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Crane operators are a vital part of any construction crew, and you’ll find them at nearly every site imaginable. Without crane operators and their equipment, gleaming city skylines and iconic structures wouldn’t be possible. A diverse skill set is needed in order to become a crane operator. As such, crane operator training will touch on many different subjects and will need adaptability from those who pursue the profession.

Crane operators do more than simply push the pedals and pull the levers in their vehicles to lift, move, position, and reposition materials and objects. Crane operators need to be well versed in operating their equipment, of course, but also need to follow construction site safety protocols, perform the necessary maintenance on their equipment, learn how to manage the orders and details of the job site, and most importantly, communicate with team members on the job.

Skills and Certifications Needed in Crane Operator Training

Crane operators should be both responsible and detail oriented. They’ll need the discipline to sit in the tight confines of their control booth for long periods of time, and possess manual dexterity, flexibility, and enough physical strength to access their booths and make repairs and the necessary maintenance.

Crane operators should also have good depth perception, excellent reaction times, and strong hand-eye coordination. The ability to critically think and make good judgments quickly will also be assets.

In terms of education, the requirements for crane operation consist of a high school diploma along with a certification and training/apprenticeships.

Once certified, most crane operators get their initial work experience through on-the-job training or apprenticeships. All crane program candidates, in general, must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be in good physical condition.

Certification remains a necessary component in crane operator training, and depending on where you decide to work, a state-issued license may also be required. Most states will utilize the exam administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) as a starting point to licensure.

The NCCCO certification process includes both written and practical exams to demonstrate crane operation knowledge and operating ability. But with no higher education required, a career in crane operation offers a path to a good salary and benefits for those with no more than a high school degree.

What to Expect as a Crane Operator

Crane operators will be asked to lift, move, and place equipment and materials with their equipment. They’ll also be asked to handle inspections on their cranes and calculate the capabilities of their machines. In addition, crane operators will be sometimes asked to assemble cranes on-site and perform routine maintenance.

Crane operators typically work a standard workweek — 40 hours at eight hours a day for five days a week — but it should be expected there will be periods when they’ll be asked to work overtime in order to complete deadline projects.

But if you’re good with your hands, have strong depth perception, and possess excellent communication skills, then crane operation could be for you. Prospective operators should also be okay with working outdoors, often in noisy environments, and be willing to travel to work. Careers in crane operations cover a wide variety of options, including building construction, railway work, shipbuilding, mining, and crane rental companies.

Performance Training Solutions’ Mobile Crane Operations Course

Performance Training Solutions offers a three-week, 120-hour program that will provide you with the fundamental training, knowledge, and skills necessary to gain entry-level employment as an NCCCO-certified crane operator. The certification program for crane operator training covers both the Mobile Hydraulic Telescopic Boom Swing-Cab and Telescopic Boom Fixed-Cab cranes.

We offer a program that includes a combination of in-crane and in-classroom instruction. Roughly half of the instruction will take place in the classroom, and topics covered include basic principles of cranes, crane safety, preventative maintenance, wire rope, basic rigging practices, and orientation to the trade.

The other half of the course will include in-the-seat training in both the swing-cab and fixed-cab versions of the telescopic boom cranes. You can learn much more about our Mobile Crane Operations course here.

PTS Offers the First Step on a New Career Path

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Performance Training Solutions is a heavy equipment operator school that assists those who wish to pursue a career in crane operation or heavy equipment operation. Recognized as one of the top training schools in the country, Performance Training Solutions has a team of experienced trainers and career representatives who are committed to helping students succeed in the long term.

With two courses in Heavy Equipment Operation, as well as the Mobile Crane Operations course, Performance Training Solutions offers a fast-track path to a new career. If you’d like to know more about Performance Training Solutions, contact us today.

Don’t forget to ask us how you can earn $500 off your tuition by scheduling a tour!

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