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Top 11 Ride Operator Certifications

This article will discuss the top certifications for ride operators, including what each certification entails and how to obtain them.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a ride operator in the job market because they provide proof of competence and knowledge of safety regulations. Having certifications can help operators stand out when applying for jobs, as employers seek those who have demonstrated their commitment to safety. Certification courses also provide operators with training on the latest industry standards, so they can stay up to date on safety protocols and best practices. By showing that they are certified, ride operators can demonstrate to employers that they have the skills needed to keep riders safe while on rides.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Ride Operators and explains how they can help propel a ride operator's career.

What are Ride Operator Certifications?

Ride operator certification is a program that provides training and testing to amusement, theme park, and carnival ride operators. It is designed to ensure that the operators are knowledgeable on the proper safety procedures for operating amusement rides. Certification can also help protect operators from personal liability in cases of accidents or injuries related to their operation of amusement rides.

The program includes courses on topics such as basic ride operations, emergency preparedness and response, maintenance and inspection procedures, safe guest loading and unloading practices, and accident prevention. By taking the coursework and passing the test, operators gain a better understanding of the safety requirements for running amusement park rides. This knowledge helps them become more aware of potential hazards so they can take steps to prevent them from occurring.

Additionally, by becoming certified ride operators, individuals demonstrate their commitment to safety and professionalism in the industry. This can be beneficial when looking for employment opportunities in this field since employers may prefer those who have completed this type of certification program.

Pro Tip: Make sure to double-check the certification requirements for ride operators in your state or country before beginning any training. Different jurisdictions have different rules and regulations, so it's important to be aware of what is required to become certified.

Related: What does a Ride Operator do?

Top 11 Ride Operator Certifications

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

1. OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Certification

OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Certification is a voluntary program offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide safety training to workers in the construction industry. The 10-hour course covers topics such as identifying common workplace hazards, understanding OSHA regulations, and developing safe work practices. It also includes information about personal protective equipment, fire safety, and emergency preparedness.

The 10-hour course typically takes two days to complete, depending on the provider. Students must attend all sessions in order to receive their certification card. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $100-$200.

To get certified, individuals must register for a class with an OSHA-authorized trainer or training organization. They can find approved providers by searching online or calling their local OSHA office. Once they have completed the course, they will receive an OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Certification card that is valid for five years.

2. National Association for Amusement Ride Safety (NAARSO) Certification

The National Association for Amusement Ride Safety (NAARSO) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the safe operation of amusement rides and attractions. NAARSO provides certification for amusement ride operators, inspectors, and manufacturers. The certification program is designed to ensure that operators, inspectors, and manufacturers have the necessary knowledge and skills to properly operate and maintain amusement rides in a safe manner.

It typically takes about six months to receive NAARSO certification after all required training has been completed. To become certified, applicants must first complete an approved course of study in amusement ride safety from an accredited institution or through an approved online program. After completing the coursework, applicants must pass a written exam administered by NAARSO. Once the exam is passed, applicants are then eligible to apply for certification.

Applicants must pay a fee when submitting their application for certification. The fee varies depending on the type of certification being sought (e.g., operator, inspector, etc.). Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $50-$100 USD per applicant.

Once an application is approved, NAARSO will issue a certificate of completion which will be valid for three years from the date of issuance. Applicants are also required to take continuing education courses every two years in order to maintain their certification status.

3. Certified Ride Operator (CRO) Program

The Certified Ride Operator (CRO) Program is a comprehensive training program designed to ensure that amusement ride operators have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate rides and attractions. The program is administered by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO).

The CRO Program consists of two parts: an online course and a hands-on practical evaluation. The online course covers topics such as ride safety, emergency procedures, maintenance, and operations. It takes approximately 8 hours to complete the online portion of the program. After completing the online course, participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their certification.

Once certified, participants are eligible for hands-on practical evaluations at NAARSO-approved facilities. During these evaluations, participants must demonstrate their ability to properly inspect, maintain, and operate amusement rides and attractions in accordance with industry standards. Upon successful completion of all requirements, participants will receive their CRO certification card.

The cost of the CRO Program varies depending on the facility where training is taking place. Generally speaking, it costs around $150-$200 per person for both the online course and practical evaluation.

4. First Aid and CPR Certification

First Aid and CPR Certification is a certification that provides individuals with the necessary skills to respond to medical emergencies. It involves learning how to assess a situation, provide basic life support, and administer first aid. The certification is typically valid for two years.

The duration of the course varies depending on the provider, but it usually takes between 4-6 hours to complete. The course covers topics such as recognizing signs of distress, administering CPR, controlling bleeding, treating burns and fractures, and more.

To get certified in First Aid and CPR, you must take a class from an accredited provider or organization. You can find these providers online or through your local health department. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but generally ranges from $50-$100 USD.

Once you have completed the course successfully, you will receive a certificate of completion that is valid for two years. After this period has expired, you will need to retake the course in order to maintain your certification status.

5. American Red Cross Lifeguard Training

The American Red Cross Lifeguard Training is a certification program that teaches individuals the skills and knowledge needed to become a professional lifeguard. The program includes training in first aid, CPR, AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) use, and water rescue techniques. It also covers topics such as accident prevention, risk management, and professional development.

The program typically takes about 30 hours to complete and is offered through local Red Cross chapters or approved providers throughout the United States. To get certified, participants must be at least 15 years old, pass a pre-course swim test and written exam, attend all classroom sessions, demonstrate competency in all required skills during the final practical exam, and pass a final written exam.

The cost of the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training course varies depending on location but typically ranges from $200-$400. This cost usually includes textbooks and other materials needed for the course.

6. Roller Coaster Operators School (RCOS) Certification

Roller Coaster Operators School (RCOS) Certification is a training program designed to provide roller coaster operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate amusement park rides. The program is administered by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO).

The RCOS certification program consists of two courses: a classroom course and an on-site ride operator certification course. The classroom course covers topics such as safety regulations, ride operations, maintenance, and customer service. The on-site ride operator certification course requires participants to demonstrate their ability to safely operate a roller coaster.

The RCOS certification program takes approximately three days to complete. It begins with the classroom course which lasts for one day, followed by the on-site ride operator certification course which lasts for two days.

To get RCOS certified, individuals must first register for the program through NAARSO's website. Once registered, they will receive a confirmation email containing information about the program and instructions on how to prepare for it. During the classroom portion of the program, participants must pass an exam in order to receive their certificate of completion. After passing the exam, they will be eligible to take part in the on-site ride operator certification course where they must demonstrate their ability to safely operate a roller coaster. Upon successful completion of both courses, participants will receive their RCOS certification from NAARSO.

The cost of RCOS Certification varies depending on location but typically ranges from $400-$600 USD per person.

7. National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) Inspector Certification

The National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) Inspector Certification is a program that certifies amusement ride inspectors. The certification is valid for three years and covers the inspection and maintenance of amusement rides, carnival rides, water slides, and other attractions. To become certified, applicants must complete an approved training program, pass a written exam, and demonstrate proficiency in inspecting amusement rides.

To get the NAARSO Inspector Certification, applicants must first complete an approved training program. This typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience with amusement rides. After completing the training program, applicants must then pass a written examination to demonstrate their knowledge of safety regulations related to amusement ride inspections. Finally, they must demonstrate their proficiency in inspecting amusement rides by completing a practical exam administered by a NAARSO-approved instructor.

The cost of obtaining the NAARSO Inspector Certification varies depending on the training provider chosen. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 to obtain this certification.

8. International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Certified Professional Certificate

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Certified Professional Certificate is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of amusement park and attraction professionals. The certification is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a thorough understanding of industry standards, safety practices, operational procedures, maintenance protocols, customer service techniques, and other related topics.

The IAAPA Certified Professional Certificate is offered in two levels: Level 1 and Level 2. To obtain the Level 1 certificate, applicants must complete an online course that consists of 10 modules covering topics such as safety regulations, customer service techniques, operations management principles, marketing strategies, etc. This course typically takes approximately 16 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the coursework, applicants must pass an online exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to receive the certificate. The cost for this program is $295 USD.

To obtain the Level 2 certificate, applicants must first have completed the Level 1 program and passed the associated exam with a score of 80% or higher. In addition to completing the Level 1 program requirements, applicants must also complete an additional 8 modules covering topics such as risk management principles, financial best practices for attractions operations, legal considerations for attractions operations etc. This course typically takes approximately 12 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of all 18 modules and passing the associated exams with scores of 80% or higher in each module will result in receiving the IAAPA Certified Professional Certificate - Level 2. The cost for this program is $495 USD.

9. National Electric Code (NEC) Certification

National Electric Code (NEC) Certification is a certification program for electricians that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the National Electric Code. It is administered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NEC is a set of safety standards for electrical installations in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

The certification process typically takes about two to three days to complete. To get certified, electricians must pass an exam that covers topics such as wiring methods, grounding and bonding, overcurrent protection, and other safety requirements. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and can be taken either online or at a testing center.

The cost of the exam varies depending on the provider but typically ranges between $100-$200 USD. Additionally, there may also be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or travel expenses if you are taking it at a testing center.

Once an electrician has passed the exam they will receive a certificate that verifies their NEC certification status. This certificate is valid for three years after which time it must be renewed by re-taking the exam or completing continuing education courses related to the NEC code.

10. Boating License or Watercraft Operator Certification

A Boating License or Watercraft Operator Certification is a type of certification that allows individuals to operate certain types of watercraft. It is required by most states in the United States and some provinces in Canada. The license is issued after completion of a boater safety course, which generally takes around 8 hours to complete.

In order to obtain a Boating License or Watercraft Operator Certification, individuals must first take an approved boater safety course. These courses are offered online and at local marinas, boat clubs, and other locations. After completing the course, individuals must pass an exam administered by their state or province's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive their Boating License or Watercraft Operator Certification.

The cost of taking a boater safety course varies depending on the provider and location but typically ranges from $20-$50 USD. In addition to the cost of the course, there may also be fees associated with taking the DMV exam and obtaining your license or certification.

Once obtained, a Boating License or Watercraft Operator Certification is valid for life and does not need to be renewed unless it has been revoked due to violations or infractions while operating watercraft.

11. Mechanical Engineering or Maintenance Technician Certifications

Mechanical Engineering or Maintenance Technician Certifications are professional certifications that demonstrate an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in the maintenance of mechanical systems. These certifications typically require a combination of education and experience to obtain.

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the specific certification program you choose. Generally, most programs require at least two years of experience in the field before taking the certification exam. Some programs may also have additional requirements such as classes or workshops that must be completed prior to taking the exam.

To get certified, individuals must first complete any required coursework or workshops and then pass an examination administered by a professional organization or governing body. The cost of these exams varies depending on the organization offering them, but can range from $50-$500 USD for each exam taken.

Once certified, individuals will need to keep their certification up-to-date by completing continuing education courses or re-taking exams periodically. This will ensure that they maintain their knowledge and stay current with industry trends and standards.

Do You Really Need a Ride Operator Certificate?

Whether or not you need a ride operator certificate depends on the particular ride and the laws in your jurisdiction. In some places, operators of certain rides may be required to obtain a special certification, while in others they may not. It is important to research the regulations in your area before deciding whether or not you need a certificate.

In general, a ride operator certificate is designed to ensure that operators are properly trained and qualified for their job. This can include learning about safety procedures, how to operate the ride safely, and how to respond appropriately in an emergency situation. It can also involve understanding the regulations governing amusement park rides and other attractions. Having this knowledge will help keep both riders and operators safe.

Additionally, having a ride operator certificate can demonstrate that you are qualified for the job and can provide potential employers with evidence of your commitment to safety. Employers often require potential employees to have certain certifications before hiring them, so having one could make you more attractive as a candidate for a position at an amusement park or other attraction.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a ride operator certificate will depend on the laws in your jurisdiction and what type of ride you plan on operating. By researching these requirements ahead of time, you can make sure that you have all of the necessary qualifications before beginning work as an operator.

Related: Ride Operator Resume Examples

FAQs About Ride Operator Certifications

1. What is a ride operator certification?

A ride operator certification is a type of training and certification program that prepares individuals to safely operate amusement park rides. It includes instruction in safety procedures, equipment maintenance, and customer service skills.

2. How long does it take to get certified?

The length of the certification process depends on the specific program or organization providing the training. Generally, it can take anywhere from one day to several weeks to complete the necessary requirements for obtaining a ride operator certification.

3. What are the requirements for becoming a certified ride operator?

Requirements vary by state and program, but typically include passing an exam with a minimum score, completing classroom instruction, and demonstrating proficiency in operating amusement park rides.

4. Are there any age restrictions for becoming a certified ride operator?

Yes, most programs have age restrictions ranging from 16 to 18 years old depending on the state or organization offering the certification program. Additionally, many organizations require that applicants be at least 18 years old before they can be issued their full ride operator certification.

5. Is there an expiration date for my certification?

Typically, yes – certifications generally expire after two years from when they were initially issued or renewed if applicable.