Crane operators must be skilled at judging distances have good eye-hand coordination be patient not afraid of heights and like to work outdoors operating heavy machinery to hoist move and lower heavy materials. Crane operators who are sometimes called "operating engineers" work with cranes that are truck mounted self-propelled or assembled onsite on top of a tall tower.
Some cranes are moved around to different construction sites whereas others remain in place. Cranes have cabs or cabins in which crane operators sit and control the cane's movements by operating levers dials and switches often simultaneously. In modern cranes some of these controls are computerized.
Crane operators work for manufacturing shipping logging and mining industries all of which are involved in moving large containers or heavy materials such as steel. Some jobs require lifting heavy of concrete or digging dirt. This job has hazards particularly electrocution because the work performed is often close to power lines.
The website Education.com says that preparation for a career as a crane operator can begin in high school with courses in automobile mechanics electronics and mechanical drawing. To actually enter the trade however individuals must serve an apprenticeship that includes approximately three years of on-the-job training plus more than 100 hours of classroom instruction on crane operation each year.
A great deal of the training involves learning how to follow governmental and industrial safety procedures. In some states crane operators must be licensed but the qualifications vary. Individuals who have the necessary skills for crane operator jobs are in demand and the median pay is approximately $18 per hour.