Tower and Mobile Crane Operator
Sector: Skilled Trades
Type: Career Profile
Science, Industrial Arts, Technology & Engineering
Operating the Tower Crane Big Lift is very interesting. I get a great sense of satisfaction that I am operating a very expensive piece of equipment and putting loads in tight spots. I enjoy the humor of the crew and being up high with a great view. I always had an interest in operating large trucks and machinery. Also I like the seclusion at times in the cab but enjoy my crew as well. It's very rewarding when you climb down from your crane and look back at the work you accomplished that day knowing you didn't hurt anyone and a self of pride knowing you do this job for a living.
When I was in high school I wanted to be a mechanic. I worked on cruise ships for 16 years but wanted something more challenging. So I checked around to see what interested me. I decided on crane operator as it had a relationship to machines and mechanics. So I started crane school when I was in my 30's. Part of the training involves an apprenticeship where I got to apply the stuff I learned in school to the real world. My personal life took a hit and I was going to lose everything I had if I didn't find a good paying job. My sister was a great influence as she was working at a construction company and thought it would be a good fit for me. I’ve had many challenges in my current career. For example, not all people like you or agree with the job you are doing, and there can be lots of jealousy. But you put your head up high and keep positive as you are not going to make everyone happy so just keep yourself happy and the rest falls in place.
Ensure you save and have an emergency fund for those times you have no work. Work hard and try not to miss any time from work. Most importantly, make sure you love your job as you will be working long hours and having a positive attitude goes a long way.
I love working on my home, keeping a garden, cooking for friends, golf, camping, ATV trips, fires with friends and wine. I help out the Women in Trades as a way to give back and to encourage young females to look at the trades as a career option. I love softball golf and tennis but don't get to play as often as I like.
When I’m on the job, I operate a crane to lift objects in safe manner to and from any location for all trades on a worksite. I inspect the machinery I operate thoroughly to make sure it's running properly. I use math to calculate weights of objects before they are picked up. I have to do this to make sure it is safe to do so and will not overload the crane. The tower crane requires a special license to operate.
When having to problem solve it usually involves other people as operating a crane is a team effort. We need good communication with the foreman, engineers and signal person. We rely on each other to make good decisions for the safety of all people working on site. I enjoy the people I work with and we respect each other and our trades. STEM is important as you need math skills to be able to perform safe acts in your job.
When I was
- Industrial Arts
- Physical Education / Health
- Enjoyed doing things on my own
- Always wanted to be outside
- Liked helping people
- Played on a sports team
- Enjoyed working with my hands
- Liked being given specific instructions
- Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
- Never wanted to be in the classroom
- Didn't really care about grades
- Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
- Engaged in activities such as fishing
- Learned Best by Doing
- Other: Driving dirt bikes