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Pile-Driver Operator

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All About Pile-Driver Operators

Job 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.
  • 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.
  • Clean, lubricate, and refill equipment.
  • Move hand and foot levers of hoisting equipment to position piling leads, hoist piling into leads, and position hammers over pilings.

What a Pile-Driver Operator Should Know

When polled, Pile-Driver Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Types of Pile-Driver Operator

  • Pile Driving Inspector
  • Nozzle Operator
  • Pile Driving Superintendent
  • Pile Driving Technician
  • Pile Driving Leadsman

Job Outlook for Pile-Driver Operators

There were about 3,700 jobs for Pile-Driver Operator in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 500 yearly job openings in this field.


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.

Do Pile-Driver Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

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 different U.S. states?

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 & Technology 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 do I Become a Pile-Driver Operator?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Pile-Driver Operator?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Pile-Driver Operators?


The table below shows the approximate number of Pile-Driver Operators employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Pile-Driver Operator might also be interested in the following careers:

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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