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Job Description

Crane operators operate mobile or stationary cranes to lift, move, or reposition loads. They will pull or shift controls to lift and reposition materials and equipment around a construction, dock or industrial site. They will work and communicate with other construction or dock workers to ensure health and safety procedures are adhered to.

Entry Requirements

You can get this job through:


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

You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


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.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to have a category C1 or C LGV licence if driving mobile cranes on public roads.

Career Tips

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

You'll need a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card to operate some machinery.

CITB and Go Construct have more information on becoming a crane driver.

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Building technician
  • Forklift driver

Required Skills

  • You will need to have a good understanding of regulations and procedures
  • be health and safety conscious
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • the ability to operate and control equipment

Salary Range

£17,000 to £35,000

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