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Crane Operator

License required in 18 states

57th most burdensome licensing requirements among moderate-income occupations

75th most heavily regulated occupation among moderate-income occupations

What They Do

Crane and heavy machine operators operate mechanical boom and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines or products in many directions.

Licensing

Eighteen states require a license to work as a crane operator. On average, these laws cost aspiring crane operators $225 in fees and 222 days in experience and require them to pass two exams—the 57th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. Because so few states license the occupation, it is only the 75th most widely and onerously licensed.

License requirements vary widely across states. New York has the most burdensome requirements at three years (1,095 days) of experience, two exams and $150 in fees. However, 10 states do not require any experience. Some states have different licenses for operating different types of cranes (which can be measured in terms of hoisting mechanism, weightlifting capability or boom length). In such cases, where license requirements differed, the least burdensome license was used. If license requirements did not differ, the broadest possible license was observed.

License to Work

The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2017.

States Ranked by Average Licensing Burden for 102 Lower-Income Occupations

More Burdensome Less Burdensom
Based on data released in November 2017

State Licensing Requirements

Select a chart to view:
Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 New York 18 $150 1095 3 years 2 0 21
2 New Mexico 18 $194 730 2 years 2 0 18
3 Connecticut 18 $100 730 2 years 2 0 18
4 D C 18 $260 730 2 years 1 0 0
5 New Jersey 18 $475 233 1000 clock hours 2 0 18
6 West Virginia 18 $300 233 1000 clock hours 2 0 18
7 Montana 18 $100 233 1000 clock hours 1 0 18
8 Hawaii 18 $375 0 2 0 21
9 Pennsylvania 18 $325 0 2 0 18
10 Washington 18 $225 4 24 clock hours 2 0 18
11 California 18 $225 0 2 0 18
11 Maryland 18 $225 0 2 0 18
11 Minnesota 18 $225 0 2 0 18
11 Nevada 18 $225 0 2 0 18
11 North Carolina 18 $225 0 2 0 18
11 Utah 18 $225 0 2 0 18
17 Massachusetts 18 $75 0 2 0 18
18 Rhode Island 18 $117 0 1 0 18