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Crane Operator: Career Outlook, Salary and Schools

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Crane operators can be found in every industry that builds, transports, or handles materials. It is common to associate cranes and crane operators with the construction and shipping industries. Both industries use massive tower-cranes to move materials to great heights. While these are some of the most well-known and highest paid crane operators, there are a lot of different kinds of cranes used throughout the world in various industries.

All sectors of the oil and gas industry utilize cranes and crane operators. From small boom trucks that hoist pipes and materials on drilling or pipeline sites, to the deck cranes and derricks used on offshore drilling platforms, there are tons of opportunities for someone as a crane operator.

In fact, the demand for crane operators is increasing. Now is a good time to look into this possible career.

Crane Operator Salary

How much do crane operators make? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 44,000 people employed in the United States as crane operators. The average hourly wage is $26.78. The average salary comes out to $55,690. The lowest 10% of crane operators earn about $15 per hour while the top 10% earn as much as $40/hr.

Crane Operator School

It is unlikely that someone would be hired as a crane operator without any training or experience. If you have construction experience and perhaps a CDL or heavy equipment experience, that would certainly help you get in the door. However, for a higher-paying specialized career as a crane operator you need to find a school for training and certification.

There are different levels of accreditation and different types of cranes to be certified for. As you might expect, the bigger the crane the more training and safety certification you need.

Here are the best places to begin looking for crane operator training:

Keep in mind, becoming a crane operator means you can find great career opportunities in every material or building industry: construction, shipping, infrastructure, oil & gas, etc.

Crane Operator Jobs

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