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Crane Operator Job Overview

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If you are a recent high school graduate, the time has come for you to start thinking about your career. You want to choose a path that will provide you with financial stability, and one that you will enjoy. If you have an affection for the construction industry, you want to put your brains and your brawn to work, you might want to consider a career as a crane operator.

Does this sound like something that you would be interested in pursuing? If so, then keep on reading to learn some of the basics of a career as a crane operator.

Average Salary

Crane operators make a comfortable to lucrative income. In 2014, it was reported that the average hourly rate in this field was between $16.60 and $45.15 an hour, or between $40,176 and $127,392 a year. On top of this wage, overtime earnings were reported to be between $23.49 and $67.40. With numbers like this, it's clear that this is a financially rewarding career path.

Job Duties

As a crane operator for a company like A C Jones Trucking Inc, you will have a number of duties to attend to in order to successfully fulfill your role. Generally speaking, in this position, you will use large cranes to move a variety of objects. Some of the specific duties you will have as a crane operator include:

  • Setting up the crane equipment
  • Controlling the crane using levers, pedals and wheels
  • Move the materials that need to be moved from one location to another
  • Making note of the materials you have moved, and where you moved them from and to

Crane Operator Industries

There are several industries that require the use of a crane, including:

  • Mining
  • Iron and steel milling
  • Steel product manufacturing
  • Inland water transportation
  • The manufacturing of products for the Aerospace industry
  • Electrical power generation
  • Natural gas distribution
  • Construction

The industry you work in will determine your specific job duties, though you can expect that the aforementioned duties will be some of your core responsibilities.

Training and Certifications

In order to become a crane operator, you will need to receive the proper training and certifications. The industry you work in will determine both.

Though it isn't often a requirement, many companies do prefer their crane operators have a high school diploma. A degree in higher education is not required. In regard to training, in most industries, training will be provided on the job in under a month; however, the exact amount of training you will need depends on the exact type of machinery you will be using and the type of equipment you will be moving.

Upon the completion of training, you will need to earn a Tower Crane Operator Certification. Requirements to receive this certification include successfully completing a written and a practical exam, which will include demonstrating your ability to operate a crane.

Earning a good income, a high level of job fulfillment and job stability make becoming a crane operator an excellent career choice.