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How to get NCCCO Certified

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The Mobile Crane Operator Written Examination consists of a Core Examination in crane operation and up to four crane Specialty Examinations. Certification requires competency in both the Core and one or more Specialty designation(s).

The Core Examination has 90 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 90 minutes to complete the Core Examination. Each Specialty Examinations consists of 26 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete each Specialty Examination.

All candidates are required to take the Core Examination, regardless of the Specialty(s) in which they wish to be certified.

The NCCCO Written Specialty Examinations are:

  • Lattice Boom Crawler Cranes (LBC)
  • Lattice Boom Truck Cranes (LBT)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS)

Candidates must register for the Core and at least one of the Specialty Examinations. Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements may take the Written and Practical Examinations in any order.


The Mobile Crane Operator Practical Examination demonstrates crane operation proficiency and is available in three crane types:

  • Lattice Boom Cranes (covering both LBC and LBT)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Swing Cab (TLL)
  • Telescopic Boom Cranes—Fixed Cab (TSS)

A candidate must pass the Written Core and at least one Specialty Examination as well as the corresponding Practical Exam(s) to be certified for a five-year period.


Candidates passing NCCCO practical

exams on cranes not meeting minimum standardized boom configurations will have “Short Boom Restriction” added to their certification card for the crane designations for which they receive certification; for example, “Telescopic Boom Crane—Fixed Cab (Short Boom Restriction).”


Candidates must pass Written Exams (Core + Specialty) and a Practical Exam in the designation(s) for which they seek certification. Candidates may take their Written and Practical Exams in any order.

Candidates have 12 months after they pass their first exam (Written or Practical) to pass the corresponding Written or Practical Exam(s) in the same designation(s). For example, a candidate passing the Written Exams (Core + Specialty) in the Telescopic Boom Cranes-Swing Cab (TLL) designation in January 2011 has until the end of January 2012 to pass the Telescopic Boom Cranes-Swing Cab (TLL) Practical Exam.

Any tests passed within a 12-month period count towards certification. For example, a candidate who passes the Written Core Exam in January 2011 and the Practical Exam in June 2011 but does not pass the corresponding Written Specialty Exam until February 2012 will then be required to retake (and pass) the Written Core Exam. The Practical Exam would count toward certification until the end of June 2012.

If a certified operator subsequently becomes certified in additional operator designations by taking the appropriate written and practical Specialty exams, the five-year certification period for the additional designations begins at the same time as he/she was originally certified (i.e. all operator designations expire on the same date, regardless of when in the five-year certification period the candidate passed them).

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