Crane driver

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Crane operator

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

Salary Range: £20,000 to £36,000

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How to become a crane driver

You can get into this job through:

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

You could do a college qualification like a Level 2 Certificate in Plant Operations. This is usually done as part of on-the-job training with a company.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

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

More information

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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

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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

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.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • 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
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • setting up cranes and carrying out safety checks
  • loading and unloading lorries
  • shifting loads around the site
  • monitoring sensors that measure wind speed, crane stability and load weights
  • carrying out minor repairs to machinery
  • reporting any problems to the crane supervisor
  • keeping records of the materials you’ve moved

Working environment

You could work on a construction site.

Your working environment may be noisy and at height.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

With experience and a Level 3 or 4 NVQ Diploma in Lifting Operations, you could become a crane supervisor, directing operations.

After further training you may be able to work as a site manager, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of a construction or quarrying site.