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Crane driver

Alternative titles for this job include Mobile crane driver, tower crane operator

Crane drivers operate lifting machinery on construction, quarrying and mining sites, at ports and in warehouses.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£37,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends away from home

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a crane driver

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college qualification like:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Plant Operations
  • T level for Lifting Technicians

These would teach you how to operate different types of plant machinery. You could then apply to construction companies for a trainee position.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a lifting technician intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as a construction site labourer. Once you've got experience of using heavy plant machinery like excavators, you could do training on the job to move into crane operation.

Direct Application

You could apply directly and learn on the job under the supervision of an experienced crane driver. Some employers may ask for a few GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.

More Information

Registration

  • you may need a plant card to operate some machinery

Career tips

You may find it useful if you've got experience as an operative in construction, mechanical engineering or plant operations.

Further information

You can find more details about training and working as a crane driver from Go Construct.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • concentration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a category C1 or C LGV licence if driving mobile cranes on public roads

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a crane operator, you'll:

  • set up cranes and carry out safety checks
  • load and unload lorries
  • shift loads around the site
  • monitor sensors that measure wind speed, crane stability and load weights
  • carry out minor repairs to machinery
  • report problems to the crane supervisor
  • keep in close contact with workers on the ground to operate safely

Working environment

You could work on a construction site.

Your working environment may be at height and noisy.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With further training, you could become a crane supervisor, planning work and directing lifting operations.

You may be able to move into supervisory management, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of a construction or quarrying site.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Lifting Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Liverpool

Lifting Engineer Apprentice

  • Wage: £10,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Egremont

Courses In England

Level 2 Diploma in Construction Plant or Machinery Maintenance

  • Provider: NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: NORTHAMPTON

Level 3 Diploma in Construction Plant or Machinery Maintenance (Construction)

  • Provider: NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: DAVENTRY

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