Salaries For Excavator Operator

Excavator and equipment operation, in general, can be a very rewarding and enjoyable job, but it also frequently involves a great deal of risk, challenging conditions, and can be both physically and mentally demanding. It requires learning and understanding not only the basics of running the Excavator, but also an overview understanding of the mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems of the Excavator, along with learning construction standards, material properties, grade-stake reading, plan reading, OSHA safety standards (especially for things like Excavators), etc. let us know about that the Salaries For Excavator Operator.

Salaries For Excavator Operator

Salaries for Excavator Operators depend largely on experience, technical difficulty of the particular job, and the industry sector. A green rookie operator might only make $12-13 per hour in an entry-level excavator operating gig. On the other hand, a 20-year veteran with a track record of safe and efficient operation might be making $35-40/hour on a technically demanding excavator operating job for an established company.

Salaries for Excavator Operator

The more you know/understand/can perform in a particular Excavator operation job, the more you’re likely to be able to make as a heavy equipment and Excavator operator.

However, it also largely depends on some other factors such as the industry. For example:

  1. In mining the range would be $20–$35 per hour in the United States and between $35 to $45 an hour for an experienced Excavator operator. A large electric or hydraulic Excavator operator can make as much as $55–$60 an hour.
  1. In Construction, Excavator operators earn a range of about 20% less than in mining. That equals around $8 to $12 an hour. 
  1. It also depends upon location. Most areas of the USA have Excavator operators paid as much as about 10% less than other less developed areas with less frequency of Excavator operation and heavy equipment work. 
  1. The salaries of a machine operator in the United States usually vary from one region to another. Thus, in larger cities, these workers are better paid.
  1. If we take into account the average, the annual salaries of an Excavator operator range between $ 41,147 and 54,189 dollars. Which is equivalent to earning approximately $ 18 an hour.
  1. Excavator operators are usually hired locally, but there are big companies that hire more advanced Excavator operators from abroad, and pay them more, as much as $30 to $50 an hour. 
  1. Also, there has been a trend the past few years to hire women as operators, they do a very good job and are likely to be paid slightly higher wages. 

Salaries of Excavator Operators based on Level of Experience 

There is not one general and flat salary amount for Excavator operators since Excavator operators are paid a certain amount based on their level of experience, whether or not they are self-employed, and if they have their own equipment.

That said, a heavy equipment operator with 1-2 years of experience generally earns a salary of around $60,000 per year (give or take depending on the company), which is a decent living even for someone who is just starting. However, unlike many professions, even after 20 years of experience the pay is not that great as the majority of heavy equipment operators are lucky if they make $70,000 per year.

Excavator Operators Salary according to Industry.

In the case of operators of heavy machinery such as Excavators, their salary can vary a lot according to the industry where they work. For example, an operator of machinery in the oil industry can earn up to 23 dollars per hour. However, the average is below this amount, at $ 17 per hour.

Since the industrial revolution, Excavators have been an essential part of production, mining, and construction. But the heavy equipment does not operate autonomously (in most cases). It is there, where the Excavator operators are present. Whether the operator of mass production equipment such as an Excavator or a dump truck in the construction industry, machine operators work hard and, in some cases, put their lives at risk to practice their profession.

Salaries for Excavator Operators Depending on Risk

Depending on the type of Excavator that is operated, e.g. the tonnage type (for roller excavators, bucket excavators, Breaker Excavators, Loader excavators, Mining excavators, etc. ) the risks of this profession can vary. The biggest risks are taken by operators of heavy machinery. Some of these risks are: overturning of the equipment, falls from heights, burns from contact with hot elements, and blows when using tools, or caused by moving parts of the machinery.

Being a heavy machine operator is not an easy task. It requires preparation, physical dexterity, and optimal emotional and mental condition.

Since there are so many risks that these workers run, their remuneration should therefore somehow compensate for this fact. But is this true in reality? 


Working at a Construction equipment rental firm, and especially when you are just starting your career, operating heavy equipment like Excavators, skid steers, backhoes, and mini excavators for stuff homeowners and smaller contractors rent for projects, you can be paid about $10 per hour and end as maybe a service manager with say 7 years experience earning about $30 an hour overseeing excavator operators. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Question 1. What Do Excavator Operator Jobs Generally Entail And How Much Can You Be Paid?

Answer: Excavators and other Heavy trucks and truck-mounted equipment work are fine. It entails operating excavators during mining and construction works, lifting, repairs, monitoring, maintenance, etc. With approximately 6 months to 2 years of experience doing such throughout, in addition to maintenance and inspections of the Excavators, the salary pay rate can be as good as $32 per hour.

  1. Question 2. What Industries Can Excavator Operators Work In, And What Is The Salary?

Answer: Operating heavy equipment like at least 50 tons Excavators for Mining, agricultural, Road, and General Construction companies, etc, is a much harder industry to get into, and it’s much harder on you. You earn your pay every single day. Being an Excavator Operator with pile-driving excavators and foundation-drilling excavators and equipment, you can be paid as much as $80,000 a year.  

Salaries For Excavator Operator

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