How to Become a Tower Crane Operator?

Who is a Crane Operator and What are his Duties? What is the necessary Educational Qualification? Are the Certificates and Licenses useful? What is the Proper Attire for them? What are the Safety Tips?
How to Become a Tower Crane Operator

You must have enjoyed playing in the fields or on the site where your house was built. You saw huge cranes working on the construction sites and maybe you even thought about how to become a tower crane operator. Well, today here you will get to know about how to operate crane and how to become a dock crane operator. You will learn about all these as you continue reading the article.

1. Who is a Crane Operator?

This is a job where you have to operate different types of cranes. You need to be above 18 years of age and skilled at operating cranes before you start working on a construction site. It involves handling heavy machinery, equipment, etc. (See PhD Vs PsyD in Psychology)

2. What are the Duties of a Crane Operator?

Before you think about how to become a tower crane operator, read about its duties. As an operator of such complex machinery, you have to fulfill certain duties. (See How Do You Handle Difficult Situations?)

  • You have to set up cranes and carry out machine safety checks every day.
  • Monitor the stability and load weights of the cranes.
  • You should know how to do minor repairs to the crane if required.
  • You have to work with a banksman (a person who directs the crane from loading to unloading to avoid accidents).
  • If you notice any issues, always report them to the supervisor.
  • Before starting the work, ensure that the travel routes are clear.
  • Keep records of all the materials that you have moved.
  • Be ready to work in a noisy work environment. (See How Cranes Work?)

3. What Skills are Required?

A tower crane: how to become a tower crane operator 1

How to become a tower crane operator? Keeping in mind the necessary safety measures that are to be followed during work, you have to be skilled at the following things.

  • You must have strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Your depth perception must be good. You will have to be highly detail-oriented.
  • Your eye-hand coordination must be good enough.
  • You must have a good physical ability to operate a machine. (See What Is the Average Garage Door Size?)
  • You should have good knowledge about the computers used in the machines. You must also know how to operate and handle them.

Apart from the above-mentioned skills, you need to be attentive on the site. You have to maintain and operate the equipment accurately. Make sure that the safety standards are followed by your team. (See How to Deal with Difficult People at Work?)

4. What Educational Qualifications are required?

The following qualifications are required before you know and start thinking about how to become a tower crane operator.

  • Before beginning your career as a tower crane operator, you need to have a high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, or equivalent degree.
  • You will need a vocational school heavy equipment program certificate, along with 3 to 4 years of experience in apprenticeship for the same.
  • The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) provides certificates for tower crane operators. (See What would You Like to Become When You Grow Up?)

5. Does it Require a License?

Yes, in some states, a license is required to work as a crane operator. However, some states will accept the certificate provided by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). (See The History of Medieval Jesters)

6. How Valid is the Voluntary Certificate?


Yes, it is a proper certificate that is validated by many states and authorities. Before you get the certificate, you are required to appear and pass the written and practical exams. The written exams will consist of multiple-choice questions and a test. The practical exam will be in a field where you have to work with luffer, hammerhead, and self-erecting cranes. So consider all these points before you give a proper thought about how to become a tower crane operator. (See How Do You Find A Driver’s License Number If You Lost Your Driver’s License?)

7. What are the Different Certificates?

You need to have a certificate IV in Training and Assessment as it will prepare you for the vocational and training sector.

To have an idea and knowledge about working in civil construction areas like pipe laying, road construction, bridge construction, etc., you have to achieve Certificate III in Civil construction. (See Kudos Origin and Meaning)

8. How to Become a Dock Crane Operator?

You will have to obtain the necessary educational and experience certificates for this career too. But you will have to clear one of the following specialty exams. 

  • Lattice Boom Crawler Cranes (LBC)
  • Lattice Boom Truck Cranes (LBT)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS)

And after you have cleared this step, you will have the practical exams that are offered only to the following three specialties:

  • Lattice Boom Cranes (covering both LBC and LBT)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS) (See Mounted Police Jobs)

9. Does the Experience Count?

Experience is very important in this field. An experience of 0 to 2 years is required for you to begin the career. And afterward, the more experience you have, the more salary you can get. Experience also talks about your ability and capabilities to manage certain situations in your work area. You must have experience in academic as well as field experience is a must. (See  What are the benefits of studying a foreign language?)

10. How much does a Crane Operator earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a crane operator with an experience of 5-9 years can be $64,000 annually. While with more experience, it can reach up to $80,000 also. (See Why celebrities earn so much money?)

11. What Attire is required before learning How to Operate Crane?

A visible orange jacket: how to become a tower crane operator 2

Before you get into the field, make sure you have the following things.

  • Use a hard hat to protect your head.
  • Wear an eye protector with a side shield. It will help in keeping your vision clear and dust-free.
  • While handling hooks and chains, do not forget to wear gloves. But remove them while operating the crane.
  • To protect yourself from impact injuries, wear American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved footwear.
  • Wear proper respiratory protective gear.
  • A reflective vest will make you visible to others more accurately in a dusty environment.
  • Lastly, wear ear protection gear. (See Uses of Police Red and Blue Lights)

12. What are the Safety tips?

How to become a tower crane operator if you don’t have proper eye-hand coordination? Well, you should have a very crucial role at hand and you have to be alert at all times. Here are the safety tips that you need to follow.

  • Never leave a suspended load unattended because it may lead to some serious accidents.
  • Never carry the load over another person, always keep the track clear. Nor walk under the load yourself.
  • Hoists are meant for loads and not people, so never lift people with them.
  • While moving the joystick, you should concentrate fully on where the load is going.
  • Always push the load and never pull it. And if you feel something is not right, stop immediately. (See 5 Types of Road Construction)

13. What Should you do after Loading?

how to become a tower crane operator 3

Once you have finished loading and unloading, you have to secure the load to avoid any accidents. Then you have to store the crane, winches, stabilizers, and other attachments properly. Keep a record of all that you have lifted today, and share those documents with the construction supervisor. If you have noticed any issues, you need to alert the supervisor and manufacturer. (See How Does A Remote Control Work?)

Now, you have a complete understanding of how to become a tower crane operator, how to operate crane, and how to become a dock crane operator. It is time to share this information with someone seeking a good career. (See How to Play the Trumpet for Beginners?)

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