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Updated July 11, 2022

Average Operator Salary

$35,479 yearly
To create our salary estimates, Zippia starts with data published in publicly available sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (FLC) Show More

$17.06 hourly

Entry level Salary
$24,000 yearly
$24,000
10 %
$35,479
Median
$50,000
90 %

How much does an Operator make?

Operators make $35,479 per year on average, or $17.06 per hour, in the United States. Operators on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $24,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $50,000.

Location impacts how much an operator can expect to make. Operators make the most in New Jersey, Alaska, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and Hawaii.

Highest Paying States For Operators

The darker areas on the map show where operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

  • State View
  • County View
Average Salary:

Operator average salary by State

Rank  State  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Count  
1Louisiana$50,088$24.083,291
2New Mexico$41,730$20.061,521
3West Virginia$37,945$18.241,391
4New Hampshire$51,223$24.63458
5New Jersey$58,000$27.881,008
6Wyoming$37,910$18.23415
7Alaska$53,673$25.80106
8Nevada$41,136$19.78623
9District of Columbia$53,588$25.76141
10Virginia$41,283$19.854,426
11Indiana$37,566$18.064,333
12Illinois$39,695$19.086,669
13Mississippi$36,251$17.431,498
14Utah$38,401$18.461,570
15Colorado$40,471$19.462,216
16Minnesota$37,163$17.875,174
17Iowa$35,229$16.943,316
18Idaho$36,314$17.461,435
19South Carolina$35,394$17.024,039
20Nebraska$38,359$18.44591
21Montana$37,854$18.20332
22Hawaii$45,691$21.97107
23Rhode Island$37,945$18.24167
24Texas$35,479$17.0611,299
25North Carolina$34,436$16.566,205
26Kentucky$34,436$16.561,702
27Washington$39,653$19.062,671
28Wisconsin$33,392$16.054,343
29Ohio$33,204$15.966,221
30Maine$36,568$17.58291
31Connecticut$38,711$18.61582
32Delaware$36,919$17.75426
33Georgia$34,096$16.396,788
34Arkansas$33,247$15.981,190
35Oregon$35,469$17.052,230
36South Dakota$33,955$16.32212
37Massachusetts$38,004$18.271,349
38Tennessee$31,305$15.054,800
39Vermont$35,479$17.06180
40Michigan$31,305$15.054,754
41California$39,653$19.067,746
42Missouri$33,455$16.082,137
43New York$35,312$16.983,918
44Pennsylvania$31,292$15.045,902
45North Dakota$33,084$15.91234
46Oklahoma$31,306$15.051,131
47Alabama$31,973$15.371,369
48Maryland$34,633$16.651,290
49Arizona$31,305$15.051,652
50Kansas$29,218$14.051,292
51Florida$31,305$15.053,136

Highest Paying Cities For Operators

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Rank  City  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
1San Francisco, CA$118,637$57.04
2New York, NY$108,471$52.15
3Lafayette, LA$50,088$24.08
4Savannah, GA$48,485$23.31
5Colorado Springs, CO$48,001$23.08
6Grand Prairie, TX$41,740$20.07
7Albuquerque, NM$41,328$19.87
8Harrisonburg, VA$41,283$19.85
9Chicago, IL$39,695$19.08
10Portland, OR$38,818$18.66
11Plymouth, MA$38,004$18.27
12Columbus, IN$37,566$18.06
13Saint Paul, MN$37,163$17.87
14Columbus, OH$36,731$17.66
15Portland, ME$36,568$17.58

Here Are The Five Most In Demand Cities Right Now:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. New York, NY
  3. Lafayette, LA
  4. Savannah, GA
  5. Colorado Springs, CO

Operator Salary Details

Operator Salary

What is an Operator's Salary?

Percentile  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  
90th Percentile$50,000$4,167$24
75th Percentile$42,000$3,500$20
Average$35,479$2,957$17
25th Percentile$29,000$2,417$14
10th Percentile$24,000$2,000$12

Average Salary By Related Titles

Job Title  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
Machine Operator/Forklift Operator$32,141$2,678$15.45120,073
Equipment Operator/Labour$35,823$2,985$17.2260,770
Maintenance Operator$35,082$2,923$16.87142,679
Production Operator$35,166$2,930$16.91117,254
Equipment Operator$30,204$2,517$14.5262,473
Forklift Operator$33,726$2,811$16.21213,020

Here are the five companies hiring the most now:

  1. AT&T Jobs (246)
  2. North American Lighting Jobs (213)
  3. Badger Daylighting Jobs (129)
  4. Pella Jobs (96)
  5. Pactiv Jobs (110)

Which Companies Pay Operators The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, Microsoft and Conterra Broadband Services are the highest paying companies for operators.
Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Microsoft$125,706$60.4420
2Conterra Broadband Services$79,243$38.102
3Allen & Rocks$79,243$38.10
4Roush$79,243$38.10
54 Wheel Parts$79,243$38.102
6Express$79,243$38.10
7Hughes$79,243$38.1039
8QualTek$79,243$38.1016
9Nahan$79,243$38.1012
10Titan International$79,243$38.104
11American Axle & Manufacturing$79,243$38.105
12ASR$79,243$38.1015
13Calfrac Well Services Corp.$79,243$38.105
14Covert Manufacturing$79,243$38.104
15Cogent Communications$79,243$38.1047
16Pinnacol Assurance$79,243$38.102
17Materion$79,243$38.1024
18General Motors$79,243$38.1014
19Rivian$79,243$38.103
20My Florida Regional Mls$79,243$38.1032

Operator Salary Trends

The salary for an operator can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

Average Operator Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    Operator Salary By Year

    Year  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  % Change  
    2022$35,500$17.06+3.6%
    2021$34,200$16.44+4.0%
    2020$32,800$15.78+3.2%
    2019$31,800$15.27+3.5%
    2018$30,700$14.74+1.1%

    Recently Added Operator Salaries

    Company  Job  Location  Date Added  Salary  
    BalchemOperatorOgden, UT06/02/2022$39,653
    T S E Industries Inc.Millathane OperatorClearwater, FL06/01/2022$35,479
    Georgia-PacificRecaust OperatorHillsboro, AL06/01/2022$40,070
    Chase CorporationOperatorLenoir, NC06/01/2022$31,305
    Upslope Brewing CompanyCellar OperatorBoulder, CO06/01/2022$35,479
    VandorOperatorRichmond, IN06/01/2022$37,879
    Oil-DriVerge OperatorRipley, MS06/01/2022$37,775
    Badger DaylightingHydrovac OperatorHouston, TX06/01/2022$52,175
    TPI Staffing GroupSecondary OperatorLebanon, NH06/01/2022$37,566
    Albany Times UnionPlateroom OperatorAlbany, NY06/01/2022$34,436

    Operator Salaries FAQs

    What state pays Operators the most?

    New Jersey pays Operators the most in the United States, with an average salary of $58,000 per year, or $27.88 per hour.

    How do I know if I'm being paid fairly as an Operator?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as an Operator if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in Alaska you should be paid close to $53,673 per year.

    What type of Operator gets paid the most?

    Foreman/Operator gets paid the most. Foreman/Operator made a median salary of $46,799. The best-paid 10 percent make $52,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make $41,000.

    What is a good starting salary for an Operator?

    A good starting salary for an operator is $24,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for an operator in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for operators is $35,479, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for an operator can vary by state.

    Do heavy equipment operators make good money?

    Yes, heavy equipment operators make good money. A heavy equipment operator on average makes $65,500 a year, which is roughly $10,000 higher than the national wage average. A heavy equipment operator can make anywhere between $54,000 and $75,000, with outliers on either side.

    How much do machine operators make a year?

    Machine operators make $28,000 a year. A machine operator, on average, makes $28,000 a year, with salaries ranging anywhere between $23,000 and $34,000.

    The barrier to entry for a machine operator is incredibly low, but sadly so is the pay rate. People with significant experience may find themselves earning more, though it is usually more beneficial to pursue advancement within the field.

    Is an interaction designer the same as a UX designer?

    No, an interaction designer is not necessarily the same as a UX designer. Although they are often used interchangeably, they generally focus on the overall user experience design process.

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