How Much Do Crane Operators Make?

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How Much Do Crane Operators Make?

Workers in the highly competitive construction industry can often make a very comfortable living, especially if they have marketable skills that are sought after by employers. This is why more and more people are trying to break into the field of heavy equipment operations. A person with skills and experience operating cranes and other machinery can be a very valuable asset on a construction site.

How much do crane operators make in your area? What are the variables that affect this number? How can you go about securing a job in this potentially lucrative industry? We’ll try to answer these questions for you below.

What Does a Crane Operator Do?

A crane operator is a person who is trained to utilize heavy, advanced equipment—such as cranes and other similar devices—to transport materials from place to place. Cranes are used in nearly every type of construction project imaginable, from the building of skyscrapers to laying railroad tracks.

Crane operators need to have a thorough understanding of the equipment they’re using, as well as know their way around construction sites in general. Importantly, they need to constantly be aware of safety concerns, as there are many factors that can make cranes unsafe to operate, such as high winds in the area.

Crane operators must also learn to communicate effectively with their fellow construction workers, as large-scale projects need to be highly coordinated and carefully planned out. For this reason, crane operators will practice communicating with their coworkers via radios and hand signals so they can perform their jobs as efficiently as possible.

What Factors Affect Crane Operator Pay?

When it comes to earning money as a crane operator, it’s certainly true that some jobs pay more than others. Location is a major factor. You may find that crane operators in major cities can earn a good deal more than those in comparatively smaller areas. The size of the project, of course, can also directly correlate with the size of your paycheck. A larger-scale construction project will often pay better than a smaller one, although, of course, this will vary from project to project.

The final major factor that comes into play when asking how much do crane operators make is the experience and training of the operators themselves. Employers will be willing to pay more for more skilled and experienced crane operators. That’s why many hopefuls in the business flock to schools like West Coast Training, where they can learn a wide variety of marketable skills with many different cranes and other equipment types. Crane operator schools like West Coast Training also offer real jobsite experience, which is crucial for crane operators hoping to get hired and make good wages in their chosen field.

Average Pay for a Crane Operator

While there are many variables affecting the final number, most crane operators earn an average of around $55,000 per year. More experienced, highly trained operators on bigger jobs can earn a good deal more than that, however. The number can go up to $84,000 or higher, depending upon the circumstances.