Crane Operator: Education Requirements and Career Information

Crane operators lift and transport heavy materials using mobile, tower or overhead cranes. Entering the occupation requires no formal education, and most operators learn their skills through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Some states require material movers to earn and maintain a specialized license. Read on to find out the education requirements and career information for crane operators.

View Popular Schools »

Crane Operator Education Requirements

There are no strict educational guidelines for crane operation. Most crane operators get their experience through on-the-job training or apprenticeships. The International Union of Operating Engineers, for example, offers federal- and state-registered apprenticeship programs through its local sectors (www.iuoe.org). Such programs typically last 3-4 years and combine classroom education with paid training in the field. Apprenticeship candidates generally must be 18 years or older, have a school diploma or equivalent and be in fit physical condition.

Certification and Licensure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 17 states require crane operators to be licensed (www.bls.gov). Procedures for obtaining a license vary according to state, but usually include taking a physical exam, passing a written test and demonstrating safe crane operation. Operators must update licensure every few years. Some states require candidates to complete a training program or earn certification from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, which involves passing written and practical exams (www.nccco.org).

Crane Operator Career Information

In May 2012, crane and tower operators earned a mean annual wage of $50,610, according to the BLS. Employment of crane and tower operators is expected to increase 16 percent from 2010-2020. The BLS expected this growth to result from increases in global shipping, which will require more professionals to help with loading and unloading. Job prospects are also good due to the occupation's high turnover rate; opportunities will continue to become available as large numbers of crane operators retire or leave the profession.

Crane operators may work in manufacturing industries, as well as on construction sites or at shipping and receiving ports. The occupation is physically demanding and often involves working outside, lifting heavy objects and being exposed to construction and manufacturing elements such as fumes, chemicals and loud machinery. Crane operators typically work eight hours or longer per day, but their shifts tend to have unusual frequency; some operators may work only in suitable weather conditions or seasons, while others may work overnight to avoid disturbing the public.

Show me popular schools

Related to Crane Operator: Education Requirements and Career Information

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Become a Certified Crane Operator: Education and Career Roadmap

Certified crane operators use heavy equipment to move large materials and pieces of machinery in the construction and...

Tower Crane Operator: Training Requirements and Job Description

Tower crane operators use crane equipment to move heavy loads for industries such as manufacturing, shipping and construction....

Become a Tower Crane Operator: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a tower crane operator. Research the education and career requirements, licensure and experience required...

Crane Technician: Salary, Duties and Outlook

Crane technicians are specialized mechanics who work on the mobile equipment that transports heavy materials. This hands-on...

Bridge Crane Operator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Ground Transportation
        • Heavy Equipment Operation
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New Castle School of Trades include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Ground Transportation
        • Heavy Equipment Operation
        • Truck, Bus and Commercial Driver
  • School locations:
    • North Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Dakota include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Air Transportation and Distribution
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Library Science and Related Professions
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at East Tennessee State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Macon State College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Drafting and Design Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Grand Valley State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at San Diego State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright