By becoming a certified mobile crane operator, you will become eligible for operating a crane on construction and building sites where heavy materials are moved frequently. The job of a crane operator is hard, yet rewarding work. It requires a considerable amount of practice and professional training. Here’s everything you need to know to become a certified crane operator.


How Long Does It Take to Become a Crane Operator?

It can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years depending on the training program and the type of crane you wish to operate.  Most certification training courses last from 4-8 weeks. However, to actually become a full-time professional operator, employers look for 2-5 years of experience which is why you will need on-the-job training or an apprenticeship under a certified operator for a few years.

How Much Does a Crane Operator Make per Hour?

As per Indeed, an operator is paid $20.23 per hour on average. In another report by ZipRecruiter, they claimed that the average pay is $35 per hour. Similarly, various sources report a wide range of estimates for the salary of an operator in the USA while, in fact, these estimations are heavily dependent on the location and the experience of the operator. A certified operator working in New York City, for example, can earn up to $500,000, including overtime pay and benefits.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Certified as a Crane Operator?

To become a certified operator, you will need to undergo crane operator training as well as take a written and practical exam. Total Equipment Training offers accreditation through the National Commission for Crane Operators. Training costs will vary based on the method of training. Employers are required to provide training for their operators. Total Equipment Training provides site-specific crane training and, if needed, certification. On the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) website, you can see the prices listed for the written, computer-based, and practical exams.

Do You Need a CDL to Operate a Crane?

If your job requires that you drive the crane on the open road, you will need a CDL. It is possible to have one person drive a crane to a location and another person actually operate the crane. This is very counterproductive and wasteful, so we recommend employees operating cranes be licensed and trained in all roles.

How Do You Become NCCCO Certified?

First, you will need to qualify for the certification by being at least 18, passing the physical examination, and agreeing to the substance abuse policy. Next, you will need to pass both a written and practical exam.

Are Crane Operators in Demand?

The market has been experiencing a rise in the demand for certified operators for some time now. Operator jobs are expected to mark a growth rate of 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to a prediction made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, accounting for the growing high-tech infrastructure projects that require heavy lifting, this prediction seems logical.

Is Being a Crane Operator Dangerous?

Operating a crane is a safe job when the equipment is properly maintained and safety procedures are followed. The most dangerous parts of being an operator are electrical/power hazards, overloading, and falling materials.  All of these hazards can and should be managed through planning, preparation, adequate training, and safeguards.  

Should I Become a Crane Operator?

Do you:

  • Like working with heavy equipment?
  • Have good depth perception?
  • Enjoy working with people?
  • Enjoy traveling?
  • Enjoy working with your hands?

Then a career as an operator might be a good fit for you! You will have the opportunity to grow a stable, fulfilling, and challenging career.

Crane Operator Training at Total Equipment Training

All aspects of industrial crane operator training are provided by Total Equipment Training nationally. Our training capabilities range from small individual equipment to very large plant scale tasks. Total Equipment Training provides your employees with the training they need to pass both the written and practical NCCCO crane operator certificate exams.

Contact us today for a quote and for more information on how to tailor a crane operator training program for your needs, skill levels, and equipment.