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Top 11 Lift Operator Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best lift operator certifications available to help operators stay safe and compliant.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications for a lift operator are important in the job market as they demonstrate to potential employers that an individual is qualified and knowledgeable in their field. Certification also demonstrates that an individual has completed a certain level of safety training, which is essential for any job involving operating a lift or other heavy machinery. Having certifications can make a job seeker more attractive to employers and can help them stand out from other applicants when applying for positions. Certifications also provide assurance to employers that employees have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively operate lifts, which can be critical in preventing workplace accidents and injuries.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Lift Operators and explains how they can help to further a lift operator's career.

What are Lift Operator Certifications?

Lift operator certification is a form of training and certification that teaches individuals how to safely operate and maintain different types of lifts, such as forklifts and scissor lifts. The certification process usually includes classroom instruction and hands-on training with the specific type of lift being used. It is designed to ensure that operators are aware of the safety risks associated with operating a lift, as well as the proper techniques for using it correctly.

Having lift operator certification can help employers in many ways. It provides employers with the assurance that their employees have been properly trained on how to safely use a lift, which can reduce the risk of workplace accidents or injuries. It also helps employers save money by reducing the amount of downtime due to damaged equipment or improper use of lifts. Additionally, lift operator certification can help employers meet certain industry standards or regulations regarding safe operation of lifts. Finally, having certified operators on staff can demonstrate an employer’s commitment to safety, which may be beneficial when seeking contracts or other opportunities within their industry.

Pro Tip: Make sure to take a lift operator certification course that is offered by a reputable organization. Doing so will ensure you have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and effectively operate the lift, as well as provide proof of your certification to potential employers.

Related: What does a Lift Operator do?

Top 11 Lift Operator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Lift Operators today.

1. OSHA-Certified Lift Operator Certification

OSHA-Certified Lift Operator Certification is a certification program designed to ensure that operators of powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts, are properly trained and certified in the safe operation of these vehicles. This certification is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for any employee who operates a powered industrial truck in an industrial setting.

The certification process typically takes several hours and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training. During the classroom portion of the course, participants learn about OSHA regulations pertaining to powered industrial trucks, safety protocols for operating them, and how to properly inspect them before use. The hands-on portion of the course involves operating a lift with an instructor present.

To get OSHA-Certified Lift Operator Certification, individuals must complete an approved training course from an accredited provider. Courses can be completed in person or online, depending on availability. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $100-$200 per person.

2. National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) Certification

The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is a non-profit organization that provides certification for crane operators in the United States. The NCCCO certification is designed to ensure that crane operators are qualified and knowledgeable about their equipment and safety procedures.

To obtain NCCCO certification, applicants must pass a written exam and a practical skills evaluation. The written exam covers topics such as crane safety, rigging, signaling, and other related topics. The practical skills evaluation tests an applicant’s ability to safely operate a crane.

It typically takes two to three months to complete the process of obtaining NCCCO certification, depending on how quickly an applicant can complete the necessary steps. To get started, applicants must first register with the NCCCO and pay a registration fee of $150. After registering, applicants must then take and pass the written exam before they can take the practical skills evaluation. Once both exams have been passed, applicants will receive their NCCCO certification card in the mail.

The cost of obtaining NCCCO certification varies depending on what type of training an applicant needs prior to taking the exams. Training courses typically range from $500-$2,000 depending on length and complexity. In addition to training costs, applicants must also pay for any additional fees associated with taking the exams such as study materials or proctor fees if applicable.

3. Aerial Lift Operator Certification

Aerial Lift Operator Certification is a certification program designed to ensure that operators of aerial lifts are properly trained and qualified to operate the equipment safely. This certification is required by OSHA in order to protect workers from potential hazards associated with using aerial lifts.

The certification process typically takes around 8 hours, depending on the type of lift being operated and the experience level of the operator. It includes classroom instruction, hands-on training, and an assessment test. The training covers topics such as safety regulations, proper operation techniques, and maintenance procedures for aerial lifts.

To obtain Aerial Lift Operator Certification, you must first complete the appropriate training course from an accredited provider. Once you have completed the course, you will need to pass a written exam in order to receive your certification card. You may also be required to demonstrate your proficiency in operating an aerial lift during a practical evaluation.

The cost of Aerial Lift Operator Certification varies depending on the provider and type of lift being operated. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $150-$500 per person for a single day of training.

4. Mobile Crane Operator Certification

Mobile Crane Operator Certification is a certification that allows an individual to safely and competently operate mobile cranes. This certification is required by many employers in order to ensure the safety of workers and the public.

The certification process typically takes several months to complete, depending on the individual's experience level. Individuals must first obtain a valid commercial driver's license (CDL) before they can apply for the certification. Once they have their CDL, they must complete an approved crane operator training program, which includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice with a mobile crane.

Once the training program has been completed, individuals must pass a written exam and practical test administered by an accredited certifying body in order to receive their certificate. The cost of obtaining this certification varies depending on the certifying body, but is typically around $1,000-$2,000 USD.

5. Overhead Crane Operator Certification

Overhead Crane Operator Certification is a certification program designed to ensure that individuals who operate overhead cranes are properly trained and qualified to do so. It is important for crane operators to understand the safety procedures and regulations associated with operating an overhead crane, as well as the proper use of the crane itself.

The certification usually takes about two days to complete and consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on training. During classroom instruction, participants learn about the different types of overhead cranes, their components, safety protocols, and applicable laws. Hands-on training involves learning how to properly operate an overhead crane in a safe manner.

To get certified, individuals must first complete an approved training program and pass a written exam. The cost of certification varies depending on the type of program chosen, but typically ranges from $500-$1000 USD. After completing all requirements, applicants receive their certification card which is valid for three years.

Overall, Overhead Crane Operator Certification is essential for ensuring that operators are knowledgeable about safety procedures and regulations when operating an overhead crane. This certification ensures that operators have received appropriate training in order to safely operate these machines and prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace.

6. Forklift Operator Certification

Forklift Operator Certification is a certification that is required for any person who operates a forklift in the workplace. This certification ensures that the operator has been properly trained and is qualified to safely operate the equipment.

It typically takes about 8 hours to complete the training and obtain the certification, which includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice. The training covers topics such as safety procedures, operation of the forklift, loading/unloading techniques, and maintenance requirements.

To get certified, you must find an accredited program or provider that offers forklift operator training. You can usually find these programs at local community colleges or trade schools. The cost of the training varies depending on where you take it, but it generally ranges from $100-$200 per person.

Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a written test in order to receive your certification card. After passing this test, you will be able to legally operate a forklift in most workplaces.

7. Telescopic Boom Lift Operator Certification

Telescopic Boom Lift Operator Certification is a certification that is required for anyone who operates a telescopic boom lift. This certification is designed to ensure that operators of this type of equipment are properly trained and knowledgeable about the safe operation of the machine.

The certification process typically takes between one and two days, depending on the complexity of the course material. To obtain certification, an operator must complete a training program that covers topics such as operating procedures, safety protocols, maintenance requirements, and other related topics. In some cases, an operator may also be required to pass a written exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost of obtaining Telescopic Boom Lift Operator Certification varies depending on the provider and location. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $100-$500 USD.

8. Scissor Lift Operation Certification

Scissor Lift Operation Certification is a certification program that allows an individual to become certified in the safe operation of a scissor lift. This certification is required for anyone who wishes to operate a scissor lift, either as part of their job or for recreational purposes. The certification program is administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

The certification process consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical skills evaluation. The written exam covers topics such as safety regulations, hazard recognition, and proper operation techniques. The practical skills evaluation consists of operating a scissor lift under the supervision of an NCCCO-certified instructor.

The entire certification process typically takes between 4-6 hours to complete and can be completed in one day. To get certified, individuals must first register with NCCCO and pay the appropriate fee (currently $250). Once registered, individuals will receive instructions on how to prepare for the exam and where to take it. After passing both parts of the exam, individuals will receive their Scissor Lift Operation Certification card from NCCCO.

The cost for Scissor Lift Operation Certification includes registration fees ($250), study materials ($50-$100), and any applicable travel expenses associated with taking the exam.

9. Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Operator Certification

Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) Operator Certification is a certification that is required for individuals who operate powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts and pallet jacks. This certification helps to ensure that operators of these vehicles are trained in the safe operation of the equipment and can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

How long does it take to get it? The length of time it takes to get PIT Operator Certification depends on the type of training program chosen. Many employers offer their own in-house training programs which may take several days or weeks to complete. Other companies may offer online or classroom-based courses which can take anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on the complexity of the course material.

How to get it? To obtain a PIT Operator Certification, an individual must successfully complete an approved training program. Training programs are offered by employers, educational institutions, or third-party providers and must meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for safety and operator proficiency.

How much does it cost? The cost of obtaining a PIT Operator Certification varies depending on the provider chosen. Some employers may provide free or discounted training while other providers may charge fees ranging from $50-$500 per person depending on the length and complexity of the course material.

10. Boom Truck and Articulated Boom Lift Operator Certifications

Boom Truck and Articulated Boom Lift Operator Certifications are certifications that are required for individuals who operate boom trucks or articulated boom lifts. These certifications show that the operator has been properly trained and is qualified to safely and effectively operate these types of vehicles.

The certification process typically takes around two weeks to complete, depending on the individual's experience level. In order to obtain a Boom Truck or Articulated Boom Lift Operator Certification, individuals must attend an approved training program and pass a written exam as well as a practical demonstration of their skills. The cost of the certification varies depending on the provider, but generally ranges from $500-$1000.

11. Rigging and Signal Person Certifications

Rigging and Signal Person Certifications are certifications that demonstrate an individual’s knowledge of safety procedures, equipment use, and rigging techniques. Rigging and Signal Person Certifications are required for those who work in the construction industry doing rigging operations.

The certification process typically takes around two to three days to complete. It includes a written exam as well as a practical exam where applicants must demonstrate their skills in the use of rigging equipment and techniques. The cost of the certification varies depending on the provider, but it usually ranges from $100 to $250.

In order to get certified, individuals must first complete a training course approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This course covers topics such as safe rigging practices, types of rigging equipment, inspection requirements, proper signaling techniques, and more. After completing the course, individuals must pass an exam administered by a third-party provider in order to receive their certification.

Once certified, individuals must renew their certification every three years in order to maintain their qualifications. Renewal typically requires completion of additional training courses or passing another written or practical exam.

Do You Really Need a Lift Operator Certificate?

Yes, a Lift Operator Certificate is necessary for anyone who plans to work as a lift operator. The certificate provides proof that the individual has been trained in safe operating practices and is aware of the safety regulations that must be followed on the job. It also helps employers ensure that their employees are qualified to operate lifts in a safe manner, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Having a certificate also proves to employers that the individual understands how to properly operate a lift, including how to correctly load and unload passengers, use safety equipment and follow safety procedures. Without this certification, an employer may be more likely to hire someone who does not have the necessary knowledge or experience in safely operating a lift.

In addition, having a Lift Operator Certificate makes it easier for an individual to find employment as many employers will only hire those with such qualifications. Furthermore, some states require certification in order for operators to legally work at certain locations or under certain circumstances.

Overall, having a Lift Operator Certificate is essential for those who wish to work as a lift operator and can help them gain employment more easily while ensuring they are properly trained in safe operating practices.

Related: Lift Operator Resume Examples

FAQs About Lift Operator Certifications

Q1. What is a lift operator certification?

A1. A lift operator certification is an official credential that proves an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively operate a powered industrial truck, such as a forklift or scissor lift.

Q2. Who needs to be certified as a lift operator?

A2. Any person who will be operating any type of powered industrial truck must be certified in order to do so legally and safely. This includes operators in both commercial and residential settings.

Q3. How long does a lift operator certification last?

A3. Most certifications are valid for three years, but can vary depending on the type of equipment being operated and the employer's policy.

Q4. How do I get certified as a lift operator?

A4. In most cases, you will need to complete an approved training course by an accredited organization in order to obtain your certification. You may also need to pass a written test or practical assessment in order to become certified.

Q5. What are the penalties for operating without proper certification?

A5: Depending on the state or jurisdiction, penalties for operating without proper certification can range from fines to criminal charges. It is important to always make sure you have the necessary credentials before beginning any job involving powered industrial trucks!