Crane operators are responsible for using stationary and mobile cranes to lift heavy objects. They can find employment in several industries, including construction, manufacturing and transportation. If you enjoy working with heavy machinery and want to increase your earning potential, you may be suited to a career as a crane operator.

Making a mistake while operating a crane can have serious consequences, so this role carries a high level of responsibility. Think you’ve got what it takes? From getting your crane operator ticket to choosing a crane driving course, this article covers everything you need to know about how to become a crane operator.

What does a crane operator do?

Crane driver

In addition to operating cranes for the purpose of lifting and repositioning objects, crane operators are also tasked with:

  • Inspecting equipment and performing any necessary maintenance to keep machinery in safe working order
  • Ensuring ground conditions are suitable for crane use and installing reinforcement beams to stabilise the base of the crane
  • Positioning the crane in accordance with the job’s requirements
  • Working effectively with other people to ensure correct load placement
  • Ensuring maximum loads aren’t exceeded.

You’ll need strong practical skills and a solid understanding of mechanical principles to succeed as a crane operator.

Get Qualified

Crane ticket

Earning your crane operator licence by completing a crane driving course will qualify you for employment Australia-wide. You’ll also need to obtain a high risk work licence from a Registered Training Organisation. This licence is a must-have for anyone who’s been trained for work that’s defined as high-risk. It remains valid for 5 years and is only issued to people who’ve completed the necessary training.

Once you’ve earned your crane ticket, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to safely operate several different types of cranes. You could specialise in mobile cranes, which can be navigated around worksites or even driven on roads. Stationary cranes are also widely used throughout Australia, providing a fixed point from which extremely heavy items can be lifted. These cranes are typically assembled onsite.

No matter which type of crane you end up operating, earning your crane driving licence will equip you for working with all kinds of machinery.

Earn your slewing crane licence with Major Training.

Find Employment

Once you’ve got your crane operator ticket and high risk work licence, you’ll be ready to go out and put your skills to use. Whether you’ve already got a job or you’re looking for new employment prospects, having this kind of licence will increase your earning potential.

According to, the average salary for crane operators in Australia ranges between $60,000 and $108,000 (your earning potential will depend on a range of factors, including experience and the kind of cranes you operate).

If you’re ready to earn your crane licence, Major Training can equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge. Contact us to learn more about our crane driving course today.