A crane operator is someone who hoists heavy materials and objects on the construction site using heavy equipment such as overhead or a mobile crane. If you are thinking of being a crane operator in Colorado, then you are in luck. This type of job pays quite well. You can make a salary of $2,500 a week depending of course on your skills and knowledge.
You can also expect a good job outlook. The demand for crane operators is expected to rise in the coming years due to the boom of the construction industry. The number of job vacancies will continue to grow, there will be employment opportunities.
You don’t have to be a college graduate or have a university degree to enter this career. You only need to take crane operator training for just a few weeks and be certified by passing NCCCO certification.
Now is the right time to go into such a profession!
If you already made up your mind and being a crane operator is the first on your list, then, we prepared this guide for you.
How to Become a Crane Operator
Being a crane operator in Colorado may be the dream job you are looking for. Planning what to do can help you shorten the time it takes to complete the training and get a job. Now, not to get you confused, here are the steps that you need to take to become an operator.
- Decide if being a crane operator is the career path you want to pursue – contemplate if this direction is where you want to go. Choosing a career is a process that consumes a lot of time before getting into it. Ideally, you should have the calling to find happiness in your work. If you are fond of working around heavy equipment, have the dexterity to operate cranes and you want to be a crane operator, then, follow your heart. This could be the right job for you.
- Consider taking a crane operator training course – the best approach to get educated is by enrolling in a course offered by a crane training school in Colorado. The list is below for your reference. The school will provide you with theoretical knowledge and practical skills in operating cranes. The school will prepare you to become NCCCO certified - the level of certification that you need to get employment. The training course usually lasts up to 4 – 6 weeks depending on the comprehensive of the course.
- Take the NCCCO certification exams – Most US states require crane operators to be CCO certified, though most don’t. But it is best recommended to be certified since the employers prefer to hire those job candidates to have such certification. The certification exams have two parts – the written test and the practical exam. Pass both then you will be guaranteed of receiving your certification. See below how to apply for the NCCCO exams and what the requirements are.
- Consider completing an apprenticeship training program - taking the apprenticeship program will help gain practical experience and boost the knowledge you need to be a crane operator. Though it will take around three (3) years to complete such a program, it will definitely give you an edge. Being an apprentice you will be paid a living wage.
- Get a job as a crane operator – after those rigorous tasks that you took, it all comes down to getting a job. You are now confident and ready to find your first job as an operator. Finding a job is easy for you. You can find vacancies in the construction sites, the sector where talents like you are in high demand. The school where you took the training from can also help you find a job. They have a pool of employers who are seeking talents like you. Training school usually has job placement assistance as well.
What Are Requirements You Need
- You need to be at least 18 years old – you may be asked to show your ID to prove your age.
- High school diploma – If you don’t have such a diploma, a GED certificate, as its equivalent, can be accepted. If the target sector where you want to work in is construction, an employer may require you to have this.
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL) – though it is not mandatory, there are some areas that require you to have this, especially when you will drive a mobile crane on public roads. It is handy to have such a license, better to have one.
- NCCCO certification – with such certification, employers know that you are skillful and experienced enough to operate cranes safely. They will not hesitate to hire you as part of their team. Since NCCCO certification is being recognized internationally, you could show that to your overseas employer if you want to work outside the country.
- As of this writing, Colorado doesn’t require operators to be licensed. The NCCCO certification and certificate of initial training are enough to show to a prospective employer.
- Other requirements may be needed depending on the employer and the type of crane you want to operate.
Crane Operator Schools in Colorado
In order to be successful in attaining the certification and be qualified to work as a crane operator, taking the course at a training school is high recommended. Doing so increases your odds in passing the NCCCO certification. If you are looking for a school where you can enroll, here are the schools you can find in Colorado:
- Colorado Crane Operator School is a Division of MSC Safety Solutions
4020 Kodiak Court, Frederick, CO 80504
Phone: (303) 477-1044, Fax: (303) 477-1078
- H&E Equipment Services
2401 Steel Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Toll Free: 866-GO-RENTAL; Local: 719-393-1840
Offers CCO certification training, forklift training, earthmoving equipment training; can be conducted at the client’s site or at theirs.
- American Equipment, Inc.
Phone: 888-299-0896; Fax: 801-269-0948; Email:
- Crane Testing and Training, LLC
Phone: 303-241-5062; Fax: 303-453-1114; Email:
- All-Purpose Crane Training
Phone: (888) 501-1355; Email:
Offers mobile crane and overhead crane training, rigging and signal person certification, etc.
- Crane Testing and Training LLC
1023 Highway 85, Brighton CO 80603
Gary Kubo: 970-260-2645;
Rich Robey: 303-241-5062;
Offers training on the swing and fixed cab telescopic boom, tower, lattice, knuckle boom cranes.
- Konecranes Training Institute
1114 West 7th Avenue, Suite 150, Denver , CO
Offers rigging fundamentals, inspection course, refresher course
- American Equipment Inc.
Phone:801-269-0896; Fax: 801-269-0948 Toll: 1-888-299-0896
Offers crane training in CO and other nearby states; courses are for lattice boom, telescopic and boom truck cranes.
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local 9
990 Kalamath St., P.O. Box 40008, Denver, CO 80204
If you want to take an apprenticeship program
Importance of NCCCO Certification
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is an independent and non-profit organization that administers a testing program to certify crane operators. They were established in 1995.
Why do you bother to have CCO certification? OSHA not only acknowledges the CCO certification as an acceptable qualification but now mandates that certifications be conducted by an approved testing body such as the NCCCO.
If you are a holder of CCO certification, it tells your employer that you had undergone such training and testing and you possessed the skills and knowledge to operate cranes safely. With such certification, you are more likely to be offered a job and given a good salary.
If you don’t have it yet and planning to get it, requirements you need to have prior to application:
- You must meet ASME B30 physical requirements throughout your certification period and confirm your agreement to this requirement in their applications.
- Completed test request application form. Incomplete details will delay your application process and late submission will incur a fine.
- When you’re taking the written exam, appropriate must be enclosed together with the application. If the fee is in the form of a money order or check, it must payable to the NCCCO; credit cards can also be used to pay the written test fee.
Here are the steps if you want to take certification written exam:
- Find a test location where you want to take the written test. See this page to see a location.
- Find a date when you want to take a written test. Check this page about the testing application deadline.
- Submit your test request. The request form can be downloaded from here. Once you confirm the date and the location where you want to take the test, submit your testing request. The form should be submitted 4 weeks before your preferred test date.
- You will then receive your approval letter with your unique student number via email. You will also receive instructions on how to continue your application.
Salary of Crane Operator in Colorado
If you are asking how much your salary would get if you will work as a crane operator in Colorado, the average pay of crane/tower crane operator in this state is $42,940 per year according to the latest October 29, 2021 report of Salary.com. And since there are factors that affect your pay, the salary usually ranges from $38,570 and $53,121.
Typically, the factors that affect how you would get are years of experience being a crane operator, the certification and licensures you have attained, and the location where you will work in Colorado.
As the construction of new buildings and civil projects continue to grow so as the demand for crane operators. You will gain fruitful years doing this job. The other sector you can get employment in is in the shipping industry, a sector which becoming heavily mechanized to transport cargo.
Employment is everywhere for crane operators, all you have to do is to take the training course and attain a level of certification, then you are good to go.
Contacting the Authorities
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
1391 Speer Boulevard, Suite 210, Denver, Colorado 80204-2552
Phone: (303) 844-5285; Fax: (303) 844-6676
7935 East Prentice Avenue, Suite 209, Englewood, Colorado 80111-2714
Phone: (303) 843-4500; Fax: (303) 843-4515
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
633 17th Street, Suite 201, Denver, CO 80202-3660
National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO)
To Make a Conclusion
Increase your marketability to boost your chance of landing a high-paying job, take crane operator training in Colorado. It will give you everything you need to know to become certified and prepare for the actual work.
An individual who receives the proper training is better able to do his job. You will become aware of the good procedures to do your tasks safely and efficiently. This is the main reason why employers want to hire trained and qualified individuals.
Spend time and effort to take the course and attain CCO certification. You won’t regret it!
Cities and Towns of CO
Steamboat Springs, Olathe, Platteville, Rangely , Columbine Valley, Commerce City, Cortez, Craig, Crawford, Crested Butte, Cripple Creek, Dacono, Del Norte, Delta, Englewood, Denver, Erie, Estes Park, Evans, Federal Heights, Dillon, Dinosaur, Dolores, Dove Creek, Eagle, Eaton, Edgewater, Elizabeth, Firestone, Florence, Fort Lupton, Fort Morgan, Fountain, Fowler, Fraser, Longmont, Louisville, Loveland, Lyons, Mancos, Manitou Springs, Mead, Meeker, Milliken, Minturn, Monte Vista, Montrose, Monument, Mountain View, Wheat Ridge, Nederland, Windsor, Yuma, Trinidad, Wray, Woodland Park, New Castle, Vail, Centennial, Center, Central City, Frederick, Frisco, Fruita, Georgetown, Gilcrest, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Golden, Granby, Grand Junction, Greenwood Village, Gunnison, Gypsum, Hayden, Holyoke, Holly, Hotchkiss, Hudson, Idaho Springs, Johnstown, Julesburg, Keenesburg, Kersey, Kremmling, La Junta, Lafayette, Lamar, Las Animas, LaSalle, Leadville, Limon, Littleton, Lochbuie, Lone Tree, Bayfield, Bennett, Berthoud, Blue River, Boulder, Bow Mar, Breckenridge, Brighton, Buena Vista, Burlington, Calhan, Cañon City, Carbondale, Thornton, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Snowmass Village, Telluride, Superior, Cedaredge, Walsenburg, Westminster, Wellington, Timnath, Orchard City, Ordway, Severance, Ridgway, Silt, Sheridan, Ouray, Rocky Ford, Pagosa Springs, Salida, Palisade, Palmer Lake, Paonia, Parachute, Parker, Lakewood, Greeley, Fort Collins, Durango, Akron, Alamosa, Arvada, Antonito, Broomfield, Aspen, Ault, Brush, Aurora, Avon, Basalt, Cherry Hills Village, Cheyenne Wells, Coal Creek, Collbran, Colorado Springs, Northglenn, Sanford, Oak Creek