California Crane School

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have never operated a crane before and I want to become a crane operator. Can you help me?

Sometimes the less a candidate knows about cranes the better they will do on the written tests. The reason for this is; candidates that have been operating cranes for years learned things a different way than the books want them to do it. This makes it more difficult for them to unlearn their ways and learn to do it by the book. This is what they are tested on with the crane certification exams. If you have never operated a crane before we probably could not turn you into a super duper crane operator in 3 days. However, if you need to get certified, you come to the right place. If a candidate can add, subtract, and speaks English, we can easily get them passed the written tests the first time. If the candidate speaks English as a second language, we can also make it happen as we have done for hundreds of English as second language candidates. As far as the practical exams go, if a candidate knows how to stop the load or hook from swinging, with a few pointers they can typically pass the practical exams. If not, they need to get some time on a crane. If no cranes are available to the candidate, our cranes are available at a cost of $100 per hour with an instructor. We can typically get a candidate who has never been on a crane through the practical test in less than 2 hours to pass the practical exams. This class is never meant to replace years of experience in the field or an 8400 hour apprenticeship program. The purpose of this program is to get that certification card in your pocket. California Crane School does not write the standards of what a crane operator should know, we are just the most effective program that gets candidates to meet the certification requirements. Our customer reviews say it all.

2. How will a crane operator certification card help me get a crane job?

Good luck getting a crane job without it! Crane operator certification has been the victim of much criticism, and rightfully so. “Its expensive” is probably at the top of that complaint list. All that have paid the price (usually employers) of the crane class training, practical crane training, and the crane testing have seen the price first hand. So put yourself in an employers shoes. Pay a couple of thousand dollars for a crane operator certification for one of your newly hired employees. Then your newly certified employee takes a job at the company across the street for $1.00 an hour more. The employer is out a bunch of time and money. Or hire a candidate with an existing crane operator certification that is ready to work. The answer is clear. Why would an employer even consider giving a job to a candidate without a crane certification? By getting a crane operator certification you help minimize the hiring risk virtually all of the employers out there will attest to this. If your looking for crane jobs check out

3. Does California Crane School offer job placement?

Many of our candidates which pay their own fees, not their employer, we can refer to companies that contact us and indicate they are looking for certified candidates. As we have done for many of our candidates.

4. What happens if the candidate fails? Does the candidate have to do everything over again?

No. For instance if a candidate was to fail 1 specialty written test, the testing company would charge the candidate $65 to retest. It the candidate was to fail any other specialty exams, the testing company would charge $10 for each additional exam, and if the candidate was to fail the core test, the testing company would charge $165. California Crane School does not charge for any candidates who come back for retesting to attend the class or to sit in on the written test. If the candidate was to fail a practical exam, California Crane School charges $250 to retest; this price includes the testing fees to IAI the testing company.

5. How long does it take to get the results of the tests?

The testing company typically takes 2 – 3 weeks to send the candidates the results of their written tests and about 3 – 5 weeks to send candidates the results of their practical tests. If your results have not come in by that time you should call International Assessment Institute (IAI) at (727) 449-8525.

6. When must I be signed up for the testing?

Candidates must be signed up 2 weeks in advance to take the written tests. Or the testing company IAI will charge a $50 late fee (no proceeds from late or incomplete fees go to California Crane School). Candidates must be signed up for the written tests at least one week in advance or the IAI will no allow them to test. Candidate wishing to take only the practical exam can call California Crane School at (800) 496-3648 and schedule this at any time. All crane certification paperwork including candidate's photo is done on site.

7. Who administers the tests?

An independent contractor hired by International Assessment Institute (IAI) administers the written tests, and an accredited practical examiner administrates the practical exams.

8. What is all included in California Crane School's crane operator training & certification program?

California Crane School crane operator training & certification program includes a written preparation training class guaranteed to get candidates to pass the crane operator certification written tests and the opportunity for candidates to take their practical exams on each telescopic crane type (swing + fixed cab telescopic boom crane). The price also includes all the applicable written + practical testing fees to the testing company which total $225. We do not believe misleading our customers with hidden fees. Price does not include any late or incomplete fees to the testing company. Total crane operator training and certification package $1795

9. Some companies have longer classes. If I am not an experienced crane operator, will I need a longer class?

California Crane School invented the 3 consecutive day crane operator certification program. From our over 100 classes worth of experience we understand how long it takes for people to pass the written tests and take their practical tests. If a class is shorter it is usually not enough to get a candidate through the crane certification exams. If a class is longer this probably means they have time to get into war stories of how big the load was that you lifted, or how much boom you have operated with. As much as we would love to discuss these kinds of things in class we do not set aside time for it. California Crane School guarantees you pass the written tests after our class or the next class with us is free.

10. How often does California Crane School conduct classes?

Our classes happen once a month in northern California and once a month in Southern California. We also conduct many private classes throughout the month. For information on private classes call California Crane School at (800)496-3648.

11. What kind of cranes do you use for the practical exams?

Since most of the practical exams require that a crane boom lengths be set to 70% - 75% for testing, we use the smallest cranes possible to meet the requirement. It makes the test easier. All of our cranes are Cal-OSHA certified and are used only for practical testing.

12. When shopping for a crane operator certification-training company what should you ask them?

How many crane operator certification classes have you conducted?
How many of your candidates pass there crane operator certification written tests the first time?
How long is your crane-training course?
Which reputable companies have you conducted your crane operator training & certification classes for?
What do your customers say about you?
Can you guarantee the candidate will pass after your training class?


Rancho California Water District

David Holguin

"Excellent preparation to take the exam, very effective material, and study preparation. Excellent in answering questions we had and giving visual aids to better understand the question."

Shoring Engineers

Richard Alarcon

"Thanks to John and Ted. This is the best class I've taken in 30 years. I really learned a lot and everything was to the point. Thanks."