What Are the Requirements for Being a Crane Operator?

by | Sep 21, 2023 | Courses, Crane Certification, Heavy Equipment School | 0 comments

There’s a reason so many of us dreamed of operating cranes or other heavy machinery as kids. We weren’t concerned about the chance to earn as much as $79,000 per year (although now, as adults, that’s certainly a motivator). Nor were we worried about rendering ourselves indispensable in the competitive world of construction. No, we wanted to operate cranes because we simply found it impressive: the idea of using machines with that much power to move incredibly heavy materials just seemed like a cool job to have. It still does!

Maybe you’ve dreamed of learning to operate cranes yourself. Now, of course, you’ve realized that achieving this kind of dream requires sustained hard work and a commitment to setting yourself apart from the competition. Indeed, most employers won’t even consider hiring you if you don’t meet certain crane operator requirements, many of which you can reach by attending one or more of the crane operator courses at West Coast Training.

The First Requirement: Certification

Most employers expect that any candidate looking for a job handling their cranes will carry a credential from an organization such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). The purpose of this organization, and others like it, is to standardize the education of heavy equipment operators. In doing so, they can ensure safe practices across job sites and allow employers to expect a certain standard from the professionals who drive their cranes and other heavy machinery.

Earning NCCCO certification requires passing both written and practical examinations. This is why our courses at West Coast Training are evenly split into classroom time and on-the-job training: to prepare students for both exams.

The Second Requirement: Experience

Of course, you could have all the credentials in the world, and they won’t get you very far if you cannot also demonstrate to a prospective employer that you actually know how to operate a crane. This is why practical experience is one of the most essential crane operator requirements: there are some things you can only learn by doing.

One of the key skills you’ll learn at West Coast Training is communication. By practicing in a professional, but low-pressure environment with other students, you’ll learn how to coordinate with coworkers in a safe and effective manner. You will need to be able to work together with both other equipment operators as well as other construction workers who are tasked to work on the same job.

The Third Requirement: Networking

It may be an “unofficial” requirement, but it’s an incredibly important one nonetheless: to succeed in the field of construction, you need to be able to network. This means knowing prospective employers who may be looking for qualified operators. It also means having fellow crane operators in your network, many of whom may be able to recommend you for a job.

At West Coast Training, we don’t just simply check the boxes for crane operator requirements and then turn you loose. We also help connect you with prospective employers so that you can begin to find work in your chosen field soon after completing your certifications.