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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7371 Occupation: Crane operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Crane operators operate cranes or draglines to lift, move, position or place machinery, equipment and other large objects at construction or industrial sites, ports, railway yards, surface mines and other similar locations. They are employed by construction, industrial, mining, cargo handling and railway companies. Crane operators operate cranes or draglines to lift, move, position or place machinery, equipment and other large objects at construction or industrial sites, ports, railway yards, surface mines and other similar locations. They are employed by construction, industrial, mining, cargo handling and railway companies.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read instructions and warnings on labels, e.g. read labels posted on crane components to learn about hazards. (1)
  • Read short text entries in forms, e.g. read short text entries in work orders to learn about the materials to be hoisted. (1)
  • Read memos and bulletins, e.g. read memos and bulletins to learn about changes to work processes and job hazards. (2)
  • Read trade magazines, newsletters, brochures and website articles, e.g. read articles in magazines, such as Crane and Hoist Canada, to learn about industry trends and new regulations. (3)
  • Read explanations, instructions and procedures in operators' manuals, e.g. read manufacturers' operating manuals to learn about rigging methods and how to use on-board computers and load movement indicators. (3)
  • Read load chart notes, e.g. read notes on load charts to learn the conditions that apply to various crane equipment configurations. (3)
  • Read safety regulations, safety codes and policies and procedures, e.g. read Canadian Safety Association Standard safety codes and provincial occupational health and safety regulations to learn the standards that govern the transport, set-up, rigging and operation of cranes. (4)
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  • Write brief logbook entries, e.g. write crane logbook entries to describe tasks completed, malfunctions experienced and equipment maintenance required. (1)
  • Write text entries in a variety of forms, e.g. describe worksite hazards in hazard assessment forms. (2)
  • Write email messages and short notes, e.g. write email messages to supervisors and clients to outline site preparation requirements. (2)
  • Write short reports, e.g. describe symptoms and the possible causes of malfunctions in maintenance reports and factual descriptions of accidents in incident reports. (3)
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Document Use
  • Observe directional and hazard signs, e.g. view signs posted at job sites to learn about muster points and the location of overhead wires. (1)
  • Locate data on labels, e.g. locate weights, dimensions and product types on shipping tags and product labels. (1)
  • Locate data in forms, e.g. locate data, such as dates, times, locations, rigging specifications and weight restrictions, on work orders and highway travel permits. (2)
  • Enter data into a variety of forms, e.g. check off items on inspection checklists and record tasks completed, malfunctions observed, crane running hours and driving distances in crane logs. (2)
  • Study assembly and schematic drawings when performing maintenance and repairs, e.g. study assembly drawings to learn how to take apart and reassemble mechanisms when changing oil seals. (3)
  • Locate information in lift planning sheets, such as load weights, distances and directions of lifts, excavation and power line locations and minimum clearances required. (3)
  • Obtain information from technical drawings, e.g. study engineered drawings for tilt-up construction projects to identify sizes, weights and centres of gravity, the locations of lift inserts and brace anchors, and other details. (3)
  • Locate data in a variety of complex tables, e.g. locate specifications in 'parts of line' and 'rope weights' tables to calculate the number of parts of line to use for lifts and the maximum loads that can be applied to hoist lines. (3)
  • Locate data in range diagrams, e.g. use range diagrams to determine the boom elevations, boom angles, boom lengths and jib offset angles needed to lift loads to specified heights and locations. (4)
  • Locate data in complex load charts, e.g. locate gross capacities for a variety of crane and boom configuration variables, such as operating radius, boom length, boom angle, jib length, jib offset angle, outrigger position, lifting quadrant and size of counterweights. (4)
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Digital Technology
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating the weight of a load. (1)
  • Use hand-held and stationary radios to communicate with riggers and signallers. (1)
  • Use Internet browsers and search engines to search manufacturers' websites for maintenance procedures and parts diagrams. (2)
  • Access online articles posted by suppliers, manufacturers and associations to stay current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • Use the company's Intranet system to learn about job assignments. (2)
  • Use on-board load movement indicators and load management systems to monitor percentages of crane capacities used, weigh suspended loads, enter configuration data and access load charts and operational specifications. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by training institutions, unions, suppliers, associations and employers. (2)
  • Use word processing programs to write short deficiency and incident reports. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email with office staff about administrative matters and with clients about lift preparations. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Talk to co-workers and suppliers about ongoing work, e.g. receive job assignments from dispatchers and coordinate inspection and maintenance tasks with other operators. (1)
  • Exchange information with regulators, such as health and safety inspectors, e.g. discuss the safety procedures to follow when handling hazardous materials and making lifts near public roadways. (2)
  • Instruct apprentices, co-workers and on-site work crews, e.g. assign tasks to apprentices and explain how to configure cranes for specific jobs. (2)
  • Speak with servicers and supervisors about equipment, e.g. exchange information with servicers when trying to troubleshoot equipment faults. (2)
  • Participate in meetings, e.g. discuss safety issues and procedures during crew meetings. (2)
  • Discuss detailed lift specifications with on-site personnel, e.g. explain detailed lift procedures to riggers, signallers and other operators during lifts. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate out-of-pocket expenses, e.g. calculate reimbursement claims by totalling the cost of out-of-pocket purchases and the amount charged for the use of your personal vehicle to travel to work sites. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts by adding charges for time and travel at specified rates, applicable taxes and fuel surcharges. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure the width of passage ways and distance of operating radii using measuring tapes. (1)
  • Measure the weight of loads and wind speed using on-board digital scales and anemometers. (1)
  • Calculate capacities, e.g. calculate lift capacities by totalling the weight of gear, such as hooks, hoist lines, jibs and slings, and deducting this weight from the crane's rated gross capacities. (2)
  • Calculate safety margins, e.g. increase the capacity of rigging used by a factor of ten when lifting people and reduce rated load capacities by specified percentages for each crane when making tandem lifts. (2)
  • Calculate lift requirements, e.g. use factors, such as load weight, line capacity and boom lengths, to calculate the required angles and lengths of sling legs and the size of counterweights. (3)
  • Calculate the weight of loads, e.g. calculate the weight of loads using constants, such as kilograms of weight per foot, square metre and cubic yard. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare lift variables to manufacturers' and regulated specifications, e.g. compare load weight with the crane's net capacity, and compare air temperatures and wind speeds with Canadian Standards Association specifications for safe lift operations. (2)
  • Calculate work rates, such as the number of tilt-wall panels erected per day and windows lifted per hour, to project job completion times. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate variables for non-critical lifts that are well below crane capacity, e.g. estimate operating radius by pacing off the distance between the load and the crane's centre of gravity. (1)
  • Estimate the time needed to complete projects by considering factors, such as travel distance, rigging configuration and set-up steps. (2)
  • Estimate changes in crane capacity that may occur when loads are lifted, lowered and swung. Consider the effects of line speed and stopping distances on load weights and the quadrants through which loads travel. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Crane operators organize their own tasks to complete jobs assigned by their dispatchers and supervisors. They may have some responsibility for determining the priority of jobs. Their work activities vary according to their employment context. For example, an operator employed by a pulp mill may operate only one crane and work only at the mill site. In contrast, operators who work for crane rental companies may operate several types of cranes at a wide range of job sites including ship yards, airports, oil refineries and a variety of construction projects. The schedules of crane operators range from performing several different jobs during a day to spending whole days doing repetitive production lifts, such as moving boulders and pouring concrete. Their schedules may be disrupted by mechanical breakdowns, poor weather and changes in the work schedules of clients' crews. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide which tasks to delegate to apprentices. Consider the demands of the tasks and the workers' skills. (2)
  • Choose set-up locations and crane configurations for specific jobs. Analyze numerous factors including ground condition, the weight and location of the load, crane capacity and the position of structures. (3)
  • Make operational decisions during lifts, such as when to start, stop and vary the speed and direction of lifts. Consider your observations, equipment readings and the information provided by riggers and signallers. (3)
  • Decide not to complete lifts when they cannot be performed safely. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Experience delays and interruptions caused by equipment failures. Troubleshoot the equipment faults and attempt to make repairs. Contact repairers as required and inform customers and supervisors about the delays. (2)
  • Encounter unsafe work conditions. Speak with clients and supervisors about your concerns and ensure work is safe before proceeding. (2)
  • Encounter obstacles at set-up locations and obstructions to lift paths. Select alternate locations and different lift paths to avoid obstructions. (2)
  • Find upon arrival at job sites that clients are unprepared for scheduled lifts. Find other tasks to perform to give clients time to prepare and, if necessary, reschedule the jobs. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about the capacities of cranes by reading operating manuals, referring to load charts and speaking with manufacturers and suppliers. (2)
  • Find information about lifts, such as load weights and characteristics of job sites, by speaking with on-site personnel, taking measurements of loads and sites, and examining shipping labels and job site drawings. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the accuracy and reliability of lift-related information provided to you by others. Verify information using your own observations and calculations. Assess the adequacy of others' slinging work by checking that the size, angle and attachment points of slings are appropriate for the weights and shapes of loads. (2)
  • Evaluate the safety of lifts before and during lifts. Before lifts, analyze lift variables, such as ground conditions, load weights and crane capacities, for conformance with occupational and site-specific safety regulations. During lifts, continue to monitor all lift variables including the security and balance of loads, the effect of wind on boom and load movement and the activities of surrounding personnel. (3)
  • Assess the condition of cranes and gear, such as hoist lines, hooks, blocks and sheaves, booms, outriggers and hydraulic systems. Use inspection criteria, which are clearly specified, but you apply your own experience and judgment as well. (3)
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