Apprenticeships in England
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Crane operators are responsible for lifting and moving materials around a construction site as safely and efficiently as possible. As a crane driver you’d need to be practically-minded, with an understanding of how to drive and maintain heavy machinery.
35 - 40
While there are no formal qualifications needed to become a crane operator, there are several routes you could take to help you pursue this career. You could complete a college course or an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.
You should explore these routes to becoming a crane operator, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.
You may have to attend a specialist college/training provider to train as a crane operator. You could complete a qualification, such as a Level 2 Certification in Plant Operations. This is usually done as part of learning on-the-job as an employee of a company.
You'll need 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.
You could complete a lifting technician intermediate apprenticeship with a construction company to start your career as a crane operator.
You’ll need GCSE qualifications, including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship.
You could gain a job as a construction site labourer and gain experience using heavy plant machinery before training as a crane operator.
Alternatively, you could apply directly to an employer for a job as a crane operator and learn under the supervision of an experienced crane driver. You may need some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications, for this.
Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a crane operator. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.
Key skills needed for a crane operator include:
As a crane operator you will be responsible for the safe operation, control, and maintenance of cranes.
The job role of a crane operator includes the following duties:
Crane Operator, Laing O'Rourke
"I wish I joined the industry years ago"
The expected salary for a crane operator varies as you become more experienced.
Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.
* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019
Check out the latest crane operator vacancies:
As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.
As you gain more experience in your job as a crane operator, you could progress to become a crane supervisor or a banksman/slinger. You could complete a Level 3 or 4 NVQ in Lifting Operations on-the-job to improve your job prospects.
Alternatively, you could move into a more senior role as a foreman or site manager and take on responsibility for overseeing work carried out on a construction site.