Conveyor Operators: Salary Overview
Conveyor operators control conveyor systems that move products to stockpiles, processing stations, vehicles, or departments.
Their job description usually includes, among other tasks, contacting workers to request movement of products or other materials, distributing the products using trucks and lifts, operating equipment that controls automatic palletizing, operating elevator systems, and recording data about materials and products such as weight, height, and storage locations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for conveyor operators and tenders was $34,660 as of May 2019.
The median wage shows us that half the workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries for this occupation usually vary between $25,000-$50,000 a year depending on a number of factors, including experience level, the industry of employment, skills, and education.
Conveyor Operator Salary by Industry
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employers for conveyor operators were couriers and companies that provide express delivery services, merchant wholesalers of farm product raw material, and merchant wholesalers of durable goods.
The report published by BLS shows that in May of 2019 conveyor operators who worked for couriers and express delivery services earned, on average $33,340 a year- close to the median for this profession across all industries.
Conveyor Operators employed by farm product raw material merchant wholesalers reportedly earned, on average $34,700 a year while those who worked for merchant wholesalers of durable goods reported an average annual wage of $36,210.
Those employed in the field of grain and oilseed milling reportedly earned $37,730 a year, on average.
The average annual wage was $33,860 for conveyor operators who worked for companies that provide warehousing and storage services.
The report shows that the highest average annual salary was reported by conveyor operators who worked in the federal executive branch.
In this sector, the reported mean annual wage for conveyor operators was $64,420, almost double the median across all industries.
However, this field hires only a few conveyor operators so we are safe to say that job openings in this sector don’t occur very often.
Other fields that don’t hire many conveyor operators by typically offer higher-than-average salaries are the truck transportation field and the industry of coal mining, where the average annual salaries for this occupation were $64,370 and $54,440 a year respectively.
In conclusion, this profession is not very well remunerated, especially for entry-level employees.
The report published by BLS shows that the less experienced 10 percent of all conveyor operators earned less than $12.02 an hour.
Although you may start with a salary that is significantly lower than the national average, you may earn more after getting a few years of experience.
As you earn experience you may be promoted to a supervisory position, which implies additional responsibilities but also a higher salary.
Earning a degree or a diploma in a related field and acquiring additional skills may also help you improve your earnings prospects.
Salaries for conveyor operators also vary depending on the region of employment.
According to the report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for conveyor operators were West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Utah, and Montana.
In these top-paying states, conveyor operators earned, on average between $40,000-$50,000 and more (in West Virginia, for example, the average annual wage for this profession was $53,550.)
Conveyor operators in Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Mississippi, on the other hand, reported average annual salaries that were in the $30,000 range.
Therefore, if you’re willing to relocate to a state where conveyor operators are usually better-paid, your earning opportunities may increase.
* Based on information from the May 2019 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Conveyor Operators. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.