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Also known as:
Boom Crane Operator, Bridge Crane Operator, Cherry Picker Operator, Coal Tower Operator, Electric Crane Operator, Erecting Crane Operator, Monorail Crane Operator, Overhead Crane Operator, Port Crane Operator, Radio Control Crane Operator
For a passerby, it seems amazing that any one person can handle the crane towering over a construction site. It appears to have a life of its own--a gigantic creature bending, turning, and lifting materials, machinery or other heavy objects. But someone is very much in control. Crane and tower opera ...
tors are highly trained construction professionals who have reached the height of the equipment operation ladder--literally!
Material-moving equipment operators are classified by the type of equipment they operate, and nothing is more complex or important than the cranes and towers that make big building projects possible. The operator extends or retracts a horizontally mounted boom to lower or raise a hook attached to what's called the load line. Maneuvers are coordinated in respond to hand signals or radioed instructions.
Most of the work for operators is not in construction, but in manufacturing. They're especially in demand in metal fabrication, primary metal, and transportation equipment manufacturing industries, where they're constantly in service moving heavy, bulky materials.
Automation is cutting into these jobs, but opportunities do open up as experienced worker retires. Their skills are learned on the job as you move up through the ranks of equipment operations. A sense of balance, good distance judgment, and excellent eye-hand-foot coordination are essential.
High School graduates with training in automobile and diesel mechanics have the best chances of getting started on operating light equipment first, then moving on to the big stuff. White private vocational schools advertise instruction and help getting an apprenticeship, it's a good idea to check out the program's reputation with local employers before you enroll.
Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Determine load weights and check them against lifting capacities to prevent overload.
Move levers, depress foot pedals, or turn dials to operate cranes, cherry pickers, electromagnets, or other moving equipment for lifting, moving, or placing loads.
Inspect cables or grappling devices for wear and install or replace cables, as needed.
Clean, lubricate, and maintain mechanisms such as cables, pulleys, or grappling devices, making repairs as necessary.
Inspect and adjust crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
The ability to see details at a distance.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.