How Much Does a Crane Operator Make on Average?


When skyscrapers, towers and other tall structures are constructed, the massive pieces of the buildings are moved and lifted by cranes. A crane operator is in charge of this job function.


  • Based on the required skills and hazardous conditions of the position, a crane operator is among the most highly compensated workers in the construction industry. According to, a crane operator in the United States earned an annual salary between $55,379 and $101,797, as of 2010. Wages vary depending on the prevailing economic conditions of certain regions as well as the experience of the crane operator.


  • A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required to be a crane operator. Crane operators who complete classes and pass tests conducted by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and become certified may earn higher salaries.


  • Since construction projects are frequently pushing completion deadlines, crane operators often work overtime, increasing their pay. Operators with outstanding safety records sometimes receive higher wages than others.

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  • Photo Credit construction crane against blue sky image by asiana from
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