Summary Report for:
53-7021.00 - Crane and Tower Operators
Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.
Sample of reported job titles: Crane Operator, Heavy Equipment Operator, Machine Operator, Material Handler, Mobile Crane Operator, Overhead Crane Operator, Port Crane Operator, Scrap Crane Operator, Winchman/Crane Operator, Woodyard Crane Operator
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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 and adjust crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage.
- Inspect cables or grappling devices for wear and install or replace cables, as needed.
- Direct helpers engaged in placing blocking or outrigging under cranes.
- Clean, lubricate, and maintain mechanisms such as cables, pulleys, or grappling devices, making repairs as necessary.
- Load or unload bundles from trucks or move containers to storage bins, using moving equipment.
- Review daily work or delivery schedules to determine orders, sequences of deliveries, or special loading instructions.
- Inspect bundle packaging for conformance to regulations or customer requirements and remove and batch packaging tickets.
- Direct truck drivers backing vehicles into loading bays and cover, uncover, or secure loads for delivery.
- Weigh bundles, using floor scales, and record weights for company records.
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Industrial control software — Crane operation control software
- Inventory management software — Inventory tracking software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adjustable wrenches
- All terrain cranes — All-terrain cranes
- Angle grinder — Angle grinders
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Below the hook device — Anti-two block devices; Lifting magnets; Spreader beams; Tower attachments
- Bench vises
- Blocks or pulleys — Hook blocks
- Blow torch — Oxyacetylene torches; Propane torches
- Box end wrenches — Closed-end wrenches
- Bridge cranes — Gantry cranes
- Calipers — Vernier calipers
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Demolition equipment kits — Iron balls; Overhaul balls
- Demolition hammers
- Draglines — Dragline buckets
- Drum grabs — Barrel clamps
- Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
- Ear plugs — Protective ear plugs
- Earthmoving buckets or its parts or accessories — Clamshell buckets; Orange peel buckets
- Floor or platform scales — Floor scales
- Force or torque sensors — Load monitoring indicators; Rated load indicators
- Forklifts — Pallet forks
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Grapples — Timber tongs
- Grease guns
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Survival suits
- Hoists — Chain falls
- Hydraulic truck cranes — Cab cranes; Hydraulic truck-mounted cranes
- Impact wrenches — Electric impact wrenches
- Jacks — Hydraulic jacks
- Jib crane — Jib cranes
- Lifting hooks — Clips; Lifting clamps; Load hooks; Wedge sockets
- Linear position sensors — Boom length indicators
- Needlenose pliers
- Oil gun — Oilcans
- Open end wrenches
- Paint sprayers — Paint application sprayers
- Pile drivers — Drop hammers
- Pneumatic impact wrenches
- Power drills
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Power washers; Steam cleaning equipment
- Pry bars
- Pullers — Comealongs
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Drift pins; Punches
- Ratchets — Ratchet sets
- Rotary position sensors — Boom angle indicators
- Rough terrain cranes — Rough-terrain cranes
- Safety glasses
- Safety harnesses or belts — Fall arrest harnesses
- Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Robertson screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
- Shackle — Shackles
- Sledge hammer — Sledgehammers
- Slings — Lifting slings
- Slip or groove joint pliers — Slip joint pliers
- Specialty wrenches — Spud wrenches
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Tinners snips — Snips
- Tire pressure gauge — Tire pressure gauges
- Touch screen monitors — Wireless touch screen monitors
- Tower cranes — Friction cranes; Luffing jib cranes; Ringer cranes
- Track cranes — Crawler cranes; Monorail cranes
- Track excavators — Excavators
- Two way radios
- Wear testers — Wear gauges
- Welding masks
- Wire brushes
- Wire cutters — Wire rope cutters
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Multilimb Coordination — 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.
- Depth Perception — 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.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Rate Control — 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.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Glare Sensitivity — The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
- Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Detailed Work Activities
- Weigh materials to ensure compliance with specifications.
- Verify information or specifications.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Inspect material-moving equipment to detect problems.
- Maintain material moving equipment in good working condition.
- Install parts, assemblies, or attachments in transportation or material handling equipment.
- Direct material handling or moving activities.
- Clean machinery or equipment.
- Load shipments, belongings, or materials.
- Review work orders or schedules to determine operations or procedures.
- Secure cargo.
- Signal others to coordinate vehicle movement.
- Record operational or production data.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 79% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Contact With Others — 77% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 78% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 52% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to High Places — 47% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 29% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Important.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: RCI
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$24.83 hourly, $51,650 annual|
|Employment (2014)||46,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||19,200|
|Top industries (2014)|
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Material moving machine operators . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.