Pile Driver Operators: Salary Overview
Pile driver operators drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures.
They operate drivers mounted on skids barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes.
Their job description also includes cleaning, lubricating, refilling equipment, and maintaining tools and equipment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pile-driver operators was $57,650 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, including experience and education level, industry, and region of employment.
The lowest 10 percent made less than $32,700 per year while the top 10 percent made more than $100,800 annually.
Pile Driver Operator Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employers for pile-driver operators were the field of other heavy and civil engineering construction, and the highway, street, and bridge construction industry.
The average annual wage reported by pile-driver operators in the field of other heavy and civil engineering construction was $72,610.
Pile driver operators in the field of highway, street, and bridge construction made less; the salaries reported by workers in this field averaged at $55,020.
The mean annual wage was $58,510 for pile driver operators hired by other specialty trade contractors and $54,750 for those who worked in the field of utility system construction.
Several pile driver operators who were employed by local governments were paid in 2019, on average, with $49,860 per year.
The field of nonresidential building construction is the second-highest paying field for pile driver operators (after the field of other heavy and civil engineering construction).
Pile driver operators who work in this field reportedly made $64,380 per year.
Higher-than-average salaries are also reported by those who worked for foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors- where the average annual wage for this profession was $59,610 as of May 2019.
Salaries for this profession also vary depending on the region and the state of employment.
The top-paying state for this profession was New York- with an average annual wage calculated at more than $100,000.
Other top-paying states where salaries for pile driver operators averaged at more than $80,000 are Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and Washington.
Pile driver operators in South Carolina, on the other hand, earned less than $40,000 per year, on average.
The state with the highest employment level in this occupation was California- where the average annual wage for pile driver operators was $82,970.
There are many other factors that can help you earn a higher-than-average salary as a pile driver operator, including getting additional certifications and skills.
Although a high school diploma and some on-the-job training may be enough to get you started in this profession, completing an apprenticeship or a program at a vocational school can help increase your salary.
Having a crane license is also a requirement in some states but even if your state doesn’t require one, this additional skill can make you more valuable to your employer who may give you a pay raise.
The experience level also plays an important part in determining a pile driver operator’s salary.
As an entry-level employee or apprentice, your salary will be close to the minimum for this profession but after earning a few years of experience you may qualify for supervisory positions that come with additional responsibilities and higher wages.
Your total annual wage will also vary depending on your compensation structure.
If you’re paid on an hourly basis, for example, your total salary will vary depending on how many hours you log in.
The average hourly rate for this profession was $30.66 with the median set at $27.72 but hourly wages also vary depending on the industry of employment and worker’s level of skills and experience.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Pile Driver 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.