Crane operator


A crane operator is responsible for operating the machinery to carry out lifting of heavy structures, components, and equipment while adhering to strict safety and environmental regulations.

Lifecycle stages

Installation, operations and maintenance.

Typical employer

EPCI contractor and subcontractor.

Place of work

Onshore at the port, construction and assembly site. Offshore on a vessel at the wind farm site.

Typical working pattern

Full-time or fixed term contract. At far-shore projects, crane operators usually live offshore on vessels and typically work two-weeks-on/two-weeks-off. Flexible working arrangements may be available for jobs onshore based.

Education, training and qualifications

Experience (1-2 years) as a crane operator in a relevant industry, such as construction. This includes experience with heavy lift machinery. Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) training is required.

Apprenticeship schemes may be available. It is desirable to have NFQ level 3 to join these.

For offshore work, the following is required (may be provided by the employer):

  • Stage 3 crane operator certification
  • Seafarers Offshore Medical
  • Global Wind Organisation Basic Safety Training and,
  • Climbing and rescue at heights training.

Typical entry position & transferable sectors

Entry roles can include crane riggers, crane operator assistants and equipment operators.

Highly transferable from similar industries such as automotive, rail and transport, construction, oil and gas or aviation.

Career possibilities

Crane operators can progress to become advanced crane operators, crane supervisors and crane engineers.

Full time salary estimate

€40,000-€70,000 per year, depending on experience. Additional offshore day rate for work done offshore on vessels. This salary range is for this specific role.