Finding Crane Operator Training Programs

For people interested in getting heavy equipment operation training, which includes crane operator training, there are a number of options. There are stand-alone courses, certification preparation courses, and complete certification programs. These training programs train students on crane inspection and maintenance, rigging strategies, signals, lifting safety, and assembly. Usually, on-line programs are not available because becoming a heavy equipment operator requires hands-on learning.

Choosing the Right Program

Crane operator training can happen in a variety of locations. For instance, there are over 50 community colleges and technical schools that offer heavy equipment training nationwide. Additionally, apprenticeships are available through the International Union of Operating Engineers as well as the Associated General Contractors of America. There are also a number of reputable firms that offer onsite training, which is recognized by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Deciding where to be trained is up to the students and it is often a matter of access. If a community college or technical school with a heavy equipment training program is nearby, this is an excellent option. However, this is not the case for all those looking to enter the field. For those who do not have such a program nearby, entering into an apprenticeship or finding on-site training might be a better choice.

Being Trained
Crane operator training requires students to do work in the classroom as well as the field. They usually learn
* Inspection
* Maintenance
* Rigging
* Signal commands
* Using slings
* Lifting safely
* Assembly
* Following American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards

Furthermore, students are taught to communicate using voice, radio, and hand signals. Safety around power lines is also emphasized.

Becoming Certified or Licensed
Not all employers require certification for their crane operators. However, becoming certified helps establish competency as a crane operator. All certifications offered through the NCCCO comply with ASME and the American Nation Standards Institute B30 crane safety standards. If becoming certified is not mandatory, it still has benefits. Being certified can make an operator more marketable when they search for a job with a different employer.

Certifications are available for tower, mobile, and overhead crane operators. Certification exams include written and practical application testing, which must be completed within one year. Certification must be renewed every five years via a written test.

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