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Career profile Pile Driver

Also known as Pile Driver, Pile Driver Operator, Pile Driving Operator

Pile Driver

Also known as Pile Driver, Pile Driver Operator, Pile Driving Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$37,010 - $115,290 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Move hand and foot levers of hoisting equipment to position piling leads, hoist piling into leads, and position hammers over pilings.
  • Move levers and turn valves to activate power hammers, or to raise and lower drophammers that drive piles to required depths.
  • Drive pilings to provide support for buildings or other structures, using heavy equipment with a pile driver head.
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What does a Pile Driver do?

Pile Drivers 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 kind of tasks does a Pile Driver perform regularly?

Pile Drivers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

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

The above responsibilities are specific to Pile Drivers. More generally, Pile Drivers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

What is a Pile Driver salary?

The median salary for a Pile Driver is $63,370, and the average salary is $71,880. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Pile Driver salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Pile Drivers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Pile Drivers earn less than $37,010 per year, 25% earn less than $47,590, 75% earn less than $97,190, and 90% earn less than $115,290.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Pile Drivers is expected to change by 5.1%, and there should be roughly 400 open positions for Pile Drivers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$37,010 - $115,290
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Pile Drivers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Pile Driver are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Pile Drivers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Pile Driver tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Pile Drivers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Pile Drivers somewhat value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Pile Drivers somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Pile Drivers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and concern for others.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Pile Drivers, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Pile Drivers need?

Working as a Pile Driver usually requires a high school diploma.

Pile Drivers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Pile Drivers

  • 20.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 53.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 18.0% completed some college coursework
  • 5.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 2.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Pile Drivers

Pile Drivers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, mechanical, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Pile Drivers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Important Abilities needed by Pile Drivers

Pile Drivers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Pile Drivers need abilities such as control precision, multilimb coordination, and depth perception in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Pile Drivers, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Pile Drivers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Pile Drivers frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Pile Drivers, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.