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What Is an Overhead Crane Operator and How to Become One

Overhead Crane Operator

What Does an Overhead Crane Operator Do?

As an overhead crane operator, your duties and responsibilities include operating different types of cranes, such as a gantry crane, at a construction site, rail depot, shipyard, or another facility. You use cranes for lifting steel components, ship containers, or other large objects. For example, at a construction site, you may move beams or mechanical equipment up to the tops of skyscrapers. At a port, on the other hand, you use cranes to unload ships and load trucks or trains which carry the freight to distribution facilities.

What Skills Are Required to Become an Overhead Crane Operator?

The skills required to become an overhead crane operator include a strong attention to detail, good mechanical aptitude, and strong verbal communication. Previous experience in a construction or shipping setting is often useful and can bolster your opportunities. Typically, a crane operator needs a high school diploma or a GED certificate, and it is not uncommon to have some postsecondary vocational training and certification as well. Apart from these qualifications, a valid driver’s license is typically necessary and, for some positions, such as dangerous material handling, a CDL or similar license may be a requirement.

Overhead Crane Operator Job Description Sample

With this Overhead Crane Operator job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Overhead Crane Operator role.

Job Summary

We are looking for a qualified, self-starting individual to join our warehouse operations team as an Overhead Crane Operator. You will operate a remote overhead crane, hoisting deliveries and shipments to the appropriate areas. You must be sure to observe workplace safety rules and guidelines. You must have prior experience in a warehouse environment, and while experience operating an overhead crane is preferred, we are willing to train otherwise motivated applicants. You must be able to interpret written instructions, read basic blueprints and schematics, and stand, crouch, and lift objects throughout a normal shift.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Operate a remote overhead crane
  • Observe all workplace safety rules and regulations
  • Move pallets, goods, and other objects to the appropriate areas
  • Work and communicate with supervisors to ensure smooth operations
  • Inspect equipment and fill out service requests as necessary

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Ability to read and write in English
  • Prior experience with overhead crane equipment (preferred)
  • Physical ability to stand, crouch, and lift objects throughout your shift
  • Strong communication skills
  • Forklift experience or a forklift operator license (preferred)