How to Become a Certified Mobile Crane Operator

A certificate in mobile crane operation will allow you to use a crane on building and construction sites to move heavy material. The job can be rewarding and meticulous, so it requires a significant amount of preparation and professional training. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about becoming a certified mobile crane operator.

Mobile Crane

How long does it take to become a crane operator?

Becoming a crane operator can take anywhere from a couple months to a couple 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 crane 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 crane operator for a few years.

How much does a crane operator make per hour?

According to Indeed, a crane operator makes $20.23 per hour.  However, ZipRecruiter reports an average of $35 per hour. In fact, there are widely ranging estimates of salary for a crane operator and these ranges are mostly based on location and the experience of the operator. For example, a crane operator in New York City can make over $500,000 a year if you include overtime pay and benefits.

Mobile Crane

How much does it cost to get certified as a crane operator?

To become a certified crane operator, you will need to undergo training as well as take a written and practical exam.  Training costs will vary based on the method of training. If you choose to enroll in a special training school, like Total Equipment Training, tuition may cost from $1500 to $2500.  The tests themselves will also cost money, although not as much as a formal course.  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.  Exams range from $50 for a single type of crane practical exam to $283 for four different kinds of crane computer 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

Mobile Crane

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?

Crane operators are definitely in demand!  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an 8% growth rate is predicted between 2014 and 2024 for crane operator jobs.  This can be explained by the increase in high-tech infrastructure projects that require heavy lifting.  

crane hook

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 a crane 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? Do you have good depth perception? Are you a people person? Do you enjoy traveling? Are you good with your hands?  A career as a crane operator might be a good fit! As a crane operator you will have the opportunity to grow a stable, fulfilling, and challenging career.    

Mobile Crane

Total Equipment Training provides your employees with 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 training program for your needs, skill levels, and equipment.