the the economy thats effecting Alberta, with the market falling everyday big companies are selling there shares and waiting for the market to hit the low then buy them back, watch the increase then start the work back. Sounds weird I know.

As for getting your crane licence or your pickers licence to operate something like a 40 ton picker, start out as a swamper (helper) get to know the equipment, how to operate, and you need to get around 300 hours experience with an operator before you can get the full licence. But once your with a company they'll have ways of getting around the 300 hrs. Swamper starting pay $20 - $25, operators starting pay $30 - $35. After the years pass you'll be up too $40 in know time. Big payouts with overtime. This is Alberta of course.

These jobs are for residents are they not? Usually look for engineers from other places but take labor and skilled trades from local populace. At least to the best of my understanding.

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jason in Warman, Saskatchewan

71 months ago

Mike in Orlando, Florida said: These jobs are for residents are they not? Usually look for engineers from other places but take labor and skilled trades from local populace. At least to the best of my understanding.

Thers a company in southwest saskatchewan that is importing HEO from oversees and down under how i dont know. I hear the starting wage is $25 - 30/hr with experience. The cost of living is the cheap part rent is around $500/month

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Mike in Brooksville, Florida

71 months ago

Name of Company?

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beerad in Medicine Hat, Alberta

55 months ago

BK in Nanaimo, British Columbia said: Alberta is crying for operators

not anymore

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Matt in Ch√Ęteauguay, Quebec

53 months ago

Anybody know the best place in canada to get training? Or an apprenticeship
program? I was looking at the Local 115 training in British columbia and
16,500$ seems like a lot for a three week course and its not a garantee that they
can even get me a job to start my apprenticeship once its done!
So if anybody knows the best way to get into the industry let me know!
Thanks

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OE3

53 months ago

Matt in Châteauguay, Quebec said: Anybody know the best place in canada to get training? Or an apprenticeship
program? I was looking at the Local 115 training in British columbia and
16,500$ seems like a lot for a three week course and its not a garantee that they
can even get me a job to start my apprenticeship once its done!
So if anybody knows the best way to get into the industry let me know!
Thanks

If you have no experience try getting a job with a non union company and start at the bottom and work your way into a seat. Try and learn as much as you can, from checking grade to using a shovel do it all. Do that for a few years and then go to your local union and ask them how busy everyone is and talk to them about getting on the Out Of Work C List. FYI they will ask you what you can run and only put down what you're extremely confident in running because if they call you out to run something and you're not doing it to there standards they will send you back to the union hall before you can even ask why. Don't waste your money on heavy equipment school. You can learn way more on the job and if you end up getting into the union in the off season you can take equipment classes that they provide. Good Luck

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deaven in Watford, Ontario

52 months ago

Experience or no experience, it doesnt matter what u know around here. i'm in london ontario and i cant get on a piece of equipment to save my life. i've been operating forever and on pipeline and doing water and sewer. i'm certified and have smcc cert. and still nothing. I've been all over ontario and been jumped around soo much. I'm sick of the companies saying we cant find experienced operators and yet they overlook the guy right in there back yard. so if ur looking to get into the line of work good luck cause its not who you know its who you blow. gook luck

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Mark L in Warman, Saskatchewan

51 months ago

As a person who has worked in these feilds such as trucking oil patch heavy equip operating farming everyone likes to think there is big money to be made your all dreaming the only ones who make it are the people who like to B S I found the people who like to talk alot about what they think they know and what they can actually do get ahead of the ones who actually do the work it also helps if you know someone that postion but be carful what you say

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CCA in Shreveport, Louisiana

50 months ago

I'm a skilled equipment operator currently driving a fuel truck on the pipeline. They guys are telling me I should switch to EO but I need to be in that union. How do I go about getting into a EO union?

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jay in Gatineau, Quebec

43 months ago

OE3 said: If you have no experience try getting a job with a non union company and start at the bottom and work your way into a seat. Try and learn as much as you can, from checking grade to using a shovel do it all. Do that for a few years and then go to your local union and ask them how busy everyone is and talk to them about getting on the Out Of Work C List. FYI they will ask you what you can run and only put down what you're extremely confident in running because if they call you out to run something and you're not doing it to there standards they will send you back to the union hall before you can even ask why. Don't waste your money on heavy equipment school. You can learn way more on the job and if you end up getting into the union in the off season you can take equipment classes that they provide. Good Luck

is it like that in quebec also, because i currently took a course in mont laurier quebec..it was a very hands on course, we constructed forestry roads for approximitly 2 months with teachers all arround the students showing us good work ethics and correcting are bad beginers habbits on the machinery. it was a very good expirence but how do i get my foot in the door now that i have just that little bit of expirence, would the c.c.q union help me find work..or am i just better off too look else where then quebec for work..cause ive been looking and it doesnt seem like anybody wants a young 19 year old with a heavy equipment course if anyone wants a young lad for a heavy equipment operator that he could train help me out all i want is too learn more and have a good job and only get better and better

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Richard in Hesperia, California

39 months ago

I'm movin dirt right now, could be up to a 4 year job if we get all the bids, makin about 60,000 a year. full benefits and all the good stuff with a per diem. best of all, i got incredibally lucky i was hired on as a laborer and within 2 months was operating. start from the bottom, work your ass off, and hope to get lucky is one way to get into the industry.

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excavatorman in Fishers, Indiana

33 months ago

Roger in Bellevue, Washington said: Check out the Wall Street Journal last week. Equipment operators in the oil sands of Alberta are making 100,000.00 a year. That's one hundred thousand american. WOW! How do we get work visas to get up there?

Its true. I have a business partner in Alberta and they are booming! We sell a lot of <a href="www.rfedistribution.com/excavators">excavator parts</a> up there.

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Russ in Sandy, Utah

1 month ago

Get a job as a laborer, learn as much as u can.. U can't run the equipment if u don't know what to do or even how to do it... And there isn't necessarily a set way to do things. Sometimes u just gotta use ur imagination. But if uv never seen it ur clueless..

Apply for jobs as a " operator in training". Best piece of equipment to learn for a beginner is a skid steer, and until u can do it like a pro, don't expect to get any other opportunities. And just a couple tips from a top paid guy, is that u need to be a leader on the ground ., which means get out and be willing to work/shovel harder than any one else. Next is have a good attitude and take pride in the quality of your work. Think ahead, b on top of ur game at all times.. Top priority is getting the job done. Not getting giving u an opportunity. That's how owners think. Last is MEET ur deadlines no matter if u gotta work 12 hours a day or even Saturdays.

Once u can do that w a smile on ur face, that's when the cash will start Rollin.

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Rick Cote in Mesa, Arizona

9 days ago

I believe to many companies DO NOT PAY their HEO's enough. Especially in DEMOLITION ! i have done demo work for years now started when i was around 19-20 on interior work and went on to operating tearing down small and large structures. I am very very good at what i do. i have seen first hand on projects that i have completed a 23-28% profit upon completion of a job. in some cases i made the company i worked for an additional 18% profit over what was projected in amounts as high as $36,000.00 for 2 weeks of work. did i get anything? hell no. i completely understand that if its not YOUR company ,your JUST AN EMPLOYEE... sucks ...we heavy equipment operators are the damn backbone of our companies.. without us the work does NOT get done!

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