What is a Crane Operator?

Also known as: Certified Crane Operator.

Crane operators use machinery to transport various objects. Some operators move construction materials around building sites or earth around a mine. Others move goods around a warehouse or onto and off of container ships. Crane operators work full time and have eight-hour shifts, although longer shifts and overtime are common.

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What does a Crane Operator do?

Crane operators typically do the following:

  • Control equipment with levers, wheels, or foot pedals
  • Move material according to a plan or schedule they receive from their superiors
  • Set up and inspect material moving equipment
  • Make minor repairs to their equipment
  • Record the material they have moved and where they moved it from and to.

In warehouse environments, most crane operators use forklifts and conveyor belts. Automated sensors and tags are increasingly used to keep track of merchandise, allowing operators to work faster. In warehouses, operators usually work closely with hand material movers. Many crane operators work for underground and surface mining companies. They help to dig or expose the mine, remove the earth and rock, and extract the ore and other mined materials. In construction, crane operators remove earth to clear space for buildings. Some work on a building site for the entire length of the construction project. For example, operators often help to construct high-rise buildings by transporting materials to workers far above ground level.

What is the workplace of a Crane Operator like?

Crane operators work in a variety of industries, such as construction, mining, metal manufacturing, and warehousing and storage.


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