So You Want to Operate a Crane: Getting Started

by | May 21, 2023 | Blog, Crane Certification, Cranes, Heavy Equipment School | 0 comments

Are you searching for an exciting outdoor career in heavy machinery that also pays well and is always in demand? You should consider operating a crane. Read on to find out more about how to become a crane operator, including the required education, training, and certification from crane operator schools.

Education Requirements

The path toward becoming a crane operator is fairly straightforward. To start, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. But you don’t need a college degree from a four-year school to proceed. Instead, your post-high school education will be enrolling in a crane operator school.

Crane operator schools are much more affordable than traditional colleges and universities. You’ll get the education needed for a successful career without worrying about those stressful student loans.

What You’ll Learn in Crane Operator School

A great training program will give you a well-rounded education, taught by experienced and certified professionals, that sets you up for a successful crane operator career. This education includes a 50/50 split between classroom education and on-site training. The hands-on experience with cranes in the field will accurately mirror operator jobs in the real world. As with any schooling, students will be assigned homework and required reading.

The program is designed to cover every facet of operating a crane for a living. This includes:

  • Smoothly and safely operating large hydraulic, small hydraulic, and lattice-boom-truck and crawler-mounted mobile cranes
  • Rigging loads with hook block and overhaul ball
  • Load charts for different kinds of cranes
  • Learning design lifts
  • Signaling
  • Important crane safety procedures, OSHA regulations, and ASME standards
  • How to properly set up cranes
  • Wire rope reeving
  • Preparing for and performing crane equipment inspections

Receiving Certification

Along with training, you’ll need certification from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). To receive certification, testing will include five written exams and three practical exams. The practical exams are to show that you are able to set up and operate the machinery. If students pass these exams, they receive six certifications for different types of cranes.

West Coast Training is a certified NCCCO testing site, and our training program ends with the exam. This advantage means you’ll go into the testing sessions feeling extra confident and prepared. In fact, the practical exam will include operating the same cranes you’ve already practiced using in our on-site training.

Crane Operator Employment

Crane operator schools like West Coast Training offer resources for securing employment. This includes assistance polishing resumes, finding employment listings, and practicing for job interviews.

At West Coast Training, we provide students with excellent resumes when they graduate from our program. Once they’re out in the field, alumni can always use employment resources to keep their resumes updated.

You can find out more information on the programs offered at West Coast Training by visiting our crane operator school page. There you’ll find testimonials from alumni who have gone on to successful careers in your chosen field. If you have any questions about our program, feel free to contact us.