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Tower Crane Operator

How Do I Test? Practical Exam



The NCCCO Tower Crane Operator Practical Exam can be taken on any one of the following types:

  • Hammerhead
  • Luffer
  • Self Erecting

The Practical Examination is comprised of three main tasks that increase progressively in the skill level tested. Skills tested are: trolley travel, hoisting, swinging, and combination (multifunction) operations. Crane operation with load and without load is required.

NCCCO provides a Test Site Layout (CAD) for the Practical Examination for each type of tower crane to ensure the examination remains standardized for all candidates, wherever and whenever they may test.


Candidates for the Practical Examination should contact their Test Site Coordinator to determine the date of the next scheduled Practical Exam. Alternatively, candidates may visit NCCCO’s website at www.nccco.org for a listing of upcoming open practical Test Sites. Candidates must bring their completed Practical Exam Candidate Application Forms with them to their scheduled examination, along with any required supporting materials.


Candidates must report to the Test Site at the scheduled time. All candidates shall comply with Test Site requirements concerning personal protective equipment (PPE), which at a minimum shall meet OSHA requirements.


Candidate performance on the Practical Examination is recorded by Practical Examiners accredited by NCCCO. Examiner requirements include meeting NCCCO requirements for certification, passing the Written and Practical Exams, and successfully completing an accreditation workshop.

The testing procedure has been developed to provide the highest degree of standardization and reliability. The Examiner’s task is primarily to record the performance of the candidate.

Candidates can lose points either through operational errors or exceeding established optimum time limits. The scoring of candidates’ performance is done off site at the facilities of International Assessment Institute.


All candidates receive score reports of their performance. Examination results are mailed to candidates approximately twelve business days after the receipt of Practical Examination score sheets by International Assessment Institute.

Please note that while Practical Examiners are encouraged to expedite score sheets after each test administration, they may batch score sheets from several test administrations over a number of days. This means that candidates may receive their score reports from IAI more than three weeks after their test administration.

Both the Practical Examination and the scoring system have been validated by NCCCO’s pilot testing program and verified by International Assessment Institute. A score of 70 represents the minimum passing score for the Tower Crane Operator Practical Examination.


The appropriate fee must be submitted with the candidate’s application through the Test Site Coordinator.

  • Practical Examination candidate fee:    $60
  • Current NCCCO-certified Mobile Crane Operators, or new candidates registering for the Mobile Crane Exams at the same time:   $50

The same fees apply for retest examinations.


Candidates not passing the examination(s) may request from International Assessment Institute hand scoring of their answer sheet(s), provided the request is made in writing within three months of the test date. Hand scored practical exam reports include details of a candidate’s performance on each task. Requests must be accompanied by a processing fee of $25 for each test requested. Requests should be mailed to:

International Assessment Institute
600 Cleveland Dt., Suite 900
Clear Water, FL 33755
Phone: (727) 449-8525 - Fax: (727) 461-2746

In the event that the hand scoring of a failing candidate’s answer sheet results in a passing score, the hand-scoring fee will be refunded in full.