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Certification of Crane Operators
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Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier Program

Your Questions Answered

What is the Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier Program?

It is the process an individual must go through to be accredited by the state to certify cranes. Beginning January 1, 2010, all construction cranes in the State of Washington must be certified. The certification is obtained through the comprehensive inspection and testing of cranes by an accredited crane certifier. Full details are available on the Labor and Industries website.

Why should I take the exams?

Only accredited crane certifiers may certify cranes in the State of Washington.

How do I become a Washington State Accredited Crane Certifier?

In short, you must submit the Application for Accreditation to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries; take and pass a crane operator written examination for the applicable crane type; and take and pass the Washington State General Crane Certifier Examination and the Additional Inspection Criteria and Proof Load Testing Examination for the crane type(s) in which crane certifier accreditation is pursued (exams available for mobile, tower, articulating, and/or overhead cranes). For complete program information and exam applications download the Washington State Construction Crane Certifier Candidate Handbook. Find additional information on the L&I website.

What is the purpose of the exams?

The exams have been developed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of crane certification requirements outlined by the State o f Washington.

What knowledge must I have to become a Washington State Crane Certifier?

All applicants must possess knowledge of the Washington State 296-155 WAC rule and safety standards for construction work. They must also know American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards relating to the design, testing, inspection and operation of cranes, including those specifically applicable to the types of cranes for which the accreditation will be issued.

Why are there different exams?

The General Crane Certifier Examination assesses the knowledge that is required and applicable to all crane types. The Additional Inspection Criteria and Proof Load Testing Examinations—for Mobile Cranes, Tower Cranes, Overhead Cranes, and Articulating Cranes—assess the knowledge required of a crane certifier regarding those specific crane types.

What are the costs of the exams?

The cost for each examination is $250. For example, if a candidate pursues accreditation as certifier for mobile cranes, he would take the General Crane Certifier Examination ($250) and the Mobile Crane Additional Inspection Criteria and Proof Load Testing Examination ($250). The total cost would be $500.

Do I have to be a crane operator to become a crane certifier?

No. You must demonstrate at least five years crane-related experience, of which two years must be actual crane inspection activities. The other three years may include experience in duties such as a crane operator, crane mechanic, crane shop foreman, crane operations supervision, or rigging specialist. Related education may be substituted for related experience at a ratio of two years of education for one year of experience up to three years. Related education includes courses in engineering, physics, applied mathematics, applied science courses in nondestructive testing, construction technology, and technical courses for heavy equipment mechanic, welding, or welding technology. You will, however, have to pass the crane operator written examination for the crane type that you are pursuing accreditation as a crane certifier. The written crane operator examination must be administered by a nationally recognized and accredited testing agency, such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

What is the role of NCCCO in this program?

Under an agreement with Washington State, Department of Labor and Industries, NCCCO developed the exams for the Washington State Crane Certifier program. NCCCO also administers the examinations to candidates.

Does NCCCO provide the accreditation for the Washington State Crane Certifiers?

No. The State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries, issues the accreditation.

Will NCCCO issue a card for crane certifiers similar to the operator card?

No. NCCCO does not issue the accreditation card for Washington State Crane Certifiers. The credential is issued by the State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries.

Where can I take the crane certifier exams?

The Washington Crane Certifier exams are offered once a month by Washington State according to this schedule. The exams may also be taken at any “open” NCCCO written test site; contact the Test Site Coordinator and explain that you want to take the Washington Crane Certifier Examinations. Additionally, employers and organizations can host specific Washington Crane Certifier examination sessions at their facilities. Full information is available in NCCCO’s Written Examination Test Site Coordinator Handbook.

Where can I download the necessary handbooks and forms?

updated 02/11/20