How Much Money Can I Make as an Excavator Operator?

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Blog, Courses, Heavy Equipment School | 0 comments

If you are a motivated individual working in the construction industry, learning to operate an excavator can be an excellent career move. Excavator training will equip you with skills that are always in high demand among employers. Not only will this make it easier to find jobs, but it will also mean you are likely to earn a higher salary.

In this article, we’ll explain how to maximize your earning potential as a heavy equipment operator. This means not only seeking out training, but seeking out the right training. You need to find a program that will equip you with both the necessary knowledge and practical experience that is a must for success.

What Does an Excavator Operator Do?

An excavator is a type of heavy machinery with an undercarriage not unlike a tractor and a cab that has a long arm attachment with a bucket at the end. Its primary purpose is for digging: this can mean trenches, large holes, or foundations for buildings and other structures. Most major construction projects will make use of an excavator in some way.

As an excavator operator, you will learn to operate the controls of these machines in a safe and effective manner. After undergoing excavator training, you will be able to inspect a jobsite for safety, read a load chart, and work with other individuals on the jobsite to perform large-scale tasks. The highest-paying jobs that require the services of trained excavator operators often include civil engineering jobs, such as the building of roads and bridges, as well as major private projects like the construction of skyscrapers.

How Much Can They Make?

According to, the average yearly salary for an excavator operator is around $55,813 per year. Compare this to the $37,480 that a construction worker who does not operate heavy equipment makes, and you’ll see it’s a significant increase. Of course, this is only the national average. It is possible to make as much as $81,829 on the right jobsites and with the right experience.

Having the right excavator training is one of the most important parts of maximizing your earning potential. You will need to attend an accredited heavy equipment operator school, like West Coast Training. Here, you will split your time between classroom learning and practical on-the-job training. When you complete your training, you will receive a certification from the National Center For Construction Education and Research, or NCCER. This will help to set you apart from the less highly trained workers in this highly competitive industry.

Of course, while there are plenty of skilled applicants out there, the ones that are earning the most money are also adept at finding the best jobs with the highest-paying employers. West Coast Training assists applicants in job searching, helping them to obtain interviews with these employers in the first place. We also offer training on building interview skills, so that you can land that lucrative position working for the most coveted employers. Reach out today and talk with one of our admissions advisors.