5 Reasons a Crane Operator Course Is Worth Your Time

Blog, Crane Operator, Heavy Equipment School

Whether you’re looking to start a completely new career or you’ve been in the construction business for a long time and want to advance, furthering your education is the way to go.

By learning new skills related to the field you’re in (or want to break into), you’ll improve your employability, boost your income, and strengthen your job security. One of the best ways you can gain some valuable new skills for the competitive construction job market is to take a crane operator course.

Here are five reasons why it’s worth your time:

1. You Can Make More Money

Of course, one of the biggest reasons people choose to further their education is the hope of earning a bit more money. Attending a crane operator course can help you do just that because companies are always looking for skilled crane operators and are willing to pay to get them. According to payscale.com, the average pay for a construction worker in the United States is around $14.87 per hour. On the other hand, the average pay for a crane operator is around $24.48, with some people making as much as $35.56 per hour. That’s a significant increase in your hourly wages, and getting it is often as simple as heading to a crane operator course in your area. In and around Portland, Oregon, we recommend West Coast Training, as they offer a great eight-week course in the beautiful surroundings of the Pacific Northwest.

2. You’ll Have In-Demand Skills

Of course, crane operators can earn more money than others in the construction business, but why is that? The simple reason is that they benefit from the demand for their skills: construction projects will always require cranes, and those cranes will require operators.

However, finding a skilled crane operator is no easy task for a business. Many employers will jump at the chance to hire someone who has actually gone through a program to study the necessary skills.

Once you take a crane operator course like the ones offered by West Coast Training, you’ll be equipped with a variety of marketable skills. You’ll learn to rig loads and signal, and you’ll have the chance to practice with different types of heavy equipment, including mobile cranes and tower cranes.

You’ll also have the option, after graduation, to take a supplementary course to receive a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). Having this license will be another way to benefit greatly when looking for employment.

A good crane operator course won’t just teach you how to use the equipment either. The best schools will also instruct you on how to put a resume together, help you practice for your job interviews, and give you useful advice on where to find job listings and meet prospective employers.

3. Your Resume Will Benefit from Many Different Certifications

In any job market, learning the proper skills is essential, but it’s only the beginning. After you’ve completed your heavy equipment training, you’ll need to get out there and start looking for jobs. For many, this is where they falter; they simply have no way to make themselves stand out to prospective employers.

Fortunately, a good crane operator course will do a lot more than teach you how to work with a crane. It’ll also prepare you to take various industry certifications, all of which will make your resume look that much more attractive to hiring managers.

The crane operator course at West Coast Training will result in certification by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, or NCCCO. You’ll walk out the door after graduation with certification in Fixed Cab Hydraulic Cranes (TSS), Swing Cab Hydraulic Cranes (TLL), Lattice Boom Truck Cranes (LBT), Lattice Boom Crawler Cranes (LBC), Boom Truck Fixed Cab Cranes (BTF), Service Truck Cranes (STC), Rigger Level 1, Signal Person, and Tower Crane Operator (TWR). That’s an impressive level of versatility for an eight-week course!

And while all these certifications are sure to be impressive on a resume, for some employers, it’s an absolute must, and with it, you’re sure to have a leg up on the competition.

4. You’ll Gain Real World Experience

Of course, all the certifications in the world won’t mean much if don’t have real, hands-on experience doing the jobs that will be required of you. That’s why a good crane operator course will get you out in the field, practicing with the different equipment you’ll use on the job.
The course at West Coast Training includes seven written tests, as well as five practical certification tests. That means that, in order to be certified as a crane operator, you’ll actually need to get behind the controls and prove you can do the job.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice, though; the small class sizes at West Coast Training will ensure you have plenty of chances. You won’t spend a whole class just waiting for your turn to operate the crane. Instead, you’ll be able to hone your skills in a safe, controlled environment and work one-on-one with your instructor.

5. You’ll Make the Workplace Safer for You and Your Coworkers

We’ve saved the most important one for last: safety. On any job site, safety is key, and nowhere is that more critical than a site full of heavy equipment. A good crane operator course will stress safe conduct at all times and teach its trainees to be laser-focused on the safety of the workplace and everyone in it.

A good deal of the course’s classroom time will be spent learning the ASME standards and OSHA regulations for crane operations. Crane safety, and the safety of other heavy equipment, will be stressed at every single class. When you get into the training field and begin actually using the equipment you’re learning, you’ll practice under supervised conditions. In this way, you’ll learn the best methods for avoiding any hazards, long before they present themselves.

Employers will always be on the lookout for the candidates with the biggest commitment to safety.