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How Do I Find Crane Jobs Near Me?

Blog, Crane Operator

A job in the crane business is one of the most unique, in-demand, and rewarding careers you can pursue. For many people, sitting behind the controls of a crane for the first time is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. After all, most of us grew up playing with toy trucks, cranes, and bulldozers, imagining we were constructing a towering building.

As an adult, of course, there’s also good money to be made in the business. An experienced crane operator can pull in as much as $60,000 a year or more. This does mean, however, that it’s a competitive field. With so many people clamoring for employment in this industry, what can you do to set yourself apart?

Below, we offer a few tips for breaking into the business, from earning your education to getting your name out there. Here’s where to begin when you ask yourself the question, “How do I find crane jobs near me?”

Start with a Good School

Getting your start in the world of heavy machinery isn’t too dissimilar to any other field. That is, you start with a good education. The right training is critical because most employers, frankly, won’t even consider hiring you if you aren’t carrying the proper certifications. That is, if those employers are even allowed to hire you. In some areas, those certifications can be a legal requirement. That’s why you should always begin your search for crane jobs by looking for a good crane operator school.

Unlike in some other fields, however, you don’t need to break the bank to earn your education. There are amazing heavy equipment operator courses that won’t leave you paying off student loans years later. Still, you don’t want to sign up for a school without thoroughly researching it first.

You’ll want to look for a school with experienced instructors. Seek out teachers who have themselves spent a great deal of time in the field, behind the controls of the same machinery you’ll be learning to operate. You’ll also want to seek out a training facility that offers a good balance between training in the field and classroom time.

An excellent example of a crane operator school that meets all of the aforementioned criteria is the one offered by West Coast Training. Located near Woodland, Washington, and not far from Portland, our program offers training in multiple types of heavy machinery.

Earn Your Certification

When looking for work, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate to potential employers that you’re both highly trained and fully committed to workplace safety. The best way to demonstrate this is by earning your NCCCO certification.

The NCCCO—National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators—is an organization founded and run by professionals in the field of construction. Their responsibility is to ensure workplace safety, which they do by issuing certifications to crane operators who have demonstrated their skills with the various types of equipment.

Just as there’s no one type of heavy equipment, there’s no one type of certification, and your best bet to ensure maximum employability is to pursue several. For example, at West Coast Training, you can choose to earn a Crane Operator/Rigger certification and then return later to seek your Mobile Crane Operator certification.

Gain Experience in the Field

Of course, a good school won’t just equip you with a piece of paper stating that you know how to operate a crane. You’ll actually know how to operate one because you’ll actually have spent plenty of time behind the controls of a real, working machine.

When you send your resume to a prospective employer, they’ll look over your training with great interest, but they’ll also want to know that you’re experienced. When you’re just starting out, gaining experience can be your biggest challenge. After all, you have to gain experience to be hired, but you have to be hired to gain experience.

While your crane operator course will be a great start when it comes to earning the required experience, you’ll need to continue accruing it after you graduate. There are several ways you can do this. Many people choose to seek out an apprenticeship once they’ve been certified. Apprenticeships can last anywhere from several months to years, but they’re invaluable for building your confidence while rendering you more appealing to employers.

Create a Resume

Your next step will be to put together a resume detailing your experience and education to any prospective employers. Since by this point, you have probably already earned your certification and spent time practicing various types of heavy machinery, you’ll already have the beginnings of an excellent resume.

You won’t simply want to list your crane operator training on your resume. Make sure you mention any other education you have, as well. Most employers will want at least a high school diploma, and it can’t hurt to list any degrees or higher education you have too.

If you’ve held any relevant jobs, add these to your resume. They don’t necessarily need to be crane operator jobs if you haven’t done those yet, but any sort of work in construction or with heavy machinery may still be quite relevant.

Once you’ve put a resume together, have a friend or colleague proofread it for you. The last thing you want is to be rejected from a job opportunity because of simple, avoidable spelling or grammatical errors.

Get Your Name Out There

As with any other field, finding crane jobs near me requires a certain amount of networking. You should spend time whenever possible talking to other people in your field, whether in-person or online. This is another reason that it’s a good idea to attend a crane operator school. Often, employers needing crane operators will approach schools, hoping to find graduates who can do the jobs they require. A good school, like West Coast Training, will also help you put a resume together and point you in the right direction when looking for work.