Entry Senior

Crane Operator

About This Career

Crane Operators operate cranes or draglines to lift, move, position or place machinery, equipment and other large objects at construction or industrial sites.

In the cab of a crane, these operators must manipulate a number of levers and pedals to rotate and raise this giant piece of heavy equipment to lift heavy loads and accurately and safely place these into the right spot. Sometimes, they may pick up a piece of equipment and hang on to it for hours as a crew adds additional pieces to the load.

Crane Operators follow hand signals from crew members to place loads into tricky, sometimes out-of-sight target destinations. As the one at the controls, Crane Operators are also responsible for the safety of the site during lift operations. This means taking control and communicating directions to the crew below.

Education: A high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required.

Employment: This occupation is found in both onshore and offshore environments and is typically employed in the oil sands and oil and gas services sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Example titles: Boom Truck Crane Operator, Bridge Crane Operator, Climbing Crane Operator, Dragline Crane Operator, Hoist Operator, Mobile Crane Operator, Tower Crane Operator, Hydraulic Mobile Crane

Work Activities
Applying Health and Safety Principles 
Reporting any defects or repairs needed.
Wearing the required PPE and participating in health and safety training.
Communicating with Persons Outside the Organization 
Directing truck drivers backing vehicles into loading bays and covering, uncovering or securing loads for delivery.
Communicating effectively with the crew via hand signals and radio communications.
Ensuring awareness of all site conditions that could affect crane operation (e.g., overhead power lines, workers, mobile equipment, pedestrians, etc.).
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers or Subordinates 
Directing helpers engaged in placing blocking or outrigging under cranes.
Documenting and Recording Information 
Recording details of any inspections and maintenance work done on the crane.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events or Information 
Determining load weights and checking them against lifting capacities to prevent overload.
Handling and Moving Objects 
Adjusting crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures or Material
Inspecting and adjusting crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage.
Inspecting cables or grappling devices for wear and installing or replacing cables, as needed.
Performing pre-operational inspections and calculating the crane capacities and weight to prepare for rigging and hoisting.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices or Equipment
Moving levers, depressing foot pedals or turning dials to operate cranes, cherry pickers, electromagnets or other moving equipment for lifting, moving or placing loads.
Loading or unloading bundles from trucks or moving containers to storage bins using moving equipment.
Operating the crane within its charted capacities.
Operating mobile and tower cranes to lift, move, position or place equipment and materials.
Processing Information 
Calculating crane capacities and weight to prepare for rigging and hoisting.
Reading and understanding load charts.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment 
Cleaning, lubricating and maintaining mechanisms such as cables, pulleys or grappling devices and making repairs as necessary.
Attention to Detail
Public Safety and Security
Operation and Control
Operation Monitoring
Active Listening
Working with others
Career Path
  • Supervisory positions
  • Training
Related Careers
Available Jobs
  • Here are the two most recent postings:

Mobile crane operator

Posted on Aug 15 2019

By digregorio international paving & construction ltd.

Bolton Dependant upon experience
Crane operator

Posted on Aug 15 2019

By offshore recruiting services inc.

Kitimat Dependant upon experience
View All Jobs (18)
How Can I Work in LNG?

As Canada prepares for the launch of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, this occupation will play a key role in:

  • Off-site fabrication
  • LNG export facility construction
  • Natural gas pipeline construction
  • Oil and gas services


When the LNG industry takes off, you can be a part of the action!

Working Conditions
  • Field 2
    Field Visits
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Industrial excavator
    Active Machinery
  • Arrow
    Shift Work
  • Heights
    Working from Heights
  • Overtime
    Some Overtime Required
  • Variable weather
    Variable weather
  • Relocation
  • Hazardous
    Hazardous Conditions
Similar Jobs In Other Industries
Careers also exist in the following industries:
  • Construction of buildings (residential and non-residential)
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction
  • Mining and quarrying (except oil and gas)
  • Rail transportation
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing
Job Details

Job Category



Oil and gas services

Oil sands



Qualifications + Experience


  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)


  • Completion of a one- to two- year apprenticeship program is typically required to complete Level 1 and then the Certificate of Qualification for a specific type of crane. A certified tradesperson may qualify themselves to operate more than one type of crane. Another route into apprenticeship training is a pre-apprenticeship foundation program. In most provinces, both of these routes can begin in high school.
  • The Red Seal endorsement is the interprovincial standard of excellence, and is available to tradespersons upon successful completion of the Red Seal examination.
  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Construction Safety Training System (CSTS)
  • Fall protection
  • H2S Alive
  • Pipeline Construction Safety Training (PCST)
  • Crane Safety Certification