Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators operate stationary and mobile cranes, hoists, lifts and winches to lift, move and place materials, equipment and people in areas such as building sites, factories, mines, sawmills, wharves and shipyards.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Around one in three workers have a Certificate III/IV. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • testing the operation of plant before use to ensure safety
  • operating controls to rotate cranes, move cranes on fixed rails, raise and lower jibs and booms, and raise, lower and move hooks and objects
  • working in conjunction with Construction Riggers and Crane Chasers to position hooks and raise, move and place loads
  • controlling the movement of loads, and monitoring speed, acceleration and braking distances directly and by signalling to other operators
  • monitoring plant operation, instruments and gauges to detect malfunctions and problems
  • lubricating ropes and winches on cranes and replacing worn cables
  • may operate cranes fitted with attachments for purposes such as demolition and pile driving
  • may operate overhead cranes using hand controls suspended by cables from cranes

Job Titles

  • Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator
  • Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator

    Specialisations: Chairlift Operator, Cherry Picker Operator, Elevated Work Platform Operator, Pile Driver, Portainer Operator, Tower Crane Operator, Winch Operator

Fast Facts

  • $1,493 Weekly Pay
  • 12,800 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 97.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40.7 hours Average full-time
  • 45 years Average age
  • 1.3% female Gender Share

The number of Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 12,800 in 2017 to 12,100 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 7,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Construction; Manufacturing; and Transport, Postal and Warehousing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,493 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (97.6%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 45 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (50.7%).
  • Gender: 1.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200711400
200814600
200912200
201013800
201111400
201213600
201314300
201415100
201515100
201614900
201712800
202212100

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsCrane, Hoist and Lift OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings14931230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Construction52.5
Manufacturing15.1
Transport, Postal and Warehousing12.0
Mining5.0
Other Industries15.4

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateCrane, Hoist and Lift OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW33.731.6
VIC18.426.2
QLD17.219.7
SA6.76.7
WA19.010.8
TAS1.12.0
NT2.71.1
ACT1.31.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketCrane, Hoist and Lift OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-245.3-9.99.9
25-3414.6-23.623.6
35-4429.4-21.721.7
45-5428.6-20.820.8
55-5915.4-8.88.8
60-643.8-6.06.0
65 and Over2.9-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationCrane, Hoist and Lift OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV35.4-18.918.9
Year 1218.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1039.4-17.717.7
Below Year 106.3-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have a Certificate III/IV. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is necessary. Registration or licensing is required.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Transport and Logistics Training Package and Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators can communicate clearly, work well with others and are reliable.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    71% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  2. Mathematics

    60% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Transportation

    59% Important

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  4. English Language

    58% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Public Safety and Security

    55% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7021.00 - Crane and Tower Operators.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    85% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    85% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    85% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  4. Handling and Moving Objects

    80% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  5. Getting Information

    79% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7021.00 - Crane and Tower Operators.

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