Hydraulic Crane Operator

Maneuver the big rig cranes to expertly hoist the really heavy stuff.
picture of Hydraulic Crane Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $79,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Hydraulic Crane Operators do?

A Hydraulic Crane Operator controls and maneuvers a large piece of heavy-duty machinery, moving objects from one point to another. When you’re a Hydraulic Crane Operator, there are a large variety of cranes you could end up operating, including fixed boom, knuckle boom, telescoping, jib, davit, and any number of custom cranes. The weights and abilities of the cranes also differ; for example, a 400-ton crane means that it can lift 400 tons, a 500-ton crane can lift 500 tons, and so on.

With such a wide variety of cranes on offer, a Hydraulic Crane Operator should focus on being an expert in just a couple of them. The places you work in determine what kinds of cranes you’ll be using, but find one you love working with. Not only does this make the job more enjoyable, but it also lets you master safety procedures easily.

The field of construction is a dangerous work environment, so a large part of your job entails checking the surrounding area before setting up your workstation. After you find the area to be safe, you set up the crane and prepare it for hoisting.

You keep an eye on many variables, including the condition of your machine, which you carefully maintain. But you also take into consideration the weather, the condition of the ground you’re working on, the condition of the materials you’re moving, and the overall capacity of the crane. That’s because the hydraulic crane is one of the biggest and baddest machines on the lot, so you should take extra special care when you’re swinging that boom around.

Should I be a Hydraulic Crane Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Hydrocrane Operator

    How to become a Hydraulic Crane Operator

    Most Hydraulic 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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