Average Salary
$38,873
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
16,800
Job Openings

Excavator Operator Careers

Excavator operators are responsible for using the plant to excavate and move earth, rock, vegetation, and debris. They also need to smooth and compact surfaces on construction sites and development projects.

They may need to acquire multiple tickets and licenses to operate different machines if needed, such as graders, bulldozers, loaders, rollers, etc. It would be beneficial to have three to five years' experience within the construction industry. They may also need a full driver license, heavy rigid license, and an excavator ticket.

They may expect to earn $57,091/yr or $37/hr, which will rise significantly with the more licenses acquired and more experience gained.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an excavator operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $18.69 an hour? That's $38,873 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 32,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Excavator Operator Do

There are certain skills that many excavator operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed alertness, communication skills and coordination.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an excavator operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.6% of excavator operators included cdl, while 11.9% of resumes included osha, and 10.5% of resumes included backhoe. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the excavator operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most excavator operators actually find jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries.

How To Become an Excavator Operator

If you're interested in becoming an excavator operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 9.8% of excavator operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.6% of excavator operators have master's degrees. Even though some excavator operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an excavator operator. When we researched the most common majors for an excavator operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on excavator operator resumes include diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an excavator operator. In fact, many excavator operator jobs require experience in a role such as heavy equipment operator. Meanwhile, many excavator operators also have previous career experience in roles such as equipment operator or operator.

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Average Salary
$38,873
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
16,800
Job Openings

Excavator Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Excavator Operator

Operator
10.8 %

Top Careers After Excavator Operator

Operator
12.5 %

Excavator Operator Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Excavator Operator

Excavator Operators in America make an average salary of $38,873 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $54,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$38,873
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities For Excavator Operators

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Avondale, AZ
Salary Range35k - 58k$46k$45,952
San Antonio, TX
Salary Range30k - 50k$39k$39,462
Lakeland, FL
Salary Range30k - 46k$38k$37,685
Billings, MT
Salary Range31k - 44k$38k$37,611
Kearney, NE
Salary Range29k - 43k$36k$35,900
$29k
$58k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Excavator Operator
Trillium Staffing Solutions
08/01/2021
$52,17508/01/2021
Excavator Operator-Grand
CRH
07/20/2021
$37,56607/20/2021
Excavator Operator-Franklin County
The Caton Companies
07/20/2021
$35,47907/20/2021
Excavator Operator
CCS Construction Staffing
07/12/2021
$41,74007/12/2021
Excavator Operator
Peopleready
07/09/2021
$37,56607/09/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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Excavator Operator Demographics

Gender

male

90.1 %

unknown

5.0 %

female

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

71.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.3 %

Black or African American

11.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0 %

Polish

20.0 %

Dakota

10.0 %
Show More Excavator Operator Demographics

Excavator Operator Education

Degrees

High School Diploma

55.7 %

Associate

13.1 %

Diploma

11.9 %
Show More Excavator Operator Education Requirements

Online Courses For Excavator Operator That You May Like

ASE Technician Test Preparation 2.0: Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Electronic Diesel Diagnosis (L2)
ed2go

ASE Technician Test Preparation 2.0: Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Electronic Diesel Diagnosis (L2)...

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A quick yet detailed certification in OSHA safety with a focus on Trenching, Excavation, & Soil Mechanics...

ASE Technician Test Preparation (TTP) Truck Series: T5 Suspension/Steering
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Part Time
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Top Skills For an Excavator Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.6% of excavator operators listed cdl on their resume, but soft skills such as alertness and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For an Excavator Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an excavator operator. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Alaska. Excavator operators make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $56,871. Whereas in New York and Pennsylvania, they would average $56,712 and $54,885, respectively. While excavator operators would only make an average of $54,597 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Excavator Operator Jobs:
763
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
4.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Excavator Operator Jobs:
139
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
5
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Excavator Operator Jobs:
94
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
Location Quotient:
4.92
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Excavator Operators

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Top Excavator Operator Employers

1. Badger Daylighting
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$48,182
Excavator Operators Hired: 
13+
2. AL.com
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$39,982
Excavator Operators Hired: 
5+
3. CrossFire
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$43,348
Excavator Operators Hired: 
5+
4. US Pipeline
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$36,133
Excavator Operators Hired: 
5+
5. Massey Services
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$42,337
Excavator Operators Hired: 
5+
6. Aerotek
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$37,148
Excavator Operators Hired: 
4+

Excavator Operator Videos

Updated August 18, 2021