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Crane supervisor

A crane supervisor is responsible for overseeing the movement of all lifting operations on a construction site to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the team.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become a crane supervisor

There are several routes to becoming a crane supervisor. You could complete a specialist college course or an apprenticeship and gain further qualifications and experience to help you move into the role.

To become a crane supervisor you will usually require experience as a crane operator, and a valid Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) crane supervisor card which can be gained through studying at a training provider.

Many employers are also interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

You could enrol on a specialist training course to learn how to be a plant operative, such as a Level 2 Certificate in Construction Plant Operations or a Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment. With further site experience you could specialise to become a crane supervisor.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


There is not a specific apprenticeship for a crane supervisor, however you could start your career as an apprentice plant operator or take on a role which gives experience on construction sites and specialise in crane operation and supervision later on.

You could complete a Plant Operator or Lifting Technician intermediate apprenticeship or an NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in Plant Operations. An intermediate apprenticeship takes around two years to complete.

You may need GCSEs (including English and maths) or equivalent, to do an apprenticeship, but not all employers ask for formal qualifications.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


If you have experience as a plant operator or, more specifically, as a crane operator, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain onsite experience as a crane supervisor. Your employer may be able to support you through any required training.

Work experience

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 supervisor. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a crane supervisor include:

  • Patience and ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Ability to operate and control equipment.


To become a crane supervisor, you could complete a:

  • Level 4 NVQ in Controlling Lifting Operations
  • Level 2 Lifting Technician Apprenticeship

To become a crane supervisor, you could complete a:

  • SVQ at SCQF Level 8 in Controlling Lifting Operations - Planning Lifts
  • Level 8 Apprenticeship in Controlling Lifting Operations - Planning Lifts

To become a crane supervisor, you could complete a:

  • Level 5 NVQ in Controlling Lifting Operations Planning Lifts

What does a crane supervisor do?

As a crane supervisor you will be responsible for the management and safety of those working on site. You will make sure that regulations are followed to maintain health and safety at all time. 

The job role of a crane supervisor includes the following duties:

  • Working as part of a team to ensure lifting operations comply with the law and they secure the health and safety of employees and of all those affected by the operations
  • Co-ordinating and supervising all lifting activities in accordance with the Lifting Plan
  • Briefing all lifting team members
  • Being present during all lifting operations
  • Ensuring that ground conditions are safe for any operations involving mobile cranes
  • Taking suitable measures to rectify unsafe conditions
  • Ensuring only registered operators and appointed staff are involved in any lifting operation
  • In a full-time position, Crane Supervisors usually work between 35 and 40 hours per week
  • Working hours can be variable and overtime may be required in order to meet project deadlines

How much could you earn as a crane supervisor?

The expected salary for a crane supervisor varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained crane supervisors can earn in the region of £25,000
  • Trained crane supervisors with some experience can earn £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior crane supervisors can earn in excess of £40,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest crane supervisor 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.

Career path and progression

As a crane supervisor, you could progress your skills to become a site manager. Alternatively, you could transfer your skills to become a banksman/signaller.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Crane supervisor For those wanting to work as part of a team, crane supervisors oversee the lifti...
    Read more
  • Current role Site manager Site managers organise work on building sites, making sure it’s completed safely...
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