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Mobile Crane Operations


This comprehensive Mobile Crane Operations curriculum prepares learners for a career as skilled professionals as mobile crane operators.

This three-level curriculum places strong emphasis on safe work practices, while covering rigging, crane operations, telescopic and lattice boom assembly and disassembly, load dynamics, lift planning and more. Coverage of safety, communications and emergency procedures are integrated throughout to ensure learners are prepared to safely operate mobile cranes.

Craft Snapshot

Journey Level
Assessment Available
NCCERconnect Deliver instruction using our pre-loaded content and course management tools, streamline training, and track results through the online gradebook. Students learn using the interactive eTextbook and Media Library with Active Figures that bring the material to life, anytime and anywhere they choose.
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Mobile Crane Operator Certification Providers

Explore organizations that offer the Rigger & Signal Person Certification Program assessments and practical examinations to the public. Please contact the organizations directly for dates, locations, and costs.

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Curriculum Details

NCCER has a policy in place to avoid conflict of interest and maintain the integrity of the Mobile Crane Operator Certification Program (MCOCP) which states Certified Practical Examiners must not train the same operators who they assess or examine and assessment proctors must not be involved in the training of personnel being assessed. This is explicitly stated in the NCCER Mobile Crane Operator Certification Program Procedure Manual.

For more information regarding NCCER’s Certification Programs that meet/exceed current ASME & OSHA standards, see Mobile Crane Operator and Rigger/Signal Person Certification Programs.


3rd Edition
Total Recommended Hours
Competencies & Objectives Lists
Levels 1-3: 460, includes Core hours Click here
Orientation to the Trade
5 Hours

Module ID 21101: Provides an overview of the entire course and highlights the duties and responsibilities of a mobile crane operator. Discusses ASME B30.5 and 29 CFR 1926, Subpart CC, as well as crane operator certification.

Basic Principles of Cranes
15 Hours

Module ID 21102: Introduces mobile crane equipment with an in-depth discussion of terminology and nomenclature. Explains the basic scientific principles associated with mobile crane operation.

Rigging Practices
15 Hours

Module ID 38102: from Basic Rigger: Describes basic rigging and safety practices related to rigging activities. Describes the use and inspection of equipment and hardware used in rigging. Explains how to apply common hitches. Covers jacks and hoisting equipment.

Crane Communications
10 Hours

Module ID 53101: from Signal Person: Describes the communication process between the signal person and the crane operator. Covers electronic communications as well as the standard hand signals in 29 CFR 1926.

Crane Safety and Emergency Procedures
25 Hours

Module ID 21106: Covers safety standards and best safety practices relevant to the operation of cranes. Describes safety considerations related to power lines, weather conditions, and specific crane functions.

Operating a Crane
25 Hours

Module ID 21105: Describes preparations and considerations prior to lifting operations. Provides an opportunity to become familiar with the operation of a crane and the functions of its controls.

Machine Power Flow
15 Hours

Module ID 21202: Discusses the power systems that enable cranes to perform. Discusses diesel and gasoline/propane engines and electrical/motor-generator, as well as mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic power systems.

Computer Aids/Operator Aids
20 Hours

Module ID 21205: Provides information on load moment indicators, anti-two-block devices, load indicators, and other operator aids that are installed in cranes. Describes input devices associated with these operator aids and the information they provide.

Wire Rope
25 Hours

Module ID 21204: Covers the components of wire rope and inspection requirements and procedures for wire rope, load blocks, and sheaves. Explains proper installation of wire rope, maintenance guidelines, and end terminations and preparations.

Mobile Crane Maintenance and Inspections
25 Hours

Module ID 21203: Covers the types of inspections typically performed on mobile cranes. Describes service requirements for crane maintenance.

Load Dynamics
17.5 Hours

Module ID 21206: Covers leverage, forward and backward stability, operational quadrants, submerged lifts, non-centered lifts, and other forces that affect stability.

Transporting Requirements
17.5 Hours

Module ID 21308: Discusses the proper handling, loading and unloading, and securing procedures for mobile cranes and their components. Presents information on driver requirements and procedures for securing the mobile crane for transporting.

On-Site Equipment Movement
25 Hours

Module ID 21207: Covers site hazards and restrictions that could hinder on-site crane movement; safety considerations involved in crane movement over unlevel ground; pick-and-carry operations; and power line contact. Also addresses flotation capacity.

Load Charts
35 Hours

Module ID 21301: Discusses the importance of load charts and charts that apply to different configurations. Includes on rubber, on-outrigger, jib, and deduction charts, as well as range diagrams and operational notes. Covers parts of line and capacity calculations.

Lift Planning
30 Hours

Module ID 21304: Discusses lift plan implementation, including reference information, calculations, single- and multiple-crane lifting, critical lifts, and engineering considerations.

Telescopic Boom Attachment Setup and Assembly
20 Hours

Module ID 21302: Covers the setup and stowing of swing away extensions and various jibs, as well as the assembly of intermediate boom sections, on telescopic cranes. Includes the description and operating characteristics of manual and power luffing jibs.

Lattice Boom Assembly and Disassembly
20 Hours

Module ID 21306: Identifies lattice-boom components and provides pre-/post-assembly considerations. Provides step-by-step guidance in the assembly and disassembly of lattice booms.

Hoisting Personnel
20 Hours

Module ID 21305: Examines ASME B30.23 and 29 CFR 1926.550(g) requirements while presenting advanced operation techniques for hoisting personnel.

Advanced Operational Techniques
20 Hours

Module ID 21303: Covers multi-crane lifts, critical lifts, blind lifts, and demolition. Includes sections on how to use magnet and vacuum lifting devices and how to operate a mobile crane in cold weather.

Contributing Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are a vital part of NCCER’s Curriculum development process. SMEs are construction and maintenance professionals who have journey-level experience and have experience teaching their trades to others.

View Subject Matter Experts
Contributing Subject Matter Experts
Below is a list of subject matter experts for this craft:

Anthony Johnson, Exelon Generation


Bryan McClure, LPR Construction


Chris Jarrell, Turner Industries Group, LLC

Craig Sylvia, Vertex Professional Services, LLC


Dan Nickel, Carolina Bridge Company, Inc.

David Applegate, TNT Crane & Rigging, Inc.

David Staggs, Pike Enterprises, Inc.

Donald McDonald, Bo-Mac Contractors, Ltd.

Donny Heffernan, S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd.


Ed Burke, Mammoet USA

Erlin Moritz, Toledo Refining Co. LLC


Frank Jones, KBR Services, Inc.


Grant Chustz, Jacobs Field Services


Harold Williamson, North American Crane Bureau, Inc.


Jason Brower, Eikenhout

Jason Sostman, SCE, Inc.

Joseph Watts, Southland Safety, LLC


Keith Denham, Bay LTD

Kelly McIntosh, Starcon International, Inc.


Larry “Cowboy” Proemsey,


Matthew Ammann, Noble Oak, LLC dba NJ Crane Expert

Michael Eggenberger, Bay LTD


Nelson Plumb


Phillip Allen, KBR Services, Inc.


Richard Laird, ABC Pelican Chapter

Richard Nickel, Carolina Bridge Company, Inc.

Robert Capelli Jr., Colwill Engineering, Inc.

Ron Lindsay, Palmer Engineering & Forensics


Sam Smith Jr., North American Crane Bureau, Inc.

Scott Orr, Paradise Crane Consultants, LLC

Steve Landry, S. Landry Consulting


Tad Timmons, Carolina Training & Safety

Ted Blanton Sr., OGR Consulting

Timothy Prakop, Kelley Construction, Inc.

Travis Good, American Crane Operators

Instructor Resources

Instructor Toolbox

NCCER’s Instructor Toolbox provides easy access to important instructional resources for your training program. You’ll find downloadable course planning tools, examples of classroom activities and projects, and instructor tips and best practices to help you enhance your program.

Assessments & Craft Pro Resources


The following four written assessments and four practical examinations combine for 13 equipment specific certifications. Click here to view the Paths to Mobile Crane Credentials.


  • Crawler Mount
  • Industrial / All-Purpose
  • Rough Terrain / All Terrain
  • Rubber Tire Truck Mount


Candidate Handbook