Tower crane operators are specialists in the construction industry, as they operate a specific type of equipment. Their job may be very dangerous to themselves and others, so a tower crane operator must be able to pay attention and never be distracted, and must be safety-oriented. These workers aid in building pretty much any structure people would see in their everyday lives.
The working environment for a tower crane operator is usually outside, although tower crane operators work in the cab of a crane so they are shielded from weather. They work with construction workers, other heavy machinery operators, and spotters who guide them, and they report to a foreman. The primary duty of a tower crane operator is to move large and heavy objects that cannot be moved by humans. They may move these objects at ground level or much higher up. Tower crane operators must be very careful, as it is very easy to have collisions with what they are moving and objects in the surrounding environment. If not careful, a tower crane operator could seriously damage the material to be moved, project, or people in the area. Working hours vary and are dependent on sunlight. Tower crane operators may work anytime between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the length of their shift is often based on what they are building and the deadline for it.
Requirements for this job include completing an apprenticeship at a heavy machinery operator school. They will then be certified as a heavy machine operator. A high school diploma is also required. Many positions also require a few years of experience as a tower crane operator.
Tower crane operators are responsible for moving anything in construction that cannot be moved by people or other machines. Without tower crane operators, many of the buildings we see today, especially in cities, would not be possible.
Tower Crane Operator Tasks
- Steer the crane utilizing levers within the control console or remotely via a remote console.
- Base crane movements upon hand and radio signals from ground supervisor or signaler.
- Operate tower crane to move large and heavy objects such as construction materials and shipping containers.