If you want to go into this job, the first thing you may be asking is 'do crane operators need a license?'
Currently, there are 16 states and 7 cities requiring crane operators to have either a license or a certification.
If you are working in one of these areas, you will definitely need a license: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, DC. and Chicago. The license application and requirements will vary depending on the government.
In the states of California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, , Utah, Washington, West Virginia you will only need a CCO certification.
The cities that will require you to have CCO certification are the following: Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia.
You might be wondering what is the difference between a license and a certification; well, they are two distinct credentials that you might need to consider. Certification is the proof by which you qualify as having the set of proper skills required for the job. License is the government’s permission of the allowing you to practice or demonstrate your set of specialized skills in carrying out the tasks of the job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required all crane operators to get certified in the field of crane operation.
This certification is for a variety of types of cranes and for all sizes of operations - from small sites, private property, and large construction sites. In addition to the certification, some states may have additional requirements beyond the nationally accredited licenses.
OSHA has set the deadline. Those states that don't issue licenses have until November 2018 to arrange an OSHA compliant license program or implement an accredited training program.
You must regularly check the requirements of your prospect state or city with which you will operate the crane in. If the OSHA conducts site inspection or if accidents happen on site and the crane operator has no proper certification and licensing to show, the company will be summoned for letting the unlicensed staff operate the crane. The employer could be cited with violation.
Obtaining a Crane Operator Certification
You can get CCO certified in 3 steps:
- Go through actual training.
- Pass the test.
- Get Certified.
Construction companies or employers usually provide the training to their employees. They may provide in-house training or through a third party institution that can produce the materials and programs needed. Training may include equipment set up, repair and maintenance, load charts, OSHA regulations and proof of skill to handle the equipment safely. Obtaining a crane operator license requires you to meet some eligibility prerequisites before you can continue working in the field:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must meet the ASME physical and medical requirements that may include a certificate from a medical examiner of the Department of Transportation (DOT).
- You must comply with the Substance Abuse Policy and Code of Ethics mandated by the NCCCO.
- You must pass the Core written and practical exam with one Specialty Field.
Check heavy equipment training schools near you for updates in crane operation certifications, the schedule of certification/licensure exams and the deadline of applications.
Taking the NCCCO Certification
If you have complied with the eligibility prerequisites and after getting the necessary experience and proper professional training in crane operation, you may now apply for Paper and Pencil Test (PPT) or the Computer Based Test (CBT) for crane operator certification. Both types of tests have the exact content of questions that you need to finish answering within a given time period. Your training center should be able to help and guide you in the exam application process.
Be attentive in filling up the forms, exam fees and the deadline of submission for the application. NCCCO will usually set the deadline of submission at least two weeks before the exams. Once your application has been verified, you will receive an Admission Letter via mail. On the day of the written exam you are required to present the following documents to the registration table:
- Valid Photo Identification Card
- Admission Letter
- 2 pcs of Sharpened #2 Pencil
- An eraser
Without these documents, you will not be allowed to enter the exam room. You will be allowed enough time to answer the questions. Once you have passed the written exam, you are given at least 12 months to schedule the practical exam. In the practical exam, a crane operator examiner will give you a challenging scenario that usually occurs in actual operations, you will be evaluated according to how skilled you are in following and performing the standards and safety procedures in crane operation.
Benefits of Having a Crane Operator License
Most successful people agree that continuous improvement of skills and acquiring new knowledge in your field are the two key elements in thriving and growing your career as a crane operator. Certification and/or licensure in crane operation ensures the advancement of the profession. This will help the employers to evaluate job applicants, analyze job accomplishments, select contractors, market services and encourage workers to upgrade their skills and knowledge in this particular career. Although certification may cost time, money and effort, the benefits of getting certified will outnumber the potential hassle. Here are 5 benefits of having a crane operator license:
- Gain a competitive advantage compared to non-licensed peers
- Increase skill marketability
- Increase your earning potential
- Build professional credibility
- Execute projects with increased confidence and efficiency.
- Better career flexibility
- Update skills and knowledge
- Boost relevancy
- Increase job security
There is an increasing number of private and government construction companies that prefer to engage with heavy equipment workers with certification and/or licensure especially in the field of crane operation. Certification shows your commitment to superior professionalism, your high regard for quality standards and your desire for continuous career development.
These are worthwhile investments to keep upgrading because they could provide you with many advantages to enhance your career. They help you to have that distinct recognition of your special skills set or knowledge which can be important when attaining certain clients or projects.