A crane operator could start onshore working in yards or on docks. An offshore crane operator will bring supplies and new pieces or equipment, structures or materials on board. The crane operator will act under the instructions of a banksman and/or platform or vessel personnel.

The operator will be responsible for ensuring daily checks on all equipment are carried out and that loads are only moved within maximum stated constraints as directed by the manufacturer.

You wouldn’t normally get an offshore position without first working your way up the ranks from experience in yards and ship docks. The easiest way in is by working in an offshore company, but in their onshore operations initially.

Salary and Progression

In an offshore position, a crane operator could look to earn £40,000, once experienced however this could rise to over £50,000 particularly once Stage Three & Stage Four certificates are gained to take supervisor roles.

Beyond being a crane operator and with plenty of experience you can look to progress to Lifting Operations Engineer or Operations Manager. With these roles you will earn significantly more but will also require sound knowledge in health and safety practices with certificates such as LOLER, IOSH Managing / Working Safely and NEBOSH.

Training and Experience Requirements

There are a number of certifictaes that employers could ask for. Most of them also have a progression structure e.g. Stage One (initial training), Stage Two (on the job experience via a log book) then Stage Three and Four (advanced and supervisor training).

  • Rigging and Lifting
  • Crane Operations
  • Banksman Slinger
  • Also consider a LOLER Awareness Course

If you intend to work offshore, you will also be required to hold valid basic offshore certificates including:

  • MIST
  • CA-EBS
  • Shoulder Measurements
  • Offshore Medical

It is likely that an employer will ask for other certificates too. It’s always a good idea to look at a range of job posts to identify commonly requested training requirements.