Operating engineers who also called heavy equipment or construction equipment operators are compensated well. It is one of the trades that pay well and its employment outlook is better than any other professions.
According to the latest September 1, 2018 survey of Salary.Com, the average salary of operating engineer is $61,923. The city or state where you will work also has an influence on your pay. Across the US, the salary ranges from $51,772 and $70,258.
See this latest salary matrix by U.S state and city:
Heavy Equipment Operator Salary (Year 2018):
The job outlook for operating engineers is good as well. There is an expected growth from this year until 2026 and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s a twelve percent growth until that year. The increasing number of infrastructure projects and construction developments play a big role in this growth.
Operating engineers who are skilled and experienced have the best job opportunity. On top of that, you will also have great chance to get a better salary offer if you will be working in large city, where most large construction projects are situated or in state that is embarked on developing advanced infrastructures.
If you are asking what does the future hold for you as an operating engineer, there’s a good chance you will get good a paycheck and stay on the job for long time.
Factors that Plays an Important Role on How Much Salary You Can Make
Education, Certification and Experience Level
We should not thoroughly that your certification you’ve attained and the experiences you’ve gained play the most important factors in getting a good career as an operating engineer.
Attainment of NCCCO certification, NCCER certificate can drastically influence how much you will get. If you have the certification, you can negotiate with the hiring manager about your salary if you think if you are being given a pay way below to what you are expected.
As you might know, experience also is as important as your certification. How long you have been doing heavy equipment operation also has a major affect on your salary. The more experience you have can result to better paycheck.
If you are skilled to operate multiple types of heavy equipment then you will have the best chance of getting a good take-home pay.
The Industry Sector You Are Working
Not all industries compensate the same for heavy equipment operators and offer job opportunities. According the US BLS, it is the specialty trade contracting industry that employs the most number of operating engineers. It is seconded by the local government that has large number of on-going and long-term projects, and in the third position is the road and bridge construction sector.
What industry you are in can have a big affect on how much you can make. The type of employer also influences your future job prospects. This is true to many trades and professions.
If you are looking for a better salary offer, you can move to other industry that has higher pay.
The City, State or Place Where You are Working
If you are looking for another mean to boost chance of getting a good salary as an operating engineer is to move another high-paying city or state. Though, this decision could have impact on your personal life, you better think of what’s important and find a balance between career and family.
You should also consider that moving to another high-paying location doesn’t mean you will make more money generally. This high-paying state usually has higher standard of living. Let’s say for example if you will move in New York, the living standard cost and expenses in that state are two or three times higher than the state your are working right now.
To give you an idea of the top states that pays well for operating engineers and other construction equipment operators are Illinois, New York, Wyoming, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and New Jersey.
The size of the company and the employer’s financial status
Large companies with well-built resources tend to offer better salary and benefits. This is a fact of life you must understand. As you would expect, the smaller company you work for, the less you can make in terms of pay and other financial benefits.
The company’s overall financial status determines its stability. Those companies with limited liability and not in current debt are ones that are established and reputable. They give financial package, reinforcement for workers’ motivation, continuous training and career advancement opportunities far better than those small players in the industry.
The bigger the business tends to offer better than smaller employers. This is why one would strive to work in established company in the industry for the mere reason they tend to offer the best remuneration package.
The size of the company and its current financial status are one of the factors that should be added to the equation that affect your salary.
Operating Engineer Apprentice Hourly Wage Is This
The hourly wage of operating engineer is averaging $30.00 but depending on the many factors, as states above, the wage ranges from 25 and $34.
Operating engineer’s annual salary is at the median of $61,923. If you are an entry-level, you can make far less than this amount. You can start at $36,000. You can climb up the ladder and making better wage. If you have sufficient years of experience, you can be given $46,000. Those operating engineers who have been in the business for more than five years, can have the best salary offer.
Because operating engineer apprentices were able to operate different varieties of heavy equipment than do other beginners, they commonly being given better wage. This is true fact in every business. If you have such apprenticeship training or certification, you can receive better status.
This is why if you want to be an operating engineer, you should take apprenticeship training aside from the formal training you’ve got.
Your Future Prospect as Operating Engineer
With increasing number of infrastructure projects and boom of the construction industry, you would not be running out of employment opportunities. Being an operating or construction equipment operators is in full swing until the years 2026. Who knows after that year, the demand doubles.
If you are wondering if this job compensates well, then this is the time to get into this job. A novice operating engineer can make as much as $36,000 per year. If you have the skills and certification, you can be offered with much higher salary.
You can work in many industries such as ports, in the mines, in construction projects, in road and building maintenance, and in many more types of businesses engaged in the operation of heavy equipment.
To Make a Conclusion
The operating engineer salary depends on many factors. It is not the same across the country. The factors affecting the salary are mentioned above but there could be other factors not stated here.
If the salary is the factor you are considering in making a decision whether you will or will not be an operating engineer, then you won’t get disappointed. Operating engineer or heavy equipment is one of the trade occupations that get paid and compensated well.
And with the increasing number of baby boomers retiring and with the growing infrastructure projects being put up, you can make a mark in this business.