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Crane Operators

What they do?

Crane operators perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Operate cranes mounted on boats or barges to lift, move and place equipment and materials

B. Operate dragline cranes to expose coal seams and ore deposits at open pit mines

C. May assemble tower cranes on site

D. Perform routine maintenance work such as cleaning and lubricating cranes.

E. Operate mobile and tower cranes to lift, move, position or place equipment and materials

F. Perform pre-operational inspection, and calculate crane capacities and weight to prepare for rigging and hoisting

G. Operate pile driving cranes to drive pilings into earth to provide support for buildings and other structures

Where they find work?

1. Construction - 30.0%
2. Primary metal manufacturing - 25.0%
3. Wholesale trade - 8.0%
4. Transportation and warehousing - 6.0%
5. Fabricated metal product manufacturing - 6.0%

What education do I need?

1. Completion of secondary school is usually required.

2. Completion of a one- to three-year apprenticeship program or High school, college or industry courses in crane operating are usually required.

3. Trade certification as a hoist operator is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Saskatchewan.

4. Boom truck crane operator trade certification is compulsory in Manitoba and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

5. Mobile crane operator (8-15 tons) trade certification is compulsory in Ontario and available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick.

6. Tower crane operator trade certification is compulsory in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, and is available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Mechanics
4. Machine Shop

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Crane Operators is $21.59/HR, which is close to the average for occupations in the trades, transport and equipment operators sector and close to the average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Crane Operators wages

Expected Wage by Age

Crane Operators Wage By Age


7% of Crane Operators are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Crane Operators Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Crane Operators Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Crane Operators is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at a below-average rate.

2. The retirement rate is above average, and the number of retiring workers contributes to job openings.

3. Hourly wages ($21.59) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

4. The unemployment rate (7%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be average. However, technological advances, such as robotics and computer controls, will likely increase productivity, reducing demand for crane operators.

2. The retirement rate will likely be above average and the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job openings will likely exceed the number of job seekers. This will not be significant enough to have an impact on the work prospects.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations are found in Alberta and Prince Edward Island while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (66%) is above the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Communication skills

2. Outdoor/physical work

3. Construction/mining

Part Time Workers

Crane Operators Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

2% of Crane Operators are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 13,000 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, a decrease of 10% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Crane Operators Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The earlier-than-average retirement age (60) combined with an expected older-than-average age (43) of worker will likely result in an above-average retirement rate to 2009.

Self Employed

Crane Operators Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 4% of Crane Operators are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Crane Operators Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

% of the individuals employed as Crane Operators are women. Compared to other industries, this is .