Welcome to the CCO Tower Crane Operator certification program. This nationally recognized and internationally accredited certification program is the culmination of a year of hard work by experts from the various industries and groups that use tower cranes, including construction, steel erection, utilities, crane rental, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, and operating engineers.
The NCCCO Tower Crane Task Force that determined the content of the certification exams was made up of experts from all aspects of the crane industry—crane operators, training directors, managers, supervisors, manufacturers—who together represent many thousands of hours of crane-related experience. These volunteers gave freely of their time and expertise with the goal of improving the safety of all whose work brings them into contact with cranes and lifting equipment.
HOW TO BECOME CCO CERTIFIED
Visit How to Test for instructions on applying for and taking CCO Written and Practical Exams; visit How to Recertify for instructions on recertification.
Complete instructions, exam contents, and candidate applications are also contained in the Candidate Handbook for each program.
Requirements for certification include the following:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Comply with 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.)
- Comply with the Code of Ethics
CCO WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS
The Tower Crane Operator written exam consists of a single examination in tower crane operation. This examination has 55 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the exam. Candidates meeting eligibility requirements may take the written and practical examinations in either order.
Written exams may be taken as either paper/pencil tests (PPT) or computer-based tests (CBT), as described under How to Test.
CCO PRACTICAL EXAMINATIONS
The CCO Tower Crane Practical Examination demonstrating crane operator proficiency may be taken on the following crane types:
CCO CERTIFICATION TIME FRAMES
Candidates must pass both Written and Practical Examinations to be certified for a five-year period. The Written and Practical Exams may be taken in either order. Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass their first Written or Practical Exam for each crane type in which to pass the corresponding (Written or Practical) Exam.
Any tests passed within a 12-month period count towards certification. For example, a candidate who fails the Tower Crane Operator Written Exam in January 2015 but passes the Tower Crane Operator Practical Exam in June 2015 has until the end of June 2016 to retake and pass the Tower Crane Operator Written Exam.
If a certified operator subsequently becomes certified in an additional operator designation by taking the appropriate written and practical exams, the certification period for the additional designation expires at the same time his/her original certification (i.e., all operator designations expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them). If the new designation is added within the final 24 months of his/her certification period, the certificant is exempt from recertifying for the new designation after five years; after that, however, certificants must recertify for all designations during the 12 months prior to their certifications’ expiration date. This ensures that all of the certificant’s operator designations maintain the same expiration date.
Candidates for certification or recertification may petition for an extension of NCCCO’s standard timeline(s). NCCCO staff shall have the discretion to make the initial determination of whether a requested extension should be granted. Petitions for an extension of time are generally denied absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances. Denials of such petitions may be appealed to the Appeals Committee.
The following policies apply to all CCO certification programs:
These policies are also covered in the Candidate Handbooks for each program.
Certified operators receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify, add a designation, or recertify.
Replacement cards may be obtained from NCCCO at a cost of $25 and ordered online.
Certification cards remain the property of NCCCO, are not transferable, and must be returned to NCCCO upon demand.
CCO certification is valid for five years. Candidates must complete all of their recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date.
Review recertification requirements for Tower Crane Operators.
Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.
The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators gratefully recognizes the sponsors for the Tower Crane Operator Certification Program:
Liebherr Tower Cranes
Manitowoc Crane Group
Morrow Equipment Company