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Crane Operator Job Prospects

Aug 17, 2007
Crane operators are hired professionals, who control the cranes to lift, shift and place materials at construction sites.

Nature of work:

Crane operators usually work at the following:

- Heavy industrial sites.
- Institutional and commercial sites.
- Construction sites building homes, renovating existing homes.
- Civil engineering sites.

The companies requiring heavy material usage hire crane operators. Some such companies are construction companies, railways, crane rental companies and mining and shipbuilding companies.

Crane operators are responsible for the following tasks:
- Lifting, moving and placing materials and tools, using cranes.
- Analyzing crane capacity.
- Assembling tower cranes when required on site.
- Maintaining the cranes.
- Examining the cranes for probable snags.
- Cleaning and lubricating the cranes.

Work conditions:

Crane operators work in unpleasant conditions. There is dust, noise and pollution all around. The job involves high risk to life and therefore it becomes inevitable that utmost care is taken when operating a crane. These professionals are offered special on-the-site training to execute safety at work. They need to be aware of the dangers involved and are advised to take the relevant safety measures to avoid injury.

Generally crane operators are required to work for 40 hours a week or 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. However, they may be required to work for a shorter period in winter. Sometimes there is no work during winter.

Crane operators are required to travel extensively to meet work requirements. Their lodging and food is taken care of by the parent company. It is for this reason that these professionals are also known as Long shore Workers.

Qualifications:

The basic criteria to qualify as a crane operator are good mathematical and analytical skills, problem solving attitude and the ability to work with an existent team. These professionals need to be alert all the time.

The following are the basic qualities and criteria for the job:

a) Crane operators should be physically fit to perform the task on site.
b) They should have good eyesight.
c) These professionals should possess a practical aptitude for machinery.
d) They should have a steady hand to balance the gears properly.
e) They must be 18 years of age or above.
f) They are required to produce a valid driving license, in case they are working for a mobile crane.
g) Although a formal qualification is not the pre-requisite to work as a crane operator, GCSE grades or the equivalent with English, mathematics or a technical subject is preferable.

Crane operator certifications can be availed of to meet the requirements of certain states. Journeyperson certificates are awarded to candidates who appear for one to three year apprenticeship programs.

Along with apprenticeship programs there are other short-term programs that offer training in specialized plant and crane operations. Crane operators with the relevant experience can rise to the designation of site inspectors or site managers.

Range of salary:

The hourly salary range for Journeyperson certified crane operators varies from $ 17 to $34, depending on the work experience.
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