The median annual wage of construction equipment operators was $39,460 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
The median wages for construction equipment operators in May 2010 were as follows:
Operators may have irregular hours because work on some construction projects continues around the clock or must be done late at night. Cold and rain may stop construction work. Nearly all construction equipment operators work full time.
The starting pay for apprentices is usually between 40 percent and 60 percent of what fully trained operators make. They get pay increases as they become more skilled.
Construction equipment operators have a high rate of union membership. Although no single union covers all operators, the largest organizer of these workers is the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition