Floating Crane Operator

Move goods from ships and barges to dry land.
picture of Floating Crane Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $79,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Floating Crane Operators do?

Using large equipment to move other large equipment and supplies—that’s the job of the Floating Crane Operator. A floating crane is stationed on large buoys or rafts, and operates on the water. The Floating Crane Operator uses that machine to move goods to and from large boats and barges.

As a Floating Crane Operator, you work at shipyards and waterways and along the docks, typically for commercial boating operations. Working with Shipyard Managers, Margo-managers, and Commercial Captains, you ensure smooth sailing when it comes to loading and unloading cargo.

Skilled in problem solving, reading, memorization, and time management, you’re responsible for cargo worth millions of dollars. The livelihood of many often depends on your accuracy and attention, making the position stressful.

Mechanical skills are also essential as a Floating Crane Operator, as you’re responsible for routine maintenance and upkeep of the crane. A working knowledge of both hand and power tools is needed to complete projects, such as cleaning and lubricating the working parts of the crane.

Physical strength and stamina are required as well. The job is physically demanding and requires manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and the drive to push through fatigue to get the job done.

Working under pressure is a routine part of your day, as you have limited amounts of time to complete your duties. The boats and barges you work on must keep a rigid schedule to deliver goods on time.

Since your job is done on the water and may require climbs to the top of the crane beam, nerves of steel and a steady step will serve you well.

Should I be a Floating Crane Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Operating Technician

    How to become a Floating Crane Operator

    Most Floating Crane Operators have a Certificate or no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:98baaa&chl=no+college+%2850%25%29|certificate+%2849%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,50,50
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