The Average Hourly Rate for a Backhoe Operator

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Backhoe operators operate heavy equipment to excavate construction sites.
Backhoe operators operate heavy equipment to excavate construction sites. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Backhoe operators operate heavy equipment that moves earth to prepare the ground for construction. Their duties may require them to dig trenches to lay pipe or move piles of dirt, sand or gravel on a construction site. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of a backhoe operator as of 2010 is $44,830.

Average Salary

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average annual salary of a backhoe operator in the United States as of May 2010 is $44,830, or $21.55 per hour.

Percentiles

According to the BLS data for 2010, backhoe operators in the 10th percentile make up to $26,460 per year, or $12.72 per hour, and those in the 25th percentile earn up to $31,760 annually, or $15.27 per hour. The median salary is $40,400 per year, or $19.42 per hour. Backhoe operators in the 75th percentile make up to $54,890 annually, or $26.39 per hour, and those in the 90th percentile make at least $71,310 per year, or $34.28 per hour.

Industries

As of May 2010, according to the BLS, backhoe operators employed in the general medical and surgical hospital industry earn the highest average annual salaries: $70,350, or $33.82 per hour. The next highest-paying industry is other professional, scientific, and technical services, where the annual average salary is $61,770 and the average hourly wage is $29.70. The third best-paying industry is real estate leasing, which pays an average of $58,280 per year, or $28.02 per hour.

Locations

Backhoe operators earn their highest salaries in Hawaii, on average, according to the BLS as of May 2010: $64,610 each year, or $31.06 per hour. California backhoe operators earn average annual salaries of $63,990, or $30.76 per hour. The third highest-paying state is New York, at $63,140 per year. The best-paying metropolitan area is New York-White Plains-Wayne, which straddles parts of the states of New York and New Jersey, where the average annual salary is $82,760, or $39.79 per hour. The second best-paying metropolitan area is Kankakee-Bradley, Illinois with an average annual salary of $79,540, or $38.24 per hour. Third is Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey, where the average annual salary is $76,090, or $36.58 per hour.

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