According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 5% increase in the job market demand for crane operators by 2026. This means that people with the right set of skills and talents can build a solid career in this field, enjoying something everyone wants: job stability.
An experienced crane operator will always find work on construction sites. And there are many construction development projects across the US, from new residential complexes to office buildings and commercial centers.
Advantages of Choosing to Become a Crane Operator
There is one more aspect that is worth mentioning here. Apart from job stability, many employees across the globe fear that their job will become obsolete or end up being performed by robots.
This is not the case for crane operators. The average industrial robot cannot meet the physical and mental demands of the job. As for advanced robots, they are too expensive to build and train to become a feasible replacement for experienced crane operators.
What Are the Job Duties of a Crane Operator?
Mobile overhead cranes are complex machines used in construction sites to hoist and lift heavy weights, i.e. construction materials, assembled parts, etc. They are very tall and heavy and have a complex operating panel.
Any incident involving cranes, be it through malfunction or unskilled operation, can have tragic consequences, as many lives can be lost. Therefore, the crane operator has a huge responsibility in their daily activities.
These activities involve:
- Inspecting the key systems of the crane at the beginning of the shift
- Moving the crane arm in the desired position to start lifting materials
- Keeping a record of all the materials lifted during the shift
- Performing minor repairs
- Reporting any incident or malfunction.
What Kind of Training Does a Crane Operator Need?
To work as a crane operator, a person needs to obtain certification (valid throughout the US territory) and, as applicable, local licensing as per their state requirements. Also, they must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent (the GED certificate) before enrolling in training courses.
The training path involves:
- Enroll in a Trade School
Trade schools offer one or two-year training programs teaching about the construction industry in general and crane operation in particular.
- Enroll in a General Operator Training Program
This type of theoretical training is in-depth and provides the trainee with the knowledge they need to inspect and operate a crane. This is a fast paced program, which lasts a few months.
- Obtain an Apprenticeship
After completing a crane operator training Colorado program and obtaining the certificate, the next step is to become an apprentice to a licensed crane operator. This is where the future crane operator truly learns their trade by observing an experienced professional and performing various tasks under supervision.
- Obtain the Crane Operator Certification
Once the apprentice is certain that they can pass the test, they can apply to take the Crane Operator Certification test. Once they obtain this certification, they can legally work as crane operators on the US territory.
- Apply for the State License
Bases on the Crane Operator Certification, go to the local authorities to obtain the required licensing.