Crane Technician: Salary, Duties and Outlook

Crane technicians require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and necessary skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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A crane technician repairs and maintains cranes. While postsecondary education is not required, the knowledge that comes from courses in heavy machinery, mechanics, and other related topics can be useful to aspiring crane technicians.

Essential Information

Crane technicians are specialized mechanics who work on the mobile equipment that transports heavy materials. This hands-on occupation demands expertise in crane machinery, safety awareness, and problem-solving skills. A high school diploma is the standard requirement for this career, though completion of postsecondary education or degree programs in heavy equipment mechanics or diesel technology can be beneficial for prospective crane technicians.

Required Education High school diploma at minimum; postsecondary education may be helpful
Other Requirements On-the-job training may be required; safety awareness is mandatory
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% for all heavy vehicle and mobile equipment technicians
Mean Salary (2015)* $50,080 annually for all mobile heavy equipment mechanics

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Crane Technician Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), crane technicians, as well as all mobile heavy equipment mechanics, earned a mean wage of $50,080 annually or $24.08 hourly in May 2015. These rates varied according to industry and location. The natural gas industry, for examples, offered the highest mean wages at $68,250 per year. District of Columbia and Massachusetts offered the highest mean annual wage among all states: $66,340 and $65,280.

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Crane Technician Duties

Crane technicians are responsible for repairing and maintaining crane equipment. Duties may include replacing defective parts, cleaning equipment, testing machinery, and overhauling cranes. Technicians diagnose problems by operating the machines or inspecting the equipment with the help of computerized testing tools, calibration appliances, and micrometers. They may also estimate the cost of repairs, order parts, and track crane maintenance by writing technical reports.

Most crane technicians work for companies that require frequent movement of heavy materials, such as equipment distribution businesses, construction firms, and government organizations. They usually work indoors in ventilated, well-lighted shops; however, some technicians work outdoors and travel to construction sites when it's inconvenient to bring cranes to a shop. Technicians must be mindful of safety procedures because the job often entails lifting heavy parts and working hands-on with greasy equipment.

Crane Technician Outlook

Crane technician employment is expected to increase 5% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. This growth will be due in part to increased usage of cranes and heavy equipment in the construction industry. Another factor will be an increased complexity of crane technology and, in effect, a need for technicians to service the equipment. Opportunities will be best for technicians with formal training in crane technology.

Crane technicians repair and maintain cranes and mobile equipment that lifts heavy items. Usually crane technicians work indoors, but sometimes they work outdoors or travel to work sites. Job growth in this field is predicted to be slower than average, at 5%, from 2014-2024.

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