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Career Profile: Skills You Need to Be A Crane Operator

Working in the construction industry offers a lot of different career opportunities, and crane operator is one of them. Essentially, as a crane operator, you’ll be responsible for operating purpose-built equipment to lift heavy loads. However, the overall responsibilities are much more.


If it’s not clear already, this isn’t exactly a ‘safe job’ and, therefore, not for everyone. However, the good news is that only around 44 thousand crane operators exist in the US, so the job opportunities would be ample. Moreover, the $30.77 hourly wage isn’t bad either.


Cranes at a construction site in the US

So what exactly does a crane operator do, and what are the skills required for this job? Let’s find out!


What a Crane Operator Does

As we discussed before, the essential task is to operate cranes to pick up, maneuver, and deliver heavy loads from one location to another. However, there are several other responsibilities of a crane operator that are worth mentioning.

  • Communication with construction supervisors to determine daily tasks and work schedules

  • Operation of different types of cranes, including tower cranes, bridge or overhead cranes, telescopic cranes, and mobile cranes

  • Inspecting cranes daily and periodically to identify any maintenance or repair issues

  • Repairing cranes and other related equipment such as ATB warning systems, load indicators, and rated capacity indicators

  • Planning with construction workers to move beams and construction equipment from one location to another

  • Voicing any safety concerns to ensure the workers are safe during the operation of the crane.

As you can probably tell, being a crane operator is about more than just lifting heavy loads using cranes. It involves a lot of communication, planning, and organization. So, what skills are required to become a crane operator? Let’s take a look!


Tower crane operator

Skills Required To Be A Crane Operator

Crane operators need to have technical and interpersonal skills to contribute effectively and ensure safe crane operation at all times. These are the most required skills a crane operator should have:


Mechanical Skills and Aptitude

Crane operators need to have the proper training and education on maneuvering cranes, but this also requires manual dexterity and precision. The need for precise control is more so when crane operators have to work on uneven terrain, which is mostly the case on construction sites.


Alertness and Awareness

Crane operators need to be alert and aware at all times. They are not just focused on the crane but on their surroundings as well to ensure safe crane maneuvering. This can be quite a challenge when crane operators have to work long or overnight shifts.


Verbal Communication

Crane operators need to possess good verbal skills to be able to communicate clearly with construction workers about their needs and safety concerns. Crane operators will also need to identify any safety issues and communicate with their supervisors effectively.


Good Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is about how the person processes the information using sight and uses it to perform tasks with their hands promptly. Crane operators require excellent hand-eye coordination and have superb attention to detail to be able to ensure safe and efficient operation.


Focus on Safety

Other people present on the construction site may not see the safety concerns and threats of crane operation. Crane operators need to put emphasis on safety and make others aware of the risks. Crane safety should be a priority for them as any incident will be blamed on them too.


Crane operators shouldn’t operate cranes without the proper safety equipment, not only because it’s unsafe but also because it violates OSHA guidelines.


At Crane Warning Systems Atlanta, we offer crane safety equipment such as anti-two-block warning systems, crane anemometer and load indicators that help crane operators prevent dangerous incidents. As the national distributor of RaycoWylie in the US, CWSA ensures that cranes on construction sites all over America are safe.


Check out our crane safety products, or get in touch with us to learn more about our crane overload system.

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