Careers in Construction: Crane Operator

Work IN Roads team member Eric Fisher stands next to large red crane at jobsite

Are you ready to start working in a career you enjoy that pays you well? If so, consider the surprisingly exciting career of crane operation in civil construction! 

This blog aims to guide you through the basics of a career in road-building, making it a great read for young individuals who are starting their careers or anyone seeking something new and exciting.

What Even is a Crane Operator?

While the basic job function is in the name. There is way more to being a crane operator than just moving joysticks!

They’re responsible for maneuvering massive cranes to lift and move heavy materials, from steel beams to concrete blocks, with precision and finesse. It’s like playing with giant, real-life Legos on a whole new level.

You can expect to use new technology to help you figure out the most efficient way to move items and so much more. If you get bored easily, this is a great career for you.

But Why Should You Consider a Career as a Crane Operator?

In 2023 and beyond, there are more career paths than you can count, which can sometimes be a bad thing. So many people struggle with what to do with their careers because there are just so many choices!

I will help you narrow it down.

Here are some reasons we at Work IN Roads believe being a crane operator is worth your time and effort.

1. High Demand in a Graying Industry

The civil construction industry faces a workforce crisis as many current and experienced crane operators are near retirement age. 

This shortage opens up exciting opportunities for young individuals to step in and fill the void. The timing couldn’t be better to establish yourself in the field.

2. A Real-Life Adventure

If the idea of climbing to great heights and orchestrating complex, heavy lifts makes you excited, crane operation is the perfect fit. 

Every day on the job is an adventure, and it’s not your typical 9-to-5 desk job. Say goodbye to the mundane and hello to the extraordinary, as many crane operators travel for work.

3. Impressive Earning Potential

You’ll enjoy a way better than average income and benefits as a young crane operator. 

The salary can start strong, and as you gain experience, you’ll watch your earnings rise. Plus, there’s job security in being part of a much-needed profession.

Training and Education: 

You don’t need a college degree to become a crane operator, which is fantastic news for those who prefer hands-on learning. Training programs, often offered by unions and technical schools, provide the necessary skills to operate cranes safely and effectively.

The Steps to Soaring as a Crane Operator

Here’s a basic roadmap to kick-start your career as a crane operator:

1. Research: Dive into the world of crane operation to understand the responsibilities and daily life of an operator. Use online resources and videos to build a deeper understanding of WHAT exactly your career would look like.

2. Training: You can enroll in a crane operator training program, which typically lasts a few months and provides the foundation you need. However, many individuals start as a laborer and move up inside the same company.

3. Certification: Obtain the required certifications, like the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) certification, to prove your competency.

4. Apprenticeship: You can join a crane operator apprenticeship program to gain practical experience working under the guidance of experienced operators.

5. Job Search: Start your job hunt by looking for highly rated companies online that are hiring. To get the most out of your career, you will want to work with a company that has a strong culture of upward mobility.

What’s Next?

If you made it through this blog, then you probably have an interest in being a crane operator. Congratulations! Interest is the first step to a long, fulfilling career in road building.

We recommend reaching out to local companies and making a connection with them. You will then be able to ask detailed questions and see exactly how the process of becoming a crane operator would go.