If you are thinking of going into this occupation, you might be asking yourself ‘is being a crane operator the right job for me?’
Being a crane operator is one of the most challenging jobs and may also be the most fulfilling. It is also one of the most rewarding and in demand profession in the construction industry.
The paycheck is quit well, at the end of the week, an operator can make as much as $2,500 with the exclusion of tax and other deductions, this quit decent considering that you don’t need a 4 –year degree to become a crane operator.
Crane operators are treated with respect by superiors on the jobsite, as opposed to other lowly workers and laborers. It might find it unfair, but that’s the reality in the real world.
Crane operators are given free training by the employers. The company is the one responsible for your continuous growth and learning. If training is needed, the employer will provide you with such at their own expense.
These are some of the main benefits of becoming a crane operator.
If you have the passion to work with these machineries, being a crane operator may be the right one for you. Knowing where your interest is can help you reach your career goals.
So what is a crane operator, what are their tasks and how do you become one?
A crane operator is someone who uses a crane to move oversized objects such as heavy materials on construction sites, containers in wharves and high-density loads and supplies in factories. There are many types of cranes but the most common are mobile cranes, tower cranes, boom trucks and self-erect tower cranes.
There are required skills and pieces of training you need to acquire before you can become a crane operator. Here are the most basic:
- High school diploma or equivalent;
- Vocational School Heavy Equipment Program;
- 3 to 4 years apprenticeship
- Some states require licensure
- Other operators can pursue Voluntary Certification through National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
- Most employers prefer 2 to 5 years of on the job experience
- Good hand and eye coordination
- Physical ability to operate the machine
- Strong mechanical skills
- Understanding of Computer Systems used in the machine
In Crane Operating business, you need to be able to get really well along with others. You must get your ego checked once in a while.
Most employers will immediately call your company if they have complaints against your work attitude and you might not be able to on projects that they may have in the future.
The job entails a solid teamwork between you and the people on the ground so you have to earn your colleagues’ respect. To be able to do that, you must be knowledgeable about the tasks; you must always come to work on time and preferably have an idea about loading and landing heavy equipment.
If you don’t have a good depth of perception against different loads, you might need to work on it double time. You need to be able to handle stress and be willing to work long hours and sometimes away from your family for months. Laziness and tardiness will get you kicked out very quickly.
Why You Should Pursue Crane Operator Career?
The Construction industry is constantly expanding and never cease. The industry is always on the lookout for qualified individuals to become member of the workforce.
More and more companies are building high-rise structures and skyscrapers that require the collaboration of different skilled and professional people. It is important for these construction companies to have the best team of workers in order to put up infrastructures safely and efficiently.
As our cities develop, so does the demand for skilled workers and engineers to build homes, buildings, bridges, etc. to create sustainable and livable communities. Different construction projects would require the expertise of experienced construction workers, truck drivers, crane operators, electricians, painters, civil engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, etc.
Seasoned crane operators who have been in the business for decades have shared their career journey; they became instructors to vocational trade schools and speakers in many different conventions. With great experience under their belt, they have listed down some of the best reasons to pursue the crane operation career:
- Crane operating gives you a sense of purpose knowing that the job can be challenging and may impose often impossible tasks that only you have the ability to address.
- It gives you a sense of fulfillment when you look at the building that you helped put up or pass by a bridge you helped constructing.
- It gives you a sense of pride after many years from the time of completion; the next generation will be able to enjoy what you have put up.
- It gives you a sense of gratification knowing that you are good at something that many people find difficult.
- The pay is really good. As a newbie in the industry, you will earn $18-$35 per hour. But if you are a seasoned large crane operator, you usually earn around $60-$70 per hour. You will also receive double pay for overtime and out of town projects.
- The career growth is vast. You can become a supervisor, foreman or operate your very own crane operating business.
How Do You Know this is the Right Career for You?
As with many career paths, choosing to become a crane operator entails passion for the job. You know this is the right job for you when you enjoy doing the tasks involving crane operating.
You should feel excited about going to work upon waking up in the morning. You want to learn the standards, safety protocols and get as many advice from seasoned crane operators. Also, it is crucial to be able to put your skills into practice day in and day out without losing enthusiasm.
You must feel valued in the company by sending you to pieces of training and seminars to upgrade your skills. This job should inspire you to become better by going through continuous teaching and skills advancement.
This career should also complement you in achieving your personal goals, align in your values and parallel with your interests in life.
Crane Operating is no easy job. It takes a highly skilled and determined person to be able to last in this career path.
You have to consider both the good and bad sides of the job.
This job will take a toll on your health in the long run as you will be sitting for long hours inside the crane equipment so it is advisable to keep your food intake healthy, get enough sleep and get into a fitness routine that you can maintain.
You get to sit there for hours and that will get you out of shape. Suddenly, you are required to be out of work and that’s when the injury comes in and it may last for years.
The job has variety too because of the different tasks every day; the paychecks are good, and you go home happy and satisfied after doing a good job and after helping put up something that the next generations will be able to enjoy.
To Make a Finalization
Being a crane operator does entail some requirements in certification and experience. You have to have NCCCO certification and on-the-job experience to become a crane operator. The prospective employer will require you these from you.
Taking the crane operator training is the first step towards achieving this job. The training could last several weeks or months; and to broaden your knowledge, you can apply to become an apprentice. The apprenticeship training could last 3 years, you will paid as an entry-level operator when you doing the apprenticeship program.
Through these ways, you will acquire the skills and experience needed to become a professional operator. You will be given a much higher pay and benefits. You will reap the fruits of your labor.
If you are still having doubt if is becoming a crane operator the right job for you, then give yourself a break, think and make the decision to pursue this career.