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Overhead Crane Operator Job Description

An overhead crane is generally used by lots of construction sites because of its extreme lifting ability. However, an overhead crane is useless without a machine operator. Read on for the job description of an overhead crane operator.

What is an overhead crane operator?

Overhead crane operators play a vital role in the construction team. Aside from working on various construction projects, overhead crane operators also work in companies or any other factories where bulky and heavy objects should be moved.

Duties of an overhead crane operator

  • Overhead crane operators ensure safe movement as well as safe loading and unloading of large or bulky equipments with the use of overhead cranes. Oftentimes, overhead crane operators are responsible in leading their entire team which participates in the moving such as spotters and flaggers.
  • They operate stationary or traveling overhead crane to move, lift and position loads which includes products, equipment, machinery and solid or heavy materials, with the aid of hoisting attachments like sling, electromagnet, hook or bucket. They observe proper load hook-up and determine load safety.
  • Overhead crane operators manipulate or depress overhead crane controls which include levers, pedals and buttons in order to regulate direction and speed of hoist and crane movement based on verbal, written and signal instructions.
  • An overhead crane operator also clean and maintain hoisting and crane mechanism and inspect crane for any defective parts and notify their supervisor about the malfunctions and defects.

Condition of work

Overhead crane operators have a very stressful job. There are also some works which require the overhead operators to work on outdoors. The operators should not have fear of heights as they usually operate extremely tall cranes which are utilized in building tall buildings or skyscrapers.

Educational Requirements

  • Most industries require an overhead crane operator to have certification by the NCCCO or the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators. Operators who have this certification should pass both theoretical and practical exam. Aspiring candidates should obtain a DOTMEC or Department of Transportation Medical Examiner’s Certificate that states the operator can operate overhead crane safely and is with good health.
  • Overhead crane operators are also required to have a GED or high school diploma, according to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. Employers also prefer aspiring candidates with relevant prior work experience.

Occupation and Progress

The job outlook for overhead crane operators is steady. Employments are only possible if new structures are built and large buildings or skyscrapers need external overhaul.

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