How Do I Become a Crane Operator in Seattle?

Blog, Crane Operator

If you’ve ever driven past a construction site, a crane has probably caught your eye. They’re usually the tallest piece of equipment on the site, and sometimes, they can even tower over buildings and bridges. If you like the idea of being in charge of one of these sky-high machines, then you should consider becoming a crane operator.

The goal of being a crane operator is accessible to most people if you’re determined and willing to learn. If you’re in the Seattle area, then you’re in the perfect place to learn how to become one. Crane schools like West Coast Training in Washington have been teaching people from all across the world how to safely and knowledgeably operate a crane. For nearly 60 years, we’ve been putting our expertise to the test in our crane schools to make sure we pass down all the information you need to become an efficient crane operator.

Deciding you want to take on a new career is only the first exciting step. And now that you’re here, that means you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways you can become a crane operator.

Find the Right Training School

There are many places you can go to learn how to become a crane operator. Some people choose to do apprenticeships with construction companies, but perhaps the most thorough training you can receive will be at a professional crane and heavy equipment training center. This type of schooling can give you both classroom and hands-on training, and Seattle has some of the best crane operator schools nearby.

West Coast Training in Woodland, WA, is just a few hours away from Seattle, and our training is accredited by the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research). Since we follow their curriculum and include all the training requirements, you’ll make sure you have all the knowledge and experience you need before getting on a construction site. We’ve been working to help students increase their earning potential since 1959, so you can be confident we know a thing or two about heavy equipment training.

Apply to the Training School

When you decide that you want to attend West Coast Training for a crane operator school, the next thing you’ll want to do is to apply. The application process starts by calling or emailing West Coast Training and describing what it is you hope to get out of the training and what you want to achieve afterward. With the help of an Admissions Advisor, you’ll be able to select which path is best to help you reach those goals.

During the application process, you’ll also be able to apply for financial assistance should you need it. Not everyone can afford to pay for education out-of-pocket, which is why we work with many different financial assistance programs. Some of those programs include Veterans Benefits, Student Tuition Loans, Workforce Investment Act Funds, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation funds, and many others. Your Admissions Advisor can assist you in figuring out what you’re eligible for when it comes to financial assistance.

Pass the Required Course(s)

When you start looking at the available courses at West Coast Training, you’ll see there are more opportunities available to you than just crane operator courses. One of the best things you can do to make yourself more appealing to future employers is to become qualified to use more than just one machine. You may even find that you like switching it up on the job or that you ultimately like one type of machine better than a crane when you get out there. You always have the option of taking more courses or extending your training by a few weeks to incorporate another type of training.

As far as becoming a crane operator goes, you’ll want to be sure to take the mobile crane four-week course. The objective of this course is to teach students to use small hydraulic, large hydraulic, and lattice boom trucks, as well as crawler-mounted mobile cranes.

Approximately 50 percent of the training you do will be out in the field, performing mobile crane operations, practicing techniques, signaling, and completing other tasks essential to your future job. This time will be paired with classroom time, which makes up for the other 50 percent of the training. You’ll learn the fundamentals of using a crane and be able to apply them on-site. Class sizes are small so that everyone receives enough time using the machinery and can finish the course feeling comfortable and confident in using the equipment.

Become Certified

Once you’ve successfully completed the Mobile Crane Training course, you’ll then take your final examinations. NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) exams include five written and three practical certification tests. After you pass the tests you will earn the following six NCCCO Mobile Crane Operator certifications: Lattice Boom Truck Crane (LBT), Lattice Boom Crawler Crane (LBC), Fixed Cab Hydraulic Crane (TSS), Swing Cab Hydraulic Crane (TLL), Boom Truck Fixed Crane (BTF), and Service Truck Crane (STO).

With these certifications, you’ll be a well-qualified candidate when it comes to looking for a job, which is each student’s end goal anyway, isn’t it? Prospective employers will see that you went to an accredited school, and with the reputation of a good training program and your own hard work, you can be confident you’ll score a job in no time.

Start Your Career

Once you have all the certifications, you’re officially ready to start your career as a crane operator. When you graduate from a training school like West Coast Training, you’ll be provided with nationally recognized credentials as well as post-graduation assistance. You can get help preparing a resume and developing interview skills and be guided toward a job that fits your ambitions.

So, is becoming a crane operator the next career move for you? West Coast Training offers potential students the opportunity to take a free quiz to help them decide if this career path is a good fit. Take the quiz today, and you’ll be that much closer to becoming a crane operator.