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Pile-Driver Operator

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Life As a Pile-Driver Operator

Career Description Operate pile drivers mounted on skids, barges, crawler treads, or locomotive cranes to drive pilings for retaining walls, bulkheads, and foundations of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and piers.

What Do Pile-Driver Operators Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Clean, lubricate, and refill equipment.
  • Drive pilings to provide support for buildings or other structures, using heavy equipment with a pile driver head.
  • Move levers and turn valves to activate power hammers, or to raise and lower drophammers that drive piles to required depths.
  • Move hand and foot levers of hoisting equipment to position piling leads, hoist piling into leads, and position hammers over pilings.

Pile-Driver Operator Required Skills

Pile-Driver Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

  • Diesel Pile Hammer Operator
  • Hoisting Pile Driving Engineer
  • Hydraulic Pile Hammer Operator
  • Vibratory Pile Driver
  • Pile Driving Nozzleman

Job Outlook for Pile-Driver Operators

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 3,700 jobs in the United States for Pile-Driver Operator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 500 new jobs for Pile-Driver Operator by 2026. There will be an estimated 500 positions for Pile-Driver Operator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Pile-Driver Operator are Oregon, Florida, and Maryland. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Pennsylvania, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Pile-Driver Operator Make?

Pile-Driver Operators make between $33,810 and $100,350 a year.


Pile-Driver Operators who work in Illinois, Massachusetts, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Pile-Driver Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $80,030
Florida $48,110
Georgia $45,900
Illinois $86,060
Louisiana $51,020
Maryland $56,230
Massachusetts $80,110
Michigan $72,440
Minnesota $74,250
North Carolina $40,540
Oregon $72,290
Pennsylvania $72,370
Rhode Island $61,520
South Carolina $43,340
Texas $59,440
Virginia $52,170
Washington $74,570

What Tools do Pile-Driver Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pile-Driver Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Global positioning system GPS software

How to Become a Pile-Driver Operator

Individuals working as a Pile-Driver Operator have obtained the following education levels:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Pile-Driver Operators Are Employed


Pile-Driver Operators work in the following industries:


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Those who work as a Pile-Driver Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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