Qualifications Needed To Operate A Crane

Operating a crane can seem like an interesting job. Many people want to operate heavy equipment and help with the building process. There are some educational requirements that a person must meet before they and work as a crane operator. They need to know how the hoist and crane operates and how to safely control this equipment.

Educational Requirements

While there is no set guidelines for the amount of schooling that a person needs to operate a crane there are some opportunities that will teach a person the skills they need. A person can learn how the hoist and crane work from training on the job or completing an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship can be found through the International Union of Operating Engineers which will follow state and federal laws. These programs last between three to four years. There is also some instructions in the classroom a person will need to complete. To operate the crane a person must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalency, and they need to be in good shape to control the equipment.


Most companies want a crane to operate that is licensed or has a certificate showing that they have completed an approved training program. A person will need to undergo a physical exam and they will also need to get a passing score on a written exam. There will be a hands-on portion to the test where a person will need to show they know how to operate a crane and can do so in a safe manner. to keep the license valid and in good standing, it needs to be updated every couple of years. If a person got a certification through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators they will need to pass a written exam as well as practical exams operating the crane.

Career Information

Crane operators made an average of just over $51,000 a year. There is expected to be an 8 percent increase in this field by 2024. With the increase in global shipping, there will need to be qualified people to load and unload these items.

Crane operators will work on construction sites or they can work on ports and work in shipping and receiving. A crane operator will do more than just site during the day. They will need to spend hours standing and lifting heavy items. They will also be exposed to fumes from the construction field. The average workday is 8 hours but there is a chance for overtime. Some crane operators will only work n favorable weather conditions. There are overnight shifts that are available as well. This way business activity is not disturbed.

Some of the apprenticeship programs are paid. A person will be able to learn the skills they need to operate the crane when they are working on the job. Once they can complete this program they can take the various testing components and become licensed. This will allow them to operate the crane independently and they can see an increase in their salary. With this increase comes the responsibility of operating the crane safely.

A crane operator can learn their skills on the job. Some prefer to complete the apprenticeship so they can get the certification that they need. There is going to be an increase in employment for crane operators and for those with an interest in the construction field this is something that they should seriously consider.

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