A new certified operator who is skilled, knowledgeable, and ready to take on projects of every scope is in a great position today because the drilling operation field has a growing demand for such individuals.
A lucrative career as a certified drill operator can start right out of high school, and the industry is on track to create nearly one hundred thousand additional jobs by 2028.
Certification will ensure you are qualified and prepared to safely and effectively operate heavy foundation drilling equipment in a variety of conditions for any project. These jobs can be in the public or private sector and can include civil, commercial, and large residential construction.
This can be an exciting career with opportunities to grow and become an industry leader.
We’re going to explore some of the requirements, exams, and processes necessary to become a Certified Crane Operator (CCO).
Certified Crane Operator Eligibility
Two of the major eligibility requirements include:
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Having the ability to comply with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) substance abuse policy. This policy is designed to ensure a safe workplace to reduce the risk of operators being impaired on the job and creating hazardous situations.
All local, state and federal policies regarding substance abuse compliance are also necessary.
Written and Practical Examinations
Once you have determined your eligibility, you will undergo a written examination that is conducted to ensure comprehensive knowledge and understanding of crane operation and standards.
Once you have completed the written examination, you need to pass the practical test, which demonstrates your working knowledge of safe drill operation. This applies to two types of certifications for Foundation Drilling Rigs (FDR) and Anchor/Micropile Rigs (AMP).
Both certifications need to be completed in a twelve-month period to gain certification.
The practical examination includes assessments that evaluate inspecting equipment, protocols for site safety, operational control identification, installing and removing piping, positioning tools properly, drilling, and safe shutdown and securing equipment for transport or downtime.
A practical exam for foundation drilling rigs is subject to a $100 administrative fee.
Once you have passed the written and practical exams, you are certified for five years.
Policies A Certified Operator Should Understand
There are a variety of policies that apply to CCO certification.
These policies include a Code of Ethics that outlines the conduct and professional requirements expected of any CCO and personnel. The Disciplinary Policy outlines the standards of conduct and actions that will take place should a violation occur.
These punitive measures can happen for some of the following reasons.
- Non-Compliance with Code of Ethics Standards
- False Statements on documentation submitted for NCCCO review
- Responsibility for Accidents During Certification Period
- Violation of the Substance Abuse Policy
These policies are standard and maintained to create a safe workplace for crews, vendors, site visitors, and anyone else involved with a foundation drilling project.
Be sure to reference the Candidate Handbooks for every program to explore more policies that outline important information.
Your NCCCO certification is valid for five years from the date of completion and requires recertification when this time period concludes.
When you begin the recertification process, remember that all exams must be completed within the same 12-month window. Additionally, recertification requires maintaining compliance with the substance abuse policy and code of ethics.
You can opt-out of the practical exam for recertification if you can prove 500 hours of in the field foundation drilling operation during the certification process.
More information on the recertification process can be found here.
When you embark on the path to becoming a CCO, you will gain real-world skills which translate to a wide range of construction projects and gain access to valuable experience that can lead to a fulfilling career.
Earning certification is a great way to distinguish yourself from non-certified applicants and gain access to higher-paying jobs on construction projects in the civil and private sectors. It also ensures that you are competent, experienced, and able to safely and effectively operate all foundation drilling equipment to increase workplace safety and avoid accidents and non-compliance with NCCCO standards and policies.
Reach out to a local experienced drilling equipment vendor to learn more about the CCO process and if it’s the right fit for your future projects.