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Working as a Heavy Machinery Operator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a heavy machinery operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.2 an hour? That's $25,368 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 10% and produce 44,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Heavy Machinery Operator Do

There are certain skills that many heavy machinery 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 physical strength, unafraid of heights and mechanical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a heavy machinery operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.5% of heavy machinery operators included safety rules, while 15.5% of resumes included heavy machinery, and 10.4% of resumes included dump truck. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Heavy Machinery Operator

If you're interested in becoming a heavy machinery operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 18.9% of heavy machinery operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.8% of heavy machinery operators have master's degrees. Even though some heavy machinery 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 a heavy machinery operator. When we researched the most common majors for a heavy machinery operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on heavy machinery operator resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$25,368
Job Growth Rate10%

Heavy Machinery Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Heavy Machinery Operator

Cashier
14.3 %

Top Careers After Heavy Machinery Operator

Cashier
6.6 %

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 a Heavy Machinery Operator

Heavy Machinery Operators in America make an average salary of $25,368 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $29,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$25,368

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Columbus, OH
Salary Range23k - 30k$27k$26,970
Olive Branch, MS
Salary Range17k - 21k$19k$19,260
Jacksonville, AR
Salary Range17k - 20k$19k$18,821
$17k
$30k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Heavy Machinery Operator
Heavy Machinery Operator
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
01/15/2021
01/15/2021
$26,08801/15/2021
$26,088
Heavy Machinery Operator
Heavy Machinery Operator
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
12/11/2020
12/11/2020
$31,30512/11/2020
$31,305
Heavy Machinery Operator
Heavy Machinery Operator
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
12/09/2020
12/09/2020
$31,30512/09/2020
$31,305
Machinery Operator: 2Nd Shift
Machinery Operator: 2Nd Shift
Enviropak
Enviropak
11/21/2020
11/21/2020
$38,61011/21/2020
$38,610
Heavy Machinery Operator
Heavy Machinery Operator
Adecco
Adecco
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$28,17510/31/2020
$28,175
See More Recent Salaries

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Heavy Machinery Operator Demographics

Gender

male

85.3 %

female

11.2 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

71.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.5 %

Black or African American

7.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0 %

French

13.3 %

German

8.9 %
See More Demographics

Heavy Machinery Operator Education

Majors

Business
17.8 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

47.1 %

Bachelors

18.9 %

Associate

13.1 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Heavy Machinery 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, 19.5% of heavy machinery operators listed safety rules on their resume, but soft skills such as physical strength and unafraid of heights are important as well.

Best States For a Heavy Machinery Operator

1. Alaska

Total Heavy Machinery Operator Jobs:
29
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
3.19
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. North Dakota

Total Heavy Machinery Operator Jobs:
46
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
3.16
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. Wyoming

Total Heavy Machinery Operator Jobs:
36
Highest 10% Earn:
$37,000
Location Quotient:
4.17
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
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Top Heavy Machinery Operator Employers

1. Adecco
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$23,816
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
24+
2. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$24,308
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
9+
3. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$30,088
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
6+
4. ManpowerGroup
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$24,161
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
5+
5. The Coca-Cola Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$28,425
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
5+
6. Pilgrim's Pride
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$25,995
Heavy Machinery Operators Hired: 
4+
Updated October 2, 2020