Subscribe to our e-newsletter mailing list to keep up with NCCCO news and industry headlines.


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 applications.

In appropriate circumstances, means of compliance with ASME physical requirements may include, but are not limited to, a current Department of Transportation (DOT) Medical Examiner’s Certificate.


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 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 2014 but passes the Articulating Boom Crane Operator Practical Exam in June 2014 has until May 2015 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 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 NCCCO at a cost of $25. Cards may be ordered online or by contacting Jennifer Warner at jwarner@nccco.org or 727-449-8525.

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


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: