Crane Operator Certification?Where can you go to get a crane license/certification and where you can get the initial crane operation training to help you pass the certification exams?

You can get the initial crane operator certificate by enrolling in a course offered by a crane operator training school.

The good thing about this being a crane operator is that the training is vastly available all across the U.S. Just browse the state where you are situated on the menu of this webpage, there you can find a directory of crane operator schools where you can enroll.

The school will prepare you to pass the NCCCO certification exam in order for you get certified operating cranes.

And depending on the state where you will be working, additional licensing requirement may have to be accomplished. Currently there are 16 states namely California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and 7 cities and they are Chicago, Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Washington DC that require crane operators to have license.
If you are located in one of these states or cities and you want to work there, please get in touch with the appropriate authority to ensure you have the newest information on how to get crane operator license.



How to Take the NCCCO Certification Exams

There are two ways to take the CCO Exams – you can either choose the Paper Pencil Test (PPT) or the Computer-Based Test (CBT), both of which have identical content questions. You can inquire about the schedule of application, deadline of submission and testing dates at approved NCCCO test sites and PSI centers across the country.

Application Process

To apply for PPT exam, fill up the Candidate Application form or apply online. Send the Candidate Application form together with the corresponding exam fees to NCCCO – Testing Services Department with mailing address at 1960 Bayshore Boulevard, Dunedin, FL 34698. Contact first the Test Site Coordinator to confirm if the application should be sent to the Test Site Coordinator or directly to NCCCO. You may also opt to send your application and payment online for either PPT or CBT exams. Remember to check the application for incomplete information, incorrect amount of payment, and/or inaccurate documentation to prevent delays and additional fees in your application process.

Deadline of Application Submission

Submission of application forms are due two (2) weeks before the scheduled examination date. Specific locations of the Test Sites will be available at least four (4) weeks before the test date. Approved candidates will receive a letter approximately one (1) week before the test date.

During the Day of Exam

Upon arrival at the Testing Site on the day of the exam, you will be required to present valid photo identification and affix your signature on the test site roster. Without a valid ID, you will not be allowed to take the test.

Valid ID’s may include:
• Passport
• Government-Issued Driver’s License
• Military Identification Card
• US Government-Issued Alien Registration Card
• Work Identification

Things to Bring in the Exam Room:
• Photo Identification
• Admission Letter for the Specific Test Date
• Two pieces of #2 pencils, sharpened
• A good eraser

Other items will not be allowed in the room. Calculators, scratch papers, cellular phones and other materials are strictly prohibited in the examination room.



Related OSHA Regulation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required all U.S crane operators to undergo certification. This ruling has been issued in November 2014 but the intended deadline which has been set up to November 2017 has been pushed further back to November 2018 as one year extension.

This decision to extend the time for crane operators to get certified has been publicly supported by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). In addition, the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) ruled unanimously in favor of OSHA’s proposed one-year extension.

This would mean that all crane operators must now become certified by November 2018 in order to continue working within the United States. The OSHA estimates that about 71,700 do not yet have the certification needed to ensure they are qualified and following safety standards and federal regulations.

As with the purpose of certification, this would ensure that a crane machine operator has proven a fundamental knowledge, set of the principles of cranes and crane procedures, OSHA guidelines, and ASME standards requirements has effectively demonstrated both understanding and the physical proficiency set to operate a category of crane.

Crane Operator Training, Certification, and Evaluation

The company must guarantee that each operator is competent, certified/ licensed, and evaluated in accordance with this regulation before operating any equipment as indicated under subpart CC, except for the equipment listed in paragraph (2)a of this section. An employee who has not been certified/licensed and evaluated to operate designated equipment in accordance with this section may only operate the machine as an operator-in-training under supervision in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.


Operator certification/ licensing and training under this section is not required for operators of derricks, side-boom cranes, or equipment with a maximum manufacturer-rated hoisting/ lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds or less.

Note: The training requirements in those other sections continue to apply (for the training requirement for operators of side-boom cranes, follow section 1926.1430 of the OSHA rules and regulations on Crane certification federal registers).



What Are The Core Competencies You Must Learn?

Mobile Crane Operator Certification

There are set of proficiencies that you need to master to be able to qualify for the mobile crane certification process. You need to be able to display proper skills in operating the three types of crane namely the Lattice Boom Cranes (covering both LBC and LBT), Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL) and Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS). The examination will be composed of both written and practical exams. You will also be undergoing a written test covering one area of specialty which you should register in. The NCCCO Written Specialty Examinations include the following set of expertise:

  • Lattice Boom Cranes (covering both LBC and LBT)
  • Lattice Boom Crawler Cranes (LBC)
  • Lattice Boom Truck Cranes (LBT)
  • Large Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL) (boom moves with the cab)
  • Small Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS)( boom does not move with the cab)

Aside from the written and practical exams, there are other requirements you need to meet. You must be at least 18 years old from the time of testing. You must also comply with the ASME medical requirement standards that may include a certificate from a Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examiner.

You will be asked to promise to follow the NCCCO Ethics and Substance Abuse Codes meeting OSHA and ASME policies. After passing the written exam, you are allowed to schedule the practical exam within 12 months therein. Failure to comply will forfeit your written exam passing mark and you will begin the entire process once again.

Tower Crane Operator Certification

The new NCCCO rules on crane operator certification also include those who operate tower cranes in manufacturing applications and construction. The requirements to meet to qualify for the Tower Crane Operator Certificate are similar to the mobile crane operator certification process. The age requirement is 18 years old. You will have to meet the health requirements and follow the NCCCO Ethics and Substance Abuse policies.

You will go through a written exam that consists of 55 multiple choice questions and practical exams that will be scheduled after passing the written exam. The practical core competencies you need to master may be taken on these crane types – Hammerhead, Luffer and Self-Erecting cranes. After fulfilling these requirements and examinations, you will be given a certification that is valid for five (5) years and should be renewed thereafter.

Overhead Crane Operator Certification

Another type of crane operator certificate is required for those who operate overhead cranes also known as bridge cranes. The requirements are the same as mentioned in the tower crane and mobile crane operator certification process. The practical exam for overhead crane operator can be performed using Cab Operated or the Pendant / Remote Control types of Overhead cranes.



To Conclude This

Now that we’ve explained where you can get crane operator license, it is now time for you to take action. Enroll in the crane operator training course.
There are crane operator training schools across the US where you get the training from. The school will prepare you to take and pass the NCCCO certification exam. You will learn a lot by enrolling in a course.

Good luck on your journey of becoming a certified crane operator.

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