Cranes tend to be one of the wonders of the world. When the average person thinks about Cranes and Crane Operation, an abundance of questions come to mind: How were they created? Who makes them? How do they work? and one of the most commonly asked, is a job in crane operation any good?
In this article, we’ve taken a closer look at careers in crane operation. We’ve highlighted information about employment in the crane industry that most are unaware of, what a career in crane operation could involve and provided a look into why now is the right time to consider a career as a crane operator.
1. Crane Operation Industry Growth
Today, Crane Operators are in high demand. Although many different jobs exist on a construction site—e.g., contractors, electricians, cement layers—the unique skills a Crane Operator brings to a job are essential for the completion of most projects. With the rapid increase of large modern structures, combined with the constant need for operators to load/unload heavy products and containers on shipping docks, there is an increasing number of opportunities for careers in crane operation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Crane Operator jobs are expected to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024. This is slightly above the national average for the universal job market, but well above the national average for highly skilled jobs. It’s safe to say, the success of the Crane industry contributes to the creation of secure jobs.
Generally, a college degree is not a necessity for a career in crane operation. The requirements usually consist of a high school diploma, along with a certification and training/apprenticeships.
Although training can last years, they are mostly on-site and extremely hands-on, where trainees work very closely with actual operators and project team members. Prospective Crane Operators also benefits from the fact that many placements are paid, giving them the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. Keep in mind that all study will not be avoided, classroom training; where the fundamentals of crane operation are taught, will be provided alongside practical training.
In regard to certification, a state-issued license is usually required. Some states utilize the exam proctored by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. Obtaining a license varies by state but usually consists of written and physical exams, with trainees also tested on their ability to demonstrate safe operating practices.
As higher education is not required, a career in crane operation is a pathway to a good salary and benefits even for just high school graduates.
3. Job Choices
Most people prefer having choices when it comes to a job. Being a Crane Operator is no different and provides an assortment of opportunities. Not only are there various types of cranes one can specialize in, but there are also different types of job sites and projects.
Some Crane Operators focus on specialities—i.e., Tower Crane operation only—whereas others choose to learn and operate a variety of crane types.
The same goes for job sites, where a Crane Operator can focus on one industry like construction, or decide to delve into multiple niches, for instance, shipping docks and railways.
With that said, sometimes the type of crane operation specialized in will dictate the jobs suitable for that specific skill set, for example, Mobile Cranes are more geared towards construction sites, whereas Tower Cranes are often utilized on docks and railways.
Either way, no two jobs are the same; a career in crane operation can see a person work on numerous and varied projects.
4. Job Responsibilities
Yes, pulling levers and pushing buttons to operate a crane is a core duty; however, a lot more is involved when it comes to the daily responsibilities of an operator.
Operators require pristine attention to detail and on-point coordination. The precision that is needed to flawlessly perform lifts and transport heavy materials take practice, experience and skill.
In order to operate the machines safely and successfully, an operator must know the crane they are manning inside and out, follow directions from the ground and have a keen awareness of surrounding areas and safety. A Crane Operator may also be responsible for crane maintenance, cleaning and assembly.
Lastly, great communication and listening skills are essential. This may come as no surprise, as crane operators usually work within a team and need to both receive and provide direction throughout their workday.
We hope this article has helped to shed some light on the Crane Operation field. To sum it all up, a career in Crane Operation could be a path to consider. There’s a lot more involved than many people think and it’s proven to be a respected and highly sought after profession. If you enjoy challenging work in team environments and are also not afraid of heights, Crane Operation might be for you.
Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your project’s needs. Situated in over 48 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry.
To learn more about Maxim’s crane rental, heavy hauling, and specialized rigging services, call 877-629-5438, or contact us.