Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators

ANZSCO ID 7121

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
14,100
Future Growth
0.4%
Weekly Earnings
$2,438
Full-Time Share
90%
Female Share
3%
Average age
44

Summary

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.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator. Although some workers have a certificate III or IV in construction crane operations or mobile crane operations.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Machinery Operators And Drivers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
0.4%
(or 100 jobs)
From
14,700
in 2021
To
14,700
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 13,400
2012 11,500
2013 15,900
2014 15,400
2015 13,900
2016 10,800
2017 13,100
2018 11,100
2019 15,100
2020 16,200
2021 14,700
2026 14,700

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 90% of people employed as Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 24 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 50 hours per week in their main job. This is 6 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,438 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,776
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,888

    Median hourly earnings are $50, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,438 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Construction
44.7%
2
Manufacturing
17.1%
3
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
15.1%
4
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
5.9%
5
Other industries
15.8%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

29.8% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

19.6% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

23.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.8% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

17.3% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.4% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.4% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators All Jobs Average
NSW 29.8 31.6
VIC 19.6 25.6
QLD 23.3 20.0
SA 6.8 7.0
WA 17.3 10.8
TAS 1.4 2.0
NT 1.4 1.0
ACT 0.4 1.9


  • Around 52% of Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
3%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 3% of the workforce. This is 45 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

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 Bracket Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators All Jobs Average
15-19 1.1 5.0
20-24 5.1 9.3
25-34 18.9 22.9
35-44 26.4 22.0
45-54 27.9 21.6
55-59 11.2 9.0
60-64 6.5 6.0
65 and Over 2.9 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator. Although some workers have a certificate III or IV in construction crane operations or mobile crane operations.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package and Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.

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 Qualification Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.3 10.1
Bachelor degree 1.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 3.9 11.6
Certificate III/IV 39.0 21.1
Year 12 17.5 18.1
Year 11 8.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 29.5 12.5

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.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators can communicate clearly, work well with others and are reliable.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 50%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 46%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 43%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 43%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 43%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 41%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 41%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 41%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 39%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 37%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 34%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 34%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 32%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 32%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 30%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 29%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 62%

    Mechanical

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

  • 49%

    Transportation

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

  • 43%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 42%

    Building and construction

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

  • 42%

    Engineering and technology

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

  • 42%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 41%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 40%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 39%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 37%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 36%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 35%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 35%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 35%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 26%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 23%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 22%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 22%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 21%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 20%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 59%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 59%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 57%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 55%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 54%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 52%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 50%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 50%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 45%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 45%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 45%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 45%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 43%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 43%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 43%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 41%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 37%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 78%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 75%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 69%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 66%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 63%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 63%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 63%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 62%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 60%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 57%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 56%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 55%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 54%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 53%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 52%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 50%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 49%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 48%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 45%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 43%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 62%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 48%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 67%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 43%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 43%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 38%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

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

  • 95%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 91%

    Contact with people

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

  • 91%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 91%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 89%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 87%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 84%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 84%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 83%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 80%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 80%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 80%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 79%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 77%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 76%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 76%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 75%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

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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