Crane and Tower Operators


DESCRIPTION

Crane and Tower Operators operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.

WHAT YOU'LL DO

  • Determine load weights and check them against lifting capacities to prevent overload. 
  • Move levers, depress foot pedals, or turn dials to operate cranes, cherry pickers, electromagnets, or other moving equipment for lifting, moving, or placing loads. 
  • Inspect and adjust crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage. 
  • Inspect cables or grappling devices for wear and install or replace cables, as needed. 
  • Direct helpers engaged in placing blocking or outrigging under cranes.

SKILLS & ABILITIES REQUIRED

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

  • Below the hook device — Anti-two block devices; Lifting magnets; Spreader beams; Tower attachments 
  • Lifting hooks — Clips; Lifting clamps; Load hooks; Wedge sockets 
  • Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Robertson screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers 
  • Tower cranes — Friction cranes; Luffing jib cranes; Ringer cranes 
  • Track cranes — Crawler cranes; Monorail cranes

AT A GLANCE

VERAGE ANNUAL WAGE

The average annual wage is $52,170 or $25.08/hour.

SALARY RANGE

Annual salaries range betweeen $31,570 and $82,600.

JOB OPENINGS (THROUGH 2026)

5,300

DEMAND (THROUGH 2026)

★★✩✩ Strong

EDUCATION & TRAINING REQUIRED

On average, 61% had a post-secondary certificate. Most occupations in this field require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree. Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.