Crane operators are heavy machine operators who specialize in working on cranes. They’re employed in all sorts of environments, from construction sites to harbors, which require constant short-range transportation of heavy items and equipment. A crane operator may be tasked with performing maintenance on the crane under their control as well. Sometimes, cranes aren’t utilized for transporting objects, and for example they’ve seen a lot of popularity in the area of building demolition, being used to swing weights – though this has declined in use in recent years as explosive began to take ground.
Crane operators are usually taught most of their important skills in a combination of on-the-job-training and specialized classes. A good deal of the courses offered concentrate on the safety issues with operating a crane, and a good sense of safety is one of the most important characteristics of good crane operators. Using radio equipment to communicate with workers on the ground is part of the job as well, and crane workers must be adept in the various types of equipment utilized. Additionally, since most cranes’ controls are computerized nowadays, good computer skills are a must too.
A crane operator is relatively well-compensated for their job, earning between $30,000 and $55,000 annually. The operator’s particular experience and prior employment can influence their salary very highly – some knowledgeable operators have reported salaries as high as $70,000, which compared to the rest of the construction business is quite high – though it comes with strict experience requirements, too.