National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


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:


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; an on-screen calculator is provided on all of these exams:

  • 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.

CCO has three options for taking written exams: Online Proctored Testing (OPT)Test Center Testing (TCT), and Event Online Testing (EOT)Decide which option is best for you.


The practical examination demonstrates crane operator proficiency and is available for two crane types:

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

To be CCO-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

These crane categories apply whether the crane is mounted to a truck or a crawler chassis.


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 Articulating Boom Crane Operator Written Exam in January 2024 but passes the Articulating Boom Crane Operator Practical Exam in June 2024 has until May 2025 to retake and pass the Articulating Boom 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 CCO at a cost of $25 and ordered online.

Certification cards remain the property of CCO, are not transferable, and must be returned to CCO upon demand.


CCO 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: