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


Overhead Crane Operator

Certification Overview

cmaa-logo-transWelcome to the CCO Overhead Crane Operator certification program. The NCCCO Overhead Crane Task Force that determined the content of these 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 primary goal of improving the safety of all whose work brings them into contact with cranes and lifting equipment.


CCO Certified Operator-150x

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 NCCCO's Substance Abuse Policy
  • Pass Written Examination
  • Pass Practical Examination (Candidates must pass the Written and corresponding Practical examination within a 12-month timeframe.)
  • Comply with the Code of Ethics


The Overhead Crane Operator written exam consists of a single examination in Overhead Crane operation. This examination has 65 multiple-choice questions and candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the exam. Candidates may take their written and practical exams in either order. Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass the initial written or practical exam they take to pass the corresponding (written or practical) exam.

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 CCO Practical Examination demonstrating crane operator proficiency is available in either of the following Overhead Crane types:

  • Cab Operated
  • Pendant/Remote Control 

A candidate must pass both the Written and Practical examinations to be certified for a five-year period.


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 Overhead Crane Operator Written Exam in January 2015 but passes the Overhead Crane Operator Practical Exam in June 2015 has until the end of June 2016 to retake and pass the Overhead 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 Overhead Crane Operators.

Get complete instructions on How to Recertify.


The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators gratefully recognizes the sponsors of the Overhead Crane Operator Certification Program:

Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA)

American Crane & Equipment Corp.

Demag Cranes & Components

KCI Konecranes

Morris Material Handling

OMI Hoist & Crane

Virginia Crane (Foley Material Handling)

ACE World Companies

Capco Crane & Hoist