A crane inspector is responsible for ensuring that hooks, shackles, bolts, buckles and other components of a crane are safely secured and in working order. Someone wishing to become a crane inspector must have prior experience working as a crane or heavy equipment operator. Additionally, in many countries, inspectors must complete one or more licensing examination and some employers also require applicants for these roles to have certain academic credentials.
Inspectors are employed by regulatory agencies that conduct safety checks at building sites, oil rigs and at other locations. Additionally, laws in some nations mean that building companies can employ in-house inspectors who ensure that the firm's equipment is in compliance with local laws and statutes. Someone wishing to become a crane inspector must typically have spent several years working as a crane mechanic, operator or technician. Prior to assuming any of those roles, an individual may have to undergo a short-term training course which may culminate in a licensing examination. Furthermore, in many areas inspectors must meet minimum age requirements and some employers subject job applicants to background tests and drug screening.
Construction regulatory agencies often require anyone wishing to become a crane inspector to attend a certification course that usually includes both classroom based sessions and practical on-the-job coaching clinics. Training classes may last for weeks or months and at the end of each session the students must achieve a minimum passing score on the licensing examine before working as inspectors. Cranes come in many varieties including mobile cranes, tower cranes and overhead cranes; different types of these machines are found on oil rigs, construction sites and docks. While some regulatory agencies offer one training course, other agencies conduct a variety of training sessions each of which is designed to prepare the attendees to inspect one type of machine. Someone planning to become a crane inspector may have to complete multiple training courses before working with a variety of different types of equipment.
In many countries, safety regulators and construction industry associations do not typically require inspectors to have completed any formal education courses beyond high school. Nevertheless, since many people employed in this field are inspecting machines that belong to the firms that they work for, some employers prefer to hire inspectors who have the knowledge and ability to rectify problems. Some firms only hire individuals who have completed a college degree course in mechanical engineering or a related topic.