Tower Crane Operator Training Programs and Classes

Tower cranes are machines that are used to move building materials at construction sites. Learn about training options and certification requirements for tower crane operators. Schools offering Heavy Equipment degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

Required by almost every state and employer, crane certification is off from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). Before beginning the certification process, the NCCCO mandates that applicants must be at least 18 years old and meet all medical requirements, which include having your doctor fill out a medical form. You must also comply with both their Code of Ethics and this Substance Abuse Policy, be trained and working in crane operation at the time you are seeking certification, and must maintain these requirements for the duration of your entire certification period in order to earn NCCCO certification.

Certification Crane certification available through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
Training Available from community colleges, vocational school, and private institutions
Salary (2014) $50,720 (Median for all crane and tower operators)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Crane Institute of America, National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators'

Are There Training Programs Available?

Training programs for tower crane operation are available at many different locations. Community colleges and vocational schools may offer a course in crane operation for students interested in taking the certification exam. There are also private institutes that offer training programs in tower crane operation, safety and inspection. Many of these training programs also include courses in becoming a crane operator trainer, which is another career option for experienced and certified tower crane operators.

What Is the Certification Test Like?

To earn a tower crane certification, you must pass two tests. The written examination is comprised of 55 multiple-choice questions. The practical exam is taken on one of three crane types and tests your skills as a tower crane operator.

Certification is only valid for five years, so you must re-certify within 12 months prior to the certification expiration date. To re-certify, you have to continue to meet all requirements previously stated. You must also pass the tower crane recertification exam, which consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. You are allowed to try taking the recertification exam twice, if you fail the first time.

Keep in mind that eighteen states also require crane operators to be licensed as well as certified. Licensure typically involves taking both a written and a skills test to prove competency. Be sure to check your state requirements before looking for a job.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

Crane and tower operators earned a median annual salary of $50,720 in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania may contain the largest number of employed crane and tower operators, the highest mean wages for this position can be found in the states of Hawaii, Washington, Montana, New York, and California.

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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  • Penn Foster High School

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