The median annual wage for construction equipment operators was $43,810 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,310, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,030.
Median annual wages for construction equipment operators in May 2015 were as follows:
Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators
The starting pay for apprentices is usually between 60 percent and 70 percent of what fully trained operators make. They receive pay increases as they learn to operate more complex equipment.
Construction equipment operators may have irregular hours because work on construction projects must sometimes continue around the clock or be done late at night. The vast majority of construction equipment operators work full time.
Compared with workers in all occupations, construction equipment operators had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2014. Although no single union covers all operators, the largest organizer of these workers is the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Construction Equipment Operators
Median annual wages, May 2015
Construction equipment operators
Construction trades workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics