Tower Crane Operator

Operate a huge tower crane to move around heavy materials.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $79,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tower Crane Operators do?

Tower cranes are most visible looming large and powerful on the skylines of cities. But they’re also found in a variety of other settings, moving heavy loads, including equipment and building materials as well as cargo.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being the mind behind the mechanical muscle that makes all that possible, then this could be the job for you. As a Tower Crane Operator, you work with a team of construction or materials-moving professionals. Though you’re physically above them, you have to work as an equal and as a good team player if you want to succeed.

You need steady hands, good eyesight, and the ability to follow directions from Supervisors and teammates. Often, when moving materials with a tower crane, you rely on directions from outside the control booth. These directions can come via radio or hand signals.

However you’re being advised, the final responsibility for safety rests with you. The Tower Crane Operator is charged with responsibly operating one of the most powerful materials-moving machines ever constructed. You can never be too careful or cautious when doing this job.

Forty-hour workweeks are the norm for Tower Crane Operators. While overtime may be required from time to time, it’s important to never be tired or impaired in any way while operating your machine.

Additionally, you’re often called upon to be actively involved in the maintenance and inspection of your crane. Several high-profile crane accidents stemming from the failure of major cities to properly inspect their tower cranes have led to increased scrutiny of their safety records and inspection reports. As a Tower Crane Operator, you have the chance to turn the tide, and show the world how safe, reliable, and useful these machines can be.

Should I be a Tower Crane Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Coal Tower Operator, Power Crane Operator

    How to become a Tower Crane Operator

    Most Tower 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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