Crane operators are an indispensable part of any construction worker, and you may find one or more on the construction site. But what do crane operators do and what are their career prospects?
The crane operator is responsible for operating the mobile crane to lift, move, position, and reposition different loads of materials. The operator controls different crane functions by pressing buttons, pedals, and operating crane joysticks. The crane operator needs to remove the attachment from the trailer or other vehicle. The crane operator receives instructions on what to do from the assembler or signal person by the hand and/or verbal signals.
Crane operators also need to conduct pre-and post-travel inspections and sun-moon equipment inspections to ensure the normal operation of all equipment. Crane operators usually work under the direct supervision and require long hours of work, often sitting, standing, moving, and climbing. Operators are exposed to extreme outdoor environments all year round, and may also need to work on weekends and holidays.
Career prospects for crane operators.
There is now a great demand for crane operators. There are many different jobs on the construction site, such as contractors, electricians, cement workers, etc., but the unique skills of crane operators are essential when completing most of the construction work. With the increase of large modern structures, there are more and more career opportunities for crane operators.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the work of crane operators is expected to increase from 2018 to 2028. This is slightly higher than the national average for the general job market but much higher than the national average for high-skilled jobs. The success of the crane industry helps to create stable jobs.
Is the occupation of a crane operator right for you?
If you want to know if the profession of a crane operator is right for you, you should ask yourself a few questions. How are your hands? Do you have strong depth perception and good communication skills? Do you want to use heavy machinery? Can you travel? Can you work at heights? Can you work outdoors and in noisy environments/conditions? Are you interested in working in construction, mining, shipbuilding, railway, or crane rental company?
The standard weekly working time for crane operators is 40 hours (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). Similar to many other occupations in the construction industry, sometimes it is necessary to work overtime. Your overtime hours depend on the department and region you work in. Varies depending on the job.
Required skills and certifications.
In terms of certification, it usually includes a high school diploma, NCCOCrane certification, and additional training/apprenticeship.
Usually requires a state-issued license. Some states use exams supervised by the National Crane Operator Certification Board. Certification methods vary from state to state, but usually include written examinations and physical examinations, as well as testing students’ ability to demonstrate safe operating practices.
Because higher education is not required, a crane operation career is a way to obtain high salaries and benefits, even for people with only a high school degree.