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Salary, Wages, Pay: Construction Equipment Operators




Earnings for construction equipment operators vary. In 2002, median hourly earnings of operating engineers and other construction equipment operators were $16.94. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.96 and $22.98. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.61, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.93. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of operating engineers in 2002 were:

Highway, street, and bridge construction $19.81
Other specialty trade contractors 17.56
Utility system construction 17.48
Other heavy and civil engineering construction 16.89
Local government 14.88

Median hourly earnings of paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators were $13.87 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.73 and $19.12. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.07, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.99. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators in 2002 were:

Highway, street, and bridge construction $14.46
Other specialty trade contractors 14.40
Local government 13.07

In 2002, median hourly earnings of piledriver operators were $21.84. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.89 and $29.24. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.73, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33.97.

Pay scales generally are higher in large etropolitan areas. Annual earnings of some workers may be lower than hourly rates would indicate because worktime may be limited by bad eather.