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Occupation Details

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Crane Operator

Job Zone

Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€18k > 38
Crane Operator
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 38
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Employment growth for this occupation is driven by the construction sector. Although there were 1,600 job ready job seekers previously employed in this occupation, shortages are occurring in a small number of areas.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Mobile Machine Drivers

Also included in this category:

Crane drivers; fork-lift truck drivers; agricultural machinery drivers; digger drivers, excavators, and other mobile machine drivers and operatives not elsewhere classified.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 4%
Non-Nationals: 25%
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At a Glance... header image

Operates a crane to lift heavy loads on a building site or in a factory.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Crane Operators work alongside a banks person who gives them directions when visibility of any part of the operation is restricted, either by hand signals or radio. Crane operation is a highly skilled job and operators are responsible for maintaining their machinery in good working order and carrying out routine safety checks. They control equipment by moving levers and pedals, operating switches and turning dials. They also set up and inspect equipment, make adjustments and perform repairs.  
The job of a Crane Operator may involve travel to different sites and it may be necessary to spend periods working away from home.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Determine load weights and check them against lifting capacities to prevent overload.


Move levers, depress foot pedals, or turn dials to operate cranes, cherry pickers, electromagnets, or other moving equipment for lifting, moving, or placing loads.


Inspect cables or grappling devices for wear and install or replace cables, as needed.


Clean, lubricate, and maintain mechanisms such as cables, pulleys, or grappling devices, making repairs as necessary.


Inspect and adjust crane mechanisms or lifting accessories to prevent malfunctions or damage.


Direct helpers engaged in placing blocking or outrigging under cranes.


Load or unload bundles from trucks or move containers to storage bins, using moving equipment.


Weigh bundles, using floor scales, and record weights for company records.


Review daily work or delivery schedules to determine orders, sequences of deliveries, or special loading instructions.


Direct truck drivers backing vehicles into loading bays and cover, uncover, or secure loads for delivery.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).


Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material: Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment: Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment: Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Mechanical: Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Building and Construction: Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.


Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.


Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.


Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

It is important for Crane Operators to be physically fit, as the work involves some lifting and carrying. Crane Operators need excellent judgement, and concentration skills. Good hand-to-eye co-ordination is required for operating the crane's controls. A good sense of balance and a head for heights is required.  
Crane Operation has the potential to be dangerous and operators need to be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. Adherence to safe working practices is essential.  
Some knowledge of basic motor mechanics is required and an understanding of construction processes and materials is desirable, although this can be gained through experience.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Construction Industry Federation
Address: Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6
Tel: (01) 406 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Industry Expert

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property

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