Average Hourly Wage of Crane Operators, By State

Construction Cranes

This is the 19th installment of Construction Junkie's weekly analysis of the hourly wages of each individual construction profession by state.  The three previous professions we examined were floor layers, insulation workers, and solar panel installers.  You can also see the full list of all past and future professions by clicking here.

Cranes can be some of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on any construction jobsite.  Not only do workers need to worry about working underneath loads being suspended by cranes, operators need to exercise extreme caution when working with heavy loads and extreme weather conditions.  Cranes are also pivotal in efficiently building multi-story buildings, especially high rise and supertall buildings.  The profession itself, at least for tower crane operators, can be fairly lonely though, as there's no buddy system up in the cab.  The long commute up to the top also restricts the amount of time operators can take breaks. 

Compared to heavy construction equipment operators, crane operators make an average of $10,000 more per year, according to the BLS.

Below you'll find a breakout of how each state compensates their floor layers.  All data below comes from the BLS' most recent reports from May 2016. 

Graph of Average Hourly Wage of Crane Operators, by State

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click for larger image

Rankings of Average Hourly Wage of Crane Operators, by State

51. Arkansas  --  $20.33/hour

50. Arizona  --  $20.87/hour

49. South Dakota  --  $21.26/hour

48. Nebraska  --  $21.32/hour

47. Utah  --  $22.03/hour

46. Ohio  --  $22.09/hour

45. Tennessee  --  $22.16/hour

44. Connecticut  --  $22.20/hour

43. Illinois  --  $22.25/hour

42. New Hampshire  --  $22.30/hour

41. Georgia  --  $22.35/hour

40. Mississippi  --  $22.99/hour

39. West Virginia  --  $23.02/hour

38. Louisiana  --  $23.20/hour

37. Oklahoma  --  $23.40/hour

36. Wisconsin  --  $23.46/hour

35. Iowa  --  $23.66/hour

34. Idaho  --  $23.68/hour

33. Florida  --  $23.81/hour

32. North Carolina  --  $24.01/hour

31. Alabama  --  $24.07/hour

30. Maine  --  $24.39/hour

29. Missouri  --  $24.42/hour

28. Vermont  --  $24.64/hour

27. Colorado  --  $24.67/hour

26. Virginia  --  $25.49/hour

25. Pennsylvania  --  $25.59/hour

24. Indiana  --  $25.78/hour

23. Delaware  --  $26.03/hour

22. Texas  --  $26.17/hour

21. South Carolina  --  $26.38/hour

20. New Mexico  --  $26.86/hour

19. Kentucky  --  $26.95/hour

18. North Dakota  --  $27.38/hour

17. Wyoming  --  $27.73/hour

16. Michigan  --  $27.86/hour

15. Rhode Island  --  $28.43/hour

14. Kansas  --  $28.70/hour

13. Maryland  --  $28.80/hour

12. Montana  --  $29.16/hour

11. Massachusetts  --  $29.45/hour

10. Oregon--$29.49/hour

9. Minnesota  --  $29.63/hour

8. California  --  $30.38/hour

7. District of Columbia  --  $31.16/hour

6. Nevada  --  $31.22/hour

5. Washington  --  $33.48/hour

4. New Jersey  --  $33.85/hour

3. Hawaii  --  $35.78/hour

2. Alaska  --  $40.04/hour

1. New York  --  $48.60/hour

Graph of Average Hourly Wage of Crane Operators - Adjusted for Cost of Living, by State

Cost of living in each state also has a large impact on the amount of money construction trades actually bring home, so the graph below shows each state's adjusted hourly wage based upon the cost of living index for that state.  All cost of living index data comes from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and was last updated for the second quarter of 2017.  The cost of living index was based upon grocery, housing, utilities, transportation, health, and miscellaneous costs for each state. 

 click for larger image

click for larger image

Rankings of Average Hourly Wage of Crane Operators- Adjusted for Cost of Living, by State

51. Hawaii  --  $12.02/hour

50. District of Columbia  --  $14.52/hour

49. California  --  $16.53/hour

48. Connecticut  --  $18.54/hour

47. New Hampshire  --  $19.62/hour

46. Oregon  --  $20.14/hour

45. Massachusetts  --  $20.47/hour

44. Maryland  --  $21.02/hour

43. South Dakota  --  $21.35/hour

42. Maine  --  $21.54/hour

41. Arizona  --  $21.60/hour

40. Rhode Island  --  $22.09/hour

39. Illinois  --  $22.87/hour

38. Arkansas  --  $22.89/hour

37. Utah  --  $23.07/hour

36. Nebraska  --  $23.07/hour

35. Ohio  --  $23.79/hour

34. Vermont  --  $23.93/hour

33. Colorado  --  $23.95/hour

32. West Virginia  --  $23.96/hour

31. Wisconsin  --  $24.07/hour

30. Florida  --  $24.17/hour

29. Georgia  --  $24.45/hour

28. Louisiana  --  $24.45/hour

27. Tennessee  --  $24.51/hour

26. Virginia  --  $24.93/hour

25. Pennsylvania  --  $25.18/hour

24. North Carolina  --  $25.31/hour

23. Delaware  --  $25.46/hour

22. Iowa  --  $25.58/hour

21. Idaho  --  $25.74/hour

20. Oklahoma  --  $25.79/hour

19. New Jersey  --  $26.23/hour

18. Alabama  --  $26.31/hour

17. Mississippi  --  $26.32/hour

16. South Carolina  --  $26.75/hour

15. Missouri  --  $26.89/hour

14. North Dakota  --  $27.68/hour

13. Alaska  --  $27.87/hour

12. Indiana  --  $28.15/hour

11. New Mexico  --  $28.44/hour

10. Texas--$28.63/hour

9. Wyoming  --  $28.70/hour

8. Kentucky  --  $28.76/hour

7. Montana  --  $28.96/hour

6. Nevada  --  $29.53/hour

5. Minnesota  --  $29.69/hour

4. Michigan  --  $30.56/hour

3. Washington  --  $30.80/hour

2. Kansas  --  $31.66/hour

1. New York  --  $33.24/hour