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.

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

You can work as a Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in construction crane operator or mobile crane operator might be helpful.

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

All Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators

  • $2,500 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 10,600 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 90% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 50 hours Average full-time
  • 44 years Average age
  • 3% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 10,600 in 2018 to 9,000 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 5,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,000 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
  • Location: Many Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Construction; Manufacturing; and Transport, Postal and Warehousing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,500 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (90%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 50 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 3% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200814500
200912100
201013700
201111300
201213700
201313800
201415300
201515300
201615300
201714300
201810600
20239000

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings25001460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Construction50.0
Manufacturing13.7
Transport, Postal and Warehousing13.3
Mining6.6
Other Industries16.4

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
NSW29.831.6
VIC19.625.6
QLD23.320.0
SA6.87.0
WA17.310.8
TAS1.42.0
NT1.41.0
ACT0.41.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
15-191.1-5.05.0
20-245.1-9.39.3
25-3418.9-22.922.9
35-4426.4-22.022.0
45-5427.9-21.621.6
55-5911.2-9.09.0
60-646.5-6.06.0
65 and Over2.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate0.3-10.110.1
Bachelor degree1.9-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma3.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV39.0-21.121.1
Year 1217.5-18.118.1
Year 118.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below29.5-12.512.5

You can work as a Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in construction crane operator or mobile crane operator might be helpful.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • Crane Licence
  • working at heights ticket
  • high risk work licence
  • forklift licence
  • driver's licence
  • heavy ridged (HR) driver's licence
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    62% Skill level

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

  2. Transportation

    49% Skill level

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

  3. Public safety and security

    43% Skill level

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

  4. Building and construction

    42% Skill level

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  5. Engineering and technology

    42% Skill level

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    99% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  2. Health and safety of others

    95% Important

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  3. Contact with people

    91% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  4. Being exact or accurate

    91% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  5. Face-to-face discussions

    91% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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