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Crane Operator

Crane Operators operate a variety of machines to lift and move materials, equipment or products, safely and efficiently.

The role

  • Controlling equipment with levers, wheels or foot pedals
  • Moving material according to a plan or schedule
  • Setting up and repairing equipment
  • Making minor repairs to machinery
  • Conducting  daily maintenance checks and reporting any issues to supervisor
  • Keeping records of material movement
  • Overhead crane operator ensuring that travel routes are clear, avoid lifting over other people, will often sling the loads themselves
  • In a full-time position, Crane Operators usually work between 35 and 40 hours per week
  • Working hours can vary and you may have to do some overtime in order to meet project deadlines

Katie Kelleher - Crane Operator

"I wish I joined the industry years ago"

Qualifications and training

Although no formal entry qualifications are required to become a Crane Operator, it is generally recommended to achieve four GCSEs, including maths and English, at grade 4 (C) or above, or their equivalents, such as the Welsh Baccalaureate or Scottish Nationals.

While experience as a Crane Operator may not always be necessary, many employers will value construction site work experience in prospective employees.

On-the-job training, including working under the supervision of an experienced Crane Operator, is a common route to becoming a proficient Crane Operator. This allows for the development of the specific skills and qualifications required for the role. 

Similarly, applying for a Crane Operation apprenticeship offers an alternative entry route into the profession. A combination of classroom-based theory and practical training will result in the attainment of a relevant NVQ/SVQ Diploma in Plant Operations and the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) Operator card.


  • Trainee and newly trained Crane Operators can earn in the region of £17,000 to £20,000
  • Trained with experience Crane Operators can earn in the region of £20,000 to £35,000
  • More experienced Crane Operators may earn in excess of £35,000

Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility.




Check out the latest Crane Operator vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. 

Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

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