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Articulating Crane Operator

Certification Overview


Welcome to the CCO crane operator certification program for articulating boom cranes and loaders. The NCCCO Articulating Crane Task Force that developed this certification program was made up of experts from all aspects of the crane industry—crane operators, crane users, trainers, safety supervisors, manufacturers—who together represent many thousands of hours of crane 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.


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 and exam applications are also contained in the Candidate Handbook for each program.


Requirements for certification are as follows; you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Meet medical requirements
  • Comply with NCCCO’s Substance Abuse Policy
  • Pass Written Examination
  • Pass Practical Examination(s)
  • Comply with the Code of Ethics


CCO certification examinations are designed for operators who are trained and who currently work in crane operation. Crane-related experience is defined as: operation, maintenance, inspection, and/or training.


Certified crane operators must continue to meet ASME B30 physical requirements throughout their certification period and attest to their agreement to this requirement in their application.
Means of compliance with ASME physical requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • NCCCO Physical Examination Form (valid for three years)
  • A current DOT (Department of Transportation) Medical Examiner’s Certificate (valid for two years)


The Written Examination program consists of three examinations. Candidates choose from these based on the certification designation(s) they seek.

Candidates are given 90 minutes to complete each of the Written Examinations:

  • Articulating Boom Crane (ABC)—65 questions
  • Articulating Boom Crane w/Winch (ABW)—75 questions
  • Articulating Boom Loader (ABL)—50 questions

Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements may take either the Written Examination or the Practical Examination first.


The Practical Examination demonstrates crane operator proficiency and is available for two crane types:

  • Articulating Boom Cranes (ABC)
  • Articulating Boom Loaders (ABL)

To be NCCCO-certified for a five-year period, candidates must pass the Written Exam of their choice and at least one corresponding Practical Exam.


If you are seeking certification for:

Take the corresponding exams:
Written Practical
Articulating Boom Cranes (ABC) Articulating Boom Crane Articulating Boom Crane
Articulating Boom Loaders (ABL) Articulating Boom Loader Articulating Boom Loader
Articulating Boom Cranes w/ Winch (ABC & ABW) Articulating Boom Crane w/ Winch Articulating Boom Crane
Articulating Boom Cranes and Boom Loaders (ABC & ABL) Articulating Boom Crane Articulating Boom Crane & Articulating Boom Loader
Articulating Boom Cranes w/ Winch and Boom Loaders (ABC, ABW, & ABL) Articulating Boom Crane w/ Winch Articulating Boom Crane & Articulating Boom Loader


Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam (Written or Practical) in which to take the corresponding Written or Practical Exam in the same category. Candidates may take their Written and Practical Exams in either order. For example, a candidate passing the Articulating Boom Loader Written Exam has 12 months from his/her exam date to pass the Articulating Boom Loader Practical Exam.

Candidates who do not take and pass both the Written and Practical Exams within the 12-month time frame will be required to start the certification process again from the beginning.
If a certified candidate subsequently becomes certified in additional specialties, the five-year certification period for additional specialties begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified; in other words, all designations expire on the same date regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them.


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 for the first time and when they complete the requirements for recertification.

Replacement cards, cards showing certification in an additional designation, or updated cards for candidates who retake and pass a designation they previously failed may be obtained from International Assessment Institute at a cost of $25. Cards may be ordered online or by contacting Jennifer at jennifer@iaiexam.com or 727-449-8525.


NCCCO certification is valid for five years. Recertification candidates must complete all recertification requirements during the 12 months prior to their expiration date.

Review recertification requirements for Articulating Crane Operators.

Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.


Read archived information on the Articulating Crane Operator program and its creation: