These Are The 10 States With The Highest Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries For 2017

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 3 months ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do heavy equipment operators get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for heavy equipment operators by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for heavy equipment operators by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for heavy equipment operators after this adjustment? That would be Operating Engineers And Other Construction Equipment Operators.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Illinois
  2. Wyoming
  3. Indiana
  4. Minnesota
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Missouri
  7. North Dakota
  8. Ohio
  9. New Jersey
  10. Washington

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

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How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for heavy equipment operators from the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $68820, so our index value would be:

$68,820 * (100 / 135.9) = $50,640

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for heavy equipment operators.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Heavy Equipment Operator Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Illinois $79,270 $74,990 94.6
2 Wyoming $61,688 $56,630 91.8
3 Indiana $60,648 $54,280 89.5
4 Minnesota $59,613 $60,090 100.8
5 Wisconsin $59,555 $57,650 96.8
6 Missouri $59,369 $53,670 90.4
7 North Dakota $58,259 $57,910 99.4
8 Ohio $57,729 $54,150 93.8
9 New Jersey $57,243 $69,780 121.9
10 Washington $57,214 $60,190 105.2
11 Nevada $56,069 $57,920 103.3
12 New York $55,923 $73,260 131.0
13 Michigan $55,617 $49,500 89.0
14 Alaska $53,142 $69,670 131.1
15 Iowa $51,714 $47,060 91.0
16 Massachusetts $51,349 $68,500 133.4
17 Connecticut $50,939 $65,050 127.7
18 California $50,640 $68,820 135.9
19 West Virginia $48,961 $45,730 93.4
20 Rhode Island $48,682 $58,760 120.7
21 Utah $48,559 $45,160 93.0
22 Montana $48,422 $48,810 100.8
23 Kentucky $48,364 $43,770 90.5
24 Pennsylvania $47,238 $47,900 101.4
25 Arizona $47,234 $46,290 98.0
26 Oregon $46,340 $53,570 115.6
27 Colorado $46,290 $48,050 103.8
28 Idaho $46,286 $42,630 92.1
29 Kansas $45,428 $40,840 89.9
30 Tennessee $45,402 $40,590 89.4
31 New Mexico $45,378 $43,790 96.5
32 Mississippi $45,180 $38,810 85.9
33 Texas $44,200 $40,090 90.7
34 Louisiana $44,113 $41,820 94.8
35 Oklahoma $44,035 $39,280 89.2
36 Nebraska $43,864 $40,180 91.6
37 Hawaii $43,508 $73,050 167.9
38 Alabama $41,677 $38,010 91.2
39 Virginia $41,200 $41,530 100.8
40 Delaware $41,143 $41,720 101.4
41 New Hampshire $40,897 $47,850 117.0
42 South Dakota $40,568 $42,070 103.7
43 Georgia $39,835 $36,410 91.4
44 Arkansas $39,644 $34,530 87.1
45 North Carolina $39,531 $37,120 93.9
46 Maryland $38,828 $48,730 125.5
47 Florida $38,697 $38,040 98.3
48 South Carolina $38,326 $38,020 99.2
49 Maine $34,792 $38,550 110.8
50 Vermont $34,549 $41,840 121.1

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