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how long does it take to become a crane operator

In only three short weeks, you can jumpstart your journey into a new, fulfilling career.

In an economic climate filled with layoffs and recession fears, the need for crane operators and other trade jobs continues to hold strong. The growing need for crane operators isn’t predicted to slow down soon, and the salaries continue to rise to fix the shortage of skilled workers. Per research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, crane operator jobs are expected to grow by 8% percent overall from 2014 through 2024.

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate seeking alternatives to traditional four-year degrees or you’re feeling underutilized in your current role and want to carve out a fulfilling career path with an industry shift, becoming a crane operator is a worthwhile investment for your time and money.

Prospective students determining if they want to pursue a career in heavy equipment operations often have important questions on top of their minds: how long does it take to become a crane operator? How long until I can start earning, and what can I expect to earn?

We’ve broken down the timeline you can expect for how long it takes to become a crane operator and start earning. We’ve also explored how much you can expect to earn and how the unique, hands-on education we offer at PTS will help skyrocket your career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Crane Operator?

You’ll find different crane operator education programs. However, if you are able to choose the right one, you can learn the vital skills necessary to get certified as a crane operator in only three short weeks.

Don’t Forget to Get Your NCCCO Certification!

Please note that in order to become a crane operator, you must get NCCCO certified. The NCCCO crane certification is the final part of a process established to educate individuals properly to perform their assigned job duties when it comes to operating cranes.

How to Get the NCCCO Certification

In order to be eligible to receive a certification, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Comply with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy
  • Pass written examinations (Core and at least one Specialty)
  • Pass practical examination(s) — Candidates must pass the Practical exam within 12 months of passing the written examination
  • Comply with the NCCCO Code of Ethics

Your crane operator education program should prepare you for the same tasks you tackle on the job. A combination of seated classroom instruction and hands-on operation will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently operate a mobile crane.

What All the Three-Week Crane Operator Education Program Includes

At PTS, our three-week program includes 120 hours of education to prepare you for the NCCCO crane operator certification exam providing you with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to obtain entry-level employment. The program includes a combination of classroom and in-the-seat instruction. Approximately half of the instruction will take place in the classroom. Topics covered include orientation to the trade, basic principles of cranes, crane safety, operating a crane, preventative maintenance, wire rope, and basic rigging practices.

The other half of the training includes the in-the-seat operation of a mobile hydraulic telescopic boom swing-cab and telescopic boom fixed-cab crane. PTS training programs require students to stay locally for the duration of the course. Small class sizes provide more one-on-one time with our instructors and examiners. After only three weeks, you’ll be ready to embark on an in-demand, fulfilling career.

Expected Earnings for Mobile Crane Operators

After less than a month of education, you can get hired and start earning. Crane operators have an average base salary of $32,000, which may be even higher depending on your state. Crane operators are known for their high earning potential, and your salary can eventually reach nearly $100,000 as you gain more years of experience.

Starting your crane operator career as early as possible means you’ll start earning even higher salaries sooner than if you stall your own opportunities. In addition to a strong salary, mobile crane operators can receive a range of benefits and feel safe in their career choices, knowing that their position is always in-demand.

PTS Can Help You Propel Your Career Per Your Aspirations

How long does it take to become a crane operator? Three weeks, and at PTS, that’s time well spent.

PTS is one of the top training schools in the country, and we’re dedicated to supporting students like you with all the resources necessary to jumpstart your new career. Our 90+% placement rate and long record of success stories from past students are a testament to the strength of our program.

We serve:

  • Businesses
  • Individuals
  • Veterans
  • Unemployed Workers
  • Disabled Workers
  • Recent High School Graduates

From crane operator courses to other heavy equipment programs, we offer a wide range of opportunities to help you find the path that will propel your life forward with a strong salary, job security, and fast earning potential.

Contact our team today to start learning and earning. Schedule a tour, and you can even save $500 with a tuition reduction scholarship!

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