Crane operators (NOC 7371)

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Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.
Estimated hourly wage
in Québec (2017-2019)
Minimum 20.00$
Median 30.00$
Maximum 45.00$
Job prospect
(2019-2023)
Employment in 2018
2,500
Skill level
Technical (usually a college or secondary school vocational diploma)

Nature of work

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.

Main duties

  • Crane operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - Operate mobile and tower cranes to lift, move, position or place equipment and materials
  • - Perform pre-operational inspection, and calculate crane capacities and weight to prepare for rigging and hoisting
  • - Operate pile driving cranes to drive pilings into earth to provide support for buildings and other structures
  • - Continued…
  • - Operate cranes equipped with dredging attachments to dredge waterways and other areas
  • - Operate gantry cranes to load and unload ship cargo at port side
  • - Operate locomotive cranes to move objects and materials at railway yards
  • - Operate bridge or overhead cranes to lift, move and place plant machinery and materials
  • - Operate offshore oil rig cranes to unload and reload supply vessels
  • - Operate cranes mounted on boats or barges to lift, move and place equipment and materials
  • - Operate dragline cranes to expose coal seams and ore deposits at open pit mines
  • - May assemble tower cranes on site
  • - Perform routine maintenance work such as cleaning and lubricating cranes.

Employment requirements

  • * Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • * Completion of a one- to three-year apprenticeship program or High school, college or industry courses in crane operating are usually required.
  • * Mobile crane operator trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the Northwest Territories.
  • * Tower crane operator trade certification is compulsory in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba and available, but voluntary, in Prince Edward Island.
  • * Mobile crane operator (hydraulic) trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and available, but voluntary, in Prince Edward Island.
  • * Hoist operator trade certification, for specified types of cranes, is compulsory in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta and is available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • * Mobile crane operators may require a provincial licence to drive mobile cranes on public roads.
  • * Internal company certification as a crane operator may be required by some employers.
  • * Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified mobile crane, tower crane and mobile crane (hydraulic) operators upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

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