How Can I Find a Crane Operating School?

Get info on finding and choosing a school for your heavy equipment operation training, which covers crane operation. Find out what you'd learn in a training or apprenticeship program. Review the licensure and certification requirements for crane operators. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training in crane operation is administered through training and/or certification programs. This area of specialty also comes in a course format. Various licensing is available, in addition to on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

How Do I Locate the Crane Operating School That's Right for Me?

The National Center for Education Statistics lists nearly 50 community colleges and technical schools that offer heavy equipment operation programs. Some of these programs include training in crane operation. Apprenticeship programs are available to you through the International Union of Operating Engineers as well as the Associated General Contractors of America. Local chapters of the union or association administer training programs.

Additionally, the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) maintains a list of reputable firms and organizations that offer onsite and some online didactic training programs. The NCCCO is a non-profit, certifying organization that's accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the American National Standards Institute.

How Is Training Administered?

Though all training is geared toward preparing you for crane operating certification, there are some differences in procedure. Apprenticeship programs take place at local job sites for the practical aspects of the training, while classroom instruction is conducted at the local union or association office. Apprenticeship programs can last 3-4 years, during which time you're actually on the job.

Training programs mentioned by the NCCCO can take place at the school's physical plant or, as in the case of a nationally oriented school, in cooperation with a local company at that company's facility. The time it will takes you to complete training may depend on the school and the actual training you pursue. Coursework usually covers safety inspections and the operation and maintenance of one or more of several types of equipment, including mobile, tower, overhead and articulating cranes. Training programs in each case can last from 1 to 4 weeks.

What Schools Offer Training for Crane Operators?

Students who want to become certified crane operators can do so through individual courses. Training also comes from Crane Institute Certification (CIC) via nationally accredited programs.

  • Jefferson State Community College offers a Crane Operator Certification Course
  • Vincennes University offers a crane operator training and certification classes
  • The University of Texas at Arlington offers a training program in crane and rigging operation

Do I Need to Become Certified or Licensed?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certification may be required by some employers. While usually voluntary, becoming certified can help establish your competence as a crane operator and may enhance your employment and advancement possibilities. The certifications offered through the NCCCO were designed to comply with American Society of Mechanical Engineers/American National Standards Institute B30 crane safety standards. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes NCCCO certifications as meeting their standards.

The NCCCO has certifications for mobile, overhead and tower crane operators. The exams include written and practical application testing and you have one year to complete both parts. Your certification must be renewed every five years by completing a written test. Online courses are available to help you prepare for the recertification exam. At the time of your recertification test, if you haven't accumulated 1,000 hours of crane-related experience, you'll have to complete another practical skills test.

The BLS notes that 17 states and six cities have individual licensing requirements. Some of these use NCCCO certification as a basis for licensure. A written and skills test is typically required to complete licensure requirements.

Crane operators usually acquire training from various programs, including certification courses. These classes meet on a scheduled basis, depending on the structure of the program.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • Washington-Holmes Technical Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Chipley
  • Washington County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Calais
  • Washburn Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Topeka
  • Uintah Basin Applied Technology College

    Campus Locations:

    • Utah: Roosevelt
  • Southern Maine Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: South Portland
  • South Louisiana Community College

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    • Louisiana: Lafayette
  • Somerset County Technology Center

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    • Pennsylvania: Somerset
  • The University of Montana

    Campus Locations:

    • Montana: Missoula
  • Santiago Canyon College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Orange