Fort Myers crane operating recruiting high school students to the tune of $100K salary

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:
Sims Crane Operators at South Fort Myers High School (WINK News)

Learning how to use these cranes may be the key to some students’ futures.

Sims Crane & Equipment Co. went to South Fort Myers High School today to show students how they can get a job after they graduate.

Sims crane safety director and head instructor, Bob Berry, wants to teach students what it takes to be an operating engineer. They get to “Figure out the angles, the weights, the stress angle factors,” he says.

So they brought in the heavy equipment to the school.

Berry said, “It’s very much an enjoyable career because every day is a challenge.”

And, they talked money. Operators in the industry are making at least $100,000 a year.

South Fort Myers High School Senior Christopher Collins has a passion for machines. “I was really focusing on engineering.”

With a high demand for crane operators, companies like Sims have plenty of seats to fill.

Tim Greenwell, a teacher at SFMHS, said, “Once they realize you care about them, and you care about their future, and you get them opportunities about when they can say ‘I have a purpose and I have a real career ahead of me,’ everything changes.”

Collins said he could see himself in the seat of a crane, “Or I’m just going to do this for a straight-up five years or longer hopefully,” Earning a five or six-figure salary.

Sims University’s accelerated training program is 16 weeks and includes housing.

Students have to sign an agreement obligating them to work for Sims for four years. For more information, visit

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