A crane operator uses a crane to lift and move equipment and/or materials around a job site. In addition to the responsibilities associated with the operation of the crane, they must also perform inspections of the equipment before and after its use to ensure it is in working order. These operators must know and follow safety procedures on using the crane and working on job sites. In some positions, being able to plan operational lifts is an important part of the job.
The crane operator works in an enclosed environment while in the crane, but environmental conditions in their work area may reach extremely high or low temperatures. The crane operator must also work for long periods of time in a small space. These professionals can work in a variety of locations, from very high above ground to working in a shipyard, and so they must be able to handle any relevant challenges to their working environment.
The ability to communicate effectively through radio and hand signals is often required and is desired of the crane operator. Good job attendance and workplace safety performance are also necessary. Candidates may also be required to be familiar with the operation manuals of the machinery on which they work, and they may be required to submit reports regarding machinery inspection and maintenance. Education requirements generally include a high school diploma or equivalent; technical training and certifications are highly recommended.
Crane Operator Tasks
- Diagnose problems and maintain a variety bulk handling equipment.
- Work with crews to load and unload heavy items.
- Operate a crane to move heavy equipment and cargo.
- Perform work area housekeeping functions and help with equipment maintenance.