How Can I Find Overhead Crane Safety Training Programs?

Overhead crane operator safety training programs are available through community and technical colleges and union-based training centers. Learn about these programs and licensure and certification requirements. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Train To Become An Overhead Crane Operator?

An overhead crane is a crane with a movable bridge that has a movable crane attached. These cranes are often run by remote and have a hoisting mechanism attached to it. While some colleges have courses and programs, you can also consider an apprenticeship for hands-on training. Apprenticeships often pay entry-level wages for the work you do while you learn. The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) offers apprenticeships at local union sites, and its website offers a list of training centers across the country (

Regardless of whether your training is through the union or through a technical school, you'll learn about the anatomy of overhead and hydraulic cranes. You'll learn pre-operational inspection, government regulations, hand signals, load control, recordkeeping and rigger responsibilities. Along with these, you'll study safety procedures and maintenance requirements.

Program Availability Apprenticeships, unions, and technical schools
Regulations Crane safety around people, orderliness and maintenance
Certification Voluntary, but available through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% for Material Moving Machine Operators*
Median annual Salary (May 2018) $54,140 for Crane and Tower Operators*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Regulations Must I Meet?

The U.S. Department of Labor has an agency called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The OSHA website dedicates a section to crane safety and has links to the Regulatory Agenda, Federal Registers, OSHA standards, standard interpretations of the safety regulations and directives for compliance officers (

Crane safety isn't limited to the use of cranes, but it also applies to hoists, loads, speeds, hooks, hoist ropes and other parts of the crane. Examples of regulations pertaining to overhead cranes include the avoidance of carrying loads over people, the orderliness of the crane cab so that no controls are obstructed and the regular inspection and maintenance of crane components.

Where Can I Get Certification?

While certification is a voluntary credential, becoming a certified crane operator will prove to employers and customers that you know how to work with overhead cranes. The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) provides certification for operators of four types of cranes, including the overhead crane and the tower crane (

NCCCO also provides certification for riggers and signalpersons. According to the NCCCO website, 18 states, and six cities currently require crane operators to be licensed. These states and cities are listed on the NCCCO website. Check with your state agency to see the requirements for crane operator licensure.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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