Have you ever considered a mobile crane operator job? How to kick-start your career within the crane industry.

Ever considered a career as a crane operator? If so, there has never been a better time.

With salaries rising and the demand for highly specialised professionals around the country on the increase, there are plenty of opportunities for workers with the right qualifications.


The pandemic has certainly had a deep impact on some industries. Although a number of sectors waited on the sidelines with bated breath to see just how consumer behaviour would affect them (and this can be said of the construction industries and the logistics sector), in actual fact demand for these services has increased.

Curiously enough, the construction sector is going from strength to strength despite strong setbacks. According to the July 2021 article “Showing Resilience” published in Cranes Today Magazine, demand for cranes is still high despite the market being hit by construction material shortages due to pandemic-related supply chain disruption. 

Some of the main factors contributing to the buoyancy of the sector include: building reconditioning and adaptation as commercial premises are readapted for the residential market, an increase in warehouse builds due to the rise in online shopping demands and a slow but steady move towards prefabricated housing structures. 

Careers within the crane industry have never looked brighter. At the time of going to press, the UK’s leading employment portals* were publishing in the region of 240 mobile crane operator jobs and crane driver jobs a day, with the average salary being listed at 35.000 pounds per annum**, but with offers as high as 65.000 pounds p.a. for highly specialised operators.  

With this in mind, it may be worth considering a career as a crane operator if you’re starting out in the job market or thinking of retraining. 

Let’s take this opportunity to take a closer look at the demands and requirements of crane operator jobs and the training possibilities.


Although many of the functions of the mobile crane operator job may seem obvious, it’s useful to go over some of the basic requirements that mobile crane operators must meet and the functions they carry out.

Mobile crane operators are regularly required to work on construction sites and in noisy environments. The job may also involve working at height.

If the employer requires you to drive mobile cranes to clients’ sites, as well as your operator qualifications you’ll require a C1 or C LGV licence for driving mobile cranes on public roads.

The day-to-day tasks of a mobile crane operator may include the following:

  • Driving to and from the client’s site or premises.
  • Following safety procedures before commencing operation.
  • Safely loading and unloading materials or cargo from lorries or vessels.
  • Movement of materials around a worksite.
  • Monitoring sensors that measure wind speed, crane stability and load weights.
  • Communicating effectively with other workers on-site as regards the tasks being carried out and safety issues.
  • Detecting machine faults and carrying out minor repairs to the machine.
  • Reporting problems to the supervisor.
  • Detecting any hazards that may hinder safe operation of the crane and acting accordingly.

Do you have what it takes?

Operating a crane can be a satisfying and rewarding job that is suited to people who like to work outdoors, who like a certain amount of change in their daily routines and who have the capacity to concentrate whilst carrying out potentially dangerous tasks. 

Do you have these skills? Check this skills list as published by the National Careers Service*** to see if this sounds like you:

Skills and knowledge required to work as a mobile crane operator:

  • concentration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device


If you think that this career path may be right for you, the next thing to consider is training.

There are a number of mobile crane operator training courses available There a number of different courses NVQS, SITERIGHT, ALLMI and CCPS Courses


If you think that this career path may be right for you, the next thing to consider is training.

There are a number of mobile crane operator training courses available, including:

  • CPCS Crane Training Courses:  The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) is the most widely recognised card scheme for plant operators and users within the UK Construction Industry. 

The scheme requires operatives to have passed a health and safety test before attempting a CPCS Technical Test. CPCS training courses include technical tests of a high standard and are designed to assess operators’ abilities in the safe and efficient use of the equipment.

  • NOCN Accredited SiteRight Courses: SiteRight courses are NOCN accredited short training programs that provide participants with a solid basis for the technical aspect of crane operation as well as the safety measures to be applied.
  • ALLMI Courses: ALLMI (The Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers) training courses cover all technical aspects as well as all safety aspects of loading and unloading lorries. 
  • NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications): National Vocational Qualifications are portfolio based qualifications that allow you to demonstrate your theoretical and practical knowledge through written examples, observations, witness testimonies and questioning. NVQs are taken into consideration alongside other training to complete your professional profile and to allow you to access the next level CPCS card.

Red to Blue CPCS Cards – How it works

Upon completing a CPCS course, you will be issued with a Red Trained Operator Card which is valid for up to two years. To then upgrade to a Blue card, you will need to complete an NVQ qualification alongside CITB health, safety and environment tests. 

Interested in advancing your career in mobile crane operation?

Emerson Cranes offer CPCS and National Vocational Qualifications as well Site Right and ALLMI Courses.   If you’re interested in a career as a mobile crane operator, get in touch with Emerson today on 020 8059 2546. Our friendly team of advisors will be happy to discuss our range of courses with you to help you find the right one. Get in touch today!