Where Can I Learn How to Drive a Crane?

Blog, Crane Operator

​If you’ve ever wanted to start a career using heavy equipment, you may have considered being a crane operator. These large machines are capable of moving nearly any object, and they’re one of the most important machines on most jobsites.

You may think operating a crane looks easy from the outside, but it takes a lot of practice and training to be able to do so. Cranes are powerful machines, meaning they can become dangerous to the operator and the other people working at the jobsite when not operated properly. The crane operators you see making this job look easy have completed hours of courses and training to be qualified for their positions. But with just a few weeks of training, you could become certified to start this new and promising career.

When you’re trying to find somewhere to learn how to drive a crane, you’ll want to make sure the place you choose will give you the best possible education. The staff at West Coast Training has over 100 years of combined experience working and teaching in the field. If you’re ready to be taught by true professionals and become qualified to begin a new career in just a few weeks, learning how to drive a crane is a great start.

Where can you go to learn how to drive a crane?

When you want to learn how to drive a crane, you should apply to become a student at a heavy equipment training school. West Coast Training in Washington offers the kind of training that will allow you to practice using different cranes, be taught the fundamentals by professionals, and be well on your way to receiving your certification. West Coast Training attracts students from around the country as well as internationally. And like at a college, students are met with accommodations to make their time taking these courses comfortable.

Housing options at West Coast Training vary from furnished apartments to discounted rates at hotels or referrals to local RV parks. For the few weeks you’re attending the school, you’ll be met with transportation to and from the nearby Portland International Airport, as well as given transportation options to and from your desired living arrangement.

While at a school like West Coast Training, you’ll be learning both in the classroom and in the field, with over 50 percent of your learning involving hands-on experience. All you need to do is apply to a school like ours to start your journey to a new career.

What is the application process?

The application process varies from school to school. At West Coast Training, the application process starts with a call or email, leading to a conversation about what you wish to get out of the program. Speaking with the admissions adviser allows each potential student the opportunity to bounce their ideas off a knowledgeable person who can help them figure out the path to their goals. These advisers can help each student create a course plan that’s specific to their interests and needs, so you can be confident that you’re getting what you want out of your program.

If you’re nervous about meeting the financial requirements for the courses, just keep in mind that some schools (like us!) offer a variety of financial assistance options. These options include student loans, veterans benefits, Trade Act funds, tribal funds, and more. Since all of these are accepted at West Coast Training, you can take your worries off the financial burden and focus instead on how you’ll soon be qualified to get a high-demand job as a crane operator.

What program should you take?

When you decide to enroll in a heavy equipment or crane school, there may be more than one program option to choose from. Sure, you’re going into it to learn how to drive a crane, but there are other options that can work in conjunction with your initial plans and make you even more qualified to be hired once your training is complete.

For instance, West Coast Training offers a four-week mobile crane training course. During this course, you’ll train to become competent operators of both small and large hydraulic cranes, as well as lattice boom truck and crawl mounted mobile cranes. You’ll practice things like designed lifts, signaling, rigging, and smooth operating techniques. Upon graduation, you’ll leave having earned six NCCCO mobile crane operator certificates. But that’s not all you can leave with.

If students want to tack on more certifications during their training, West Coast Training even offers the option of extending their training and learning more. There’s an option to enroll in the crane operator/rigger training, and that takes eight weeks to complete. As an extension of the four-week mobile crane training course, the crane operator/rigger training can earn students a total of nine NCCCO certificates after graduating from the course. If you take this path, this extended training allows you to get experience with other equipment and will make you a more well-rounded candidate for employers.

Give yourself options

Taking more than one training does more than just qualify you for additional positions. It also gives you more opportunities to pick the right machine. You may go into training thinking that you want to be a standard crane operator, but upon testing out a different machine, you might realize that you’re better-suited to work with a hammerhead or a self-erecting tower crane. Figuring these things out during your training is a far better idea than getting into the workforce and realizing you haven’t chosen the right equipment.

If you’re considering attending a school like West Coast Training but are unsure if this type of career would be a good choice for you, try taking our free quiz. It can help you decide if you’ll be a good fit for this line of work. And if you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today to start your application process.