What Do Crane and Tower Operators Do?
Crane and tower operators are responsible for lifting and moving heavy material, parts, and resources at work sites in construction and other industries. They operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment in order to complete their tasks. There is a lot of demand for crane and tower operators across the country. Currently, there are almost 44,000 people employed in this position. The annual growth rate for operator jobs is a whopping 17%, which means in twenty years, there could be as many as 51,200 jobs for operators. If you want to experience that level of job security in a non-office setting, you should consider becoming a crane and tower operator.
Crane and Tower Operators Skills and Abilities
This type of work requires quite a bit of mechanical and technical skill. You will need to understand and be able to use machines and tools. You should have experience with different types of heavy equipment and transportation. You will most likely need to have a commercial specialized driver’s license. You will need to be familiar with public safety standards to avoid any workplace accidents. Other skills required include:
- Operation, control, and monitoring of equipment and machinery.
- Critical thinking.
- Mathematical skills.
- Control precision.
- Exceptional gross motor coordination.
- Good vision and depth perception.
- Excellent reaction time.
Crane and Tower Operators Duties
You should be familiar with operating a variety of heavy equipment. You may need to use cranes, cherry pickers, electromagnets, and other lifting and moving machinery. You must be able to determine load weights and lifting capacity of the machinery you use. You will be responsible for maintaining a safe working environment, which means you will be inspecting lifting mechanisms and cables to check for wear. You will need to assist others as a team in operating the machinery. This job will require heavy lifting, so you need to be in good physical condition. Expect to maintain good written records of material handling and keeping a clean and safe work space.
Crane and Tower Operators Tools and Technology
Since this job is physical and technical, you will be working regularly with tools and heavy equipment. Cranes and hooking devices are used for moving loads. You will employ lifting hooks in order to secure the load to the crane or tower. Other basic tools and hardware are frequently used in this line of work. In addition, you will need to be proficient in software for industrial settings. These software systems are specific to inventory control and management as well as data base spreadsheets.
Education and Training for Crane and Tower Operators
You will be able to perform work as a crane and tower operator with a high school diploma. The majority of your training will be on-the-job as you become familiar with the equipment and safety concerns. Additional instructional programs are available in a community college or technical school setting.
These courses are specific to construction and heavy equipment operation. The majority of people performing this work have earned a high school diploma.
Crane and Tower Operators Salary
The salary range for crane and tower operators depends greatly on your geographical region and level of experience. On average, the annual salary is almost $51,000. The lowest 10% earn $30,500, while the top 10% can make up to $81,500. With good performance and a clean safety record, you should be able to increase your salary from the base level.
Crane and Tower Operators Jobs by Geography
Operator jobs can be found in areas with manufacturing, construction, and other heavy industry. The states with the highest concentration of these jobs are California, Texas, and Louisiana. The states experiencing the most growth for this work include Nevada, Colorado, and North Carolina.