tower crane operator schoolWondering whether attending the tower crane operator school is right for you? It is the best possible way to acquire knowledge and prepare for the NCCCO certification test. It only takes several days to complete such course that will bestow the confidence to pass the written and practical exam of the CCO certification.

Whether you’re a new operator or a seasoned one, getting prepared for the tests will boost your chance of passing it. Choosing to enroll in the course pays off in innumerable ways for you. You will get the focused classroom lectures and intensive hands-on training specific to the type and rated capacity of the tower crane you want to get certified for.

If you are one of the wannabees who want to enroll at the school, there are a handful of institutions that offer tower crane training in the US, here are the school:

  • Tower Crane School of Phoenix
    3620 South 40th Street Phoenix, AZ 85040, Telephone: +1.4809933302,FAX: +1.6029268886
  • Associated Training Services
    7190 Elder Lane, Sun Prairie, WI 53590, (800) 383-7364, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Industrial Training International, Inc.
    9428 Old Pacific Hwy, Woodland, WA 98674, (800) 727 - 6355, (780) 490 – 6611
  • NACB, INC.
    930 Williston Park Point, Lake Mary, FL 32746, +1 (800) 654-5640, 407-869-9970
  • Crane Tech LLC
    1215 Millennium Parkway, Brandon, FL 33511, 1-800-290-0007
  • American Equipment Inc.
    451 West 3440 South Salt Lake City, UT 84115, Phone: 801-269-0896
  • CTS Consultants
    420 South Riverside Ave #293, Croton On Hudson N.Y. 10520, Phone: 855-755-5560
  • Nationwide Crane Training
    Washoe Valley, NV, Office Phone: 877-628-2726
  • CCO School Training Center
    4020 Kodiak Court, Frederick, CO
    Offers a three-day course on tower crane training in preparation for NCCCO Certification
  • Sylvan Enterprises
    P.O. Box 666, Kingston, TN 37763, Phone: (865) 717-8582
    Also offers on-site crane operator certification, certified mobile crane prep, and inspection services in the states of TN, LA, IN, KY, OH, PA, GA, SC, AL, IL, and NC

Completing the tower crane training course will gain you the theoretical knowledge and practical skill to safely operate a tower crane. Some examples of the abilities you will obtain from the course are:

  • You will able to learn the current and applicable OSHA regulations
  • You will be able to communicate with signal person/riggers for safe operation
  • You will be able to do risk assessment/analysis to that you can evaluate the risk to avoid untoward incidence during operation
  • Proper preparation of construction materials to be lifted
  • You will be able to interpret technical drawings and construction blueprints
  • You will be able to do load calculations and mathematical estimation for safe lifting
  • Proper maintenance of the equipment and tools used
  • You will be able to inspect the crane equipment for pre and post operation
  • You will be able to operate the tower crane for the lifting of loads and materials to the safe load capacity of the equipment
  • Safe and efficient operation of the crane equipment

Those are the topics and subjects that you will learn from the tower crane training course. However, depending on the school, the topics included in the course may vary.



All of these will be in the preparation to boost your chance of passing the written exam and practical test of the CCO certification.

How to Choose the Best Tower Crane School

Tower crane school has become a popular choice among new and experienced operators who wants to get certified or licensed. But do you know how to choose the best one so that you get your money’s worth? Well, here some of the guidelines you can follow in choosing the right one:

  • Choose the school with small class size – depending on the institution, the class size can be massive which make the training impersonal. The trainer would not be able to give you the focus and attention you need. Many trainees find that this approach doesn’t meet their expectation. However, with small class size, you will have the best opportunities with other students and instructor.

  • Find the one with a nationally-recognized curriculum that meets or exceeds OSHA standard – always choose the school that follows nationally-recognized program that exceeds current OSHA regulations (see: Crane and Derricks in Construction 29 CFR Part 1926.1427 and 1926 subpart CC). By doing so, the education you will receive will be structured and targeted to the current trend and complies with the present standard.

  • Find a school with a modern type of tower crane equipment – crane equipment isn’t meant to last a long period of time; they get obsolete and outdated. With a periodic and long period of use, they begin to exhibit wear and tear which inevitable when the equipment is old. Now to ensure that you train on a modern piece of tower crane, ask the school about the brand and year model of the equipment they use in the training.

  • Choose the school with flexible payment terms or even offer a financial option so that payment of tuition would be a breeze – We know that taking a specialized tower crane training could cost thousands of dollars, this amount could burn a hole in your pocket. To ease the burden of paying for the tuition, choose the school that offers a financial option or even flexible payment schemes. You can make an inquiry with the representative about the financial aid and the process of applying.

  • Know what’s the school’s reputation in the industry – you can conduct some research on the school you are interested in just to find out. You can do some online search about the school’s reputation or you can ask your colleagues who had undergone training with that school, they do have personal knowledge that they can share with you. When knowing the reputation, find an answer to these questions: do the trainees from that school get hired often or pass the certification test? Have you heard complaints about the school?

  • Do they help you find employment – nowadays, trade school now offers job placement assistance. If you could find a school that offers such a service that would be beneficial for you. Obviously, you won’t have to exert effort in finding a job which is a daunting task if you’re new and doesn’t have experience.

Choosing the right school is the most critical part, it could break or make your career. We hope the guidelines will help you find the best one for you. Just take your time and due diligence, scour and dig information on the school you are interested in, it is the first step in starting your career a tower crane operator.



How Long Does It Take to Complete Tower Crane Training?

The training duration for tower crane varies from school to school. Normally, it stretches around 5 days to complete the whole course that includes theoretical exercises and hands-on practice on the use of tower cranes.
If you want to enroll in the community college for a more intensive approach, there is the associate degree you can pursue to start this career. You can be trained in heavy equipment operation which covers cranes and other types of machinery. Well, if you get into this, the training course tends to be lengthier because the program is comprehensive.

The tower crane certification course will prepare you to pass the written exams and practical tests of the testing organization you’ve chosen. There are four (4) testing organizations you can get tested with, namely, they’re National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), National Center for Constructions and Research (NCCER), Operation Engineers Certification Program (OECP) and Crane Institute Certification (CIC).
However, if you will work in the state or city that requires operators to be licensed by that state or city, you have to comply with that local govern government. Currently, there are 16 states and 7 cities that require a crane operator to have a license. To see, the list, click here.



How Much Does It Cost to Attend the Tower Crane School?

If you are considering a tower crane operator school and might be asking how much would be the tuition, well, the training cost would be somewhere around $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the school. This doesn’t include the fee you have to pay to take the NCCCO certification written and practical tests.

I know, this is somewhat a serious amount of money for someone like you who doesn’t have a job yet and upfront cash to pay for the tuition, that is why finding a school with flexible payment scheme can help you defray the cost. Just ask the school if they financial option that you can avail to lessen the burden on your pocket.

If you are an employer planning to get training for your operators, you can request to the school that the training be done on-site. Doing so, not only it will save you some amount but the program can also be modified so that it matches with the present situation of your workplace and the behavior of the operators.

How to Become NCCCO Certified Tower Crane Operator?

The NCCCO is one of the 4 testing organizations where you need to get certified for. Employers prefer to hire those candidates with CCO certification. Taking the CCO certification involves passing the written exam and practical testing.

Now, before you can take the certification, there is eligibility requirement that you need to comply, set forth by the NCCCO:

  • You need to be at least 18 years
  • You must meet the physical requirements
  • Adhere to CCO’s Substance Abuse Policy
  • Pass Written Examination
  • Pass Practical Examination (Candidates must pass the Written and corresponding Practical examinations within a 12-month timeframe.)
  • Conform with the Code of Ethics

The written exam contains a single examination in tower crane operation. This exam has 55 multiple-choice questions, 6 of the questions are related to the load chart. You 60 minutes to complete the written exam. You have the option to take the written test in the paper-and-pencil test (PPT) or in the computer-based test (CBT). The fee you have to pay for CBT $200 while for the PPT is $165 if you’re a new operator.

While, the practical test is available in either of the following tower crane types: Luffer, Hammerhead, Self-Erecting. The fee for the practical test is $60 (for the new operator) for each type of tower crane you want to get certified for.

Upon successful testing, you will receive your certification which is valid for five (5) years. All that effort you put in will gain you this important credential that you can show to a prospective employer. You will get better pay and you will be in better standing when negotiating with an employer for possible employment.
If you have been certified, you must remain in conformity with the ASME B30 physical requirements throughout their certification period. You will declare this that you will adhere to their agreement when you’re submitting the application.

An important note: the examinees must pass the written and corresponding practical examinations within a 12-month period.



To Wrap This Up

In an industry where hundreds of people are competing for the same position, it is crucial to find a way to stand out among others. Having NCCCO tower crane certification is your competitive advantage.

Employers know the importance of such credential. It is very significant for them to hire candidates with such certification so that they don’t have to train them that could add up to the operational cost and they avoid being penalized by OSHA.

If you want to get NCCCO certification, you have to be prepared first by taking the training course. Attending tower crane operator school will give you specialized skill in the operation of such equipment and will prepare to pass the NCCCO certification tests.

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