Beginner Aerial Lift FAQ’s

aerial lift frequently asked questions

Are you new to aerial lifts? Looking to get a job in the industry? We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for anyone curious about these essential maintenance and construction machines.

For the ultimate answers to all of your aerial lift questions, our training packages have all the answers – sign up today and ensure your company is OSHA compliant!

What is an aerial lift?

An aerial lift is a bucket truck, cherry picker, or other lift that is used to access elevated areas. Aerial lifts are supported by a boom, which is different from a scissor-type lift mechanism. A boom can either be a telescopic lift, which is a straight arm or an articulating boom lift, which is able to bend, making it useful for jobs that require extra movement to avoid hazards or provide better accessibility.

Does OSHA require aerial lift certification?

Yes – and it’s the responsibility of the employer to provide this training. That’s why employers all over the U.S. rely on for their training. Sign up today!

How long is aerial lift certification good for? Does aerial lift training expire?

All OSHA compliant aerial lift, scissor lift, and mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) training is good for 3 years. After this time, you must have your employees get recertified – and CMO has everything you need to ensure your aerial lift operators stay compliant!

How high do they get?

Most aerial lifts are typically designed to lift workers anywhere from 20 – 60 feet off the ground. However, there are some aerial lifts that go hundreds of feet up in the sky! An aerial lift’s range in height depends upon the type of work being done. For indoor construction projects, an aerial lift may only be required to reach 30 – 40 feet. But for large-scale projects which require extensive range, it’s not uncommon to have an aerial lift extend 100, 150, or 200 feet and beyond. Regardless of how high an aerial lift goes, provides complete OSHA compliant training for all aerial lift operators.

Is any special training required to operate an aerial lift?

It is recommended that anyone looking to work on an aerial lift has the most recent OSHA compliant instruction. is a great place to get started.

What jobs are aerial lifts used for?

Basically, anything that involves an elevated workspace. Painters, maintenance workers, construction personnel, even security (police, surveillance, etc.) use aerial lifts on a daily basis.

Can a boom lift be used as a crane?

OSHA guidelines prohibit the use of a boom lift as a crane. A boom lift and crane are used for different jobs and are designed to handle specific tasks. If you use a boom lift as a crane, you’re putting personal safety at risk – and the safety of your co-workers.

Is a bucket truck an aerial lift?

Yes, a bucket truck is just another type of aerial lift. With CMO’s training, your employees will know how to operate all types of aerial lifts, including bucket trucks.

Doesn’t it get windy up there?

As a matter of fact, it does! Dealing with the wind, weather and other special circumstances are just some of the things an aerial lift worker is faced with. Our training material at is designed to give workers the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with all sorts of hazards and difficult working conditions while on an aerial lift – including dealing with windy conditions.

When should an aerial lift be used instead of a ladder?

There are many different circumstances where an aerial lift is preferable over a ladder. Aerial lifts are more mobile than ladders and can hold more weight. What’s more, they can also accommodate fall protection equipment. Plus, aerial lifts are stronger and more stable than ladders. For a variety of on-the-job tasks, recommends aerial lifts instead of ladders.

when to use an aerial lift or a ladder

Does an aerial lift worker make good money?

Because the job has risks from falling and other hazards, aerial lift workers usually make a higher hourly rate than other workers. Of course, it depends on the employer, type of work, union considerations and other factors. Perhaps the biggest factor that determines an aerial lift worker’s pay is the local job market.

Is a scissor lift an aerial lift?

OSHA considered scissor lifts a type of aerial lift. Even though scissor lifts don’t have their mobile work platform extend beyond the wheel base, they’re classified as an aerial work platform (AWP) – the same category as other aerial lifts (cherry pickers, telescopic boom lifts, etc.).

Can aerial lifts hold more than one person?

The larger lifts are built to accommodate multiple workers. But usually, they hold a single person.

Can aerial lifts tip over?

Yes. This is one of the most common types of aerial lift accidents. Properly trained aerial lift operators are aware of the different hazards that can cause an aerial lift tip over. The main causes of aerial lift tip overs include uneven surfaces, unstable and / or heavy loads, and failure to properly understand the operational requirements for the equipment. With aerial lift training from, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to avoid aerial lift tip overs.

Do you have to wear a harness on a scissor lift?

It all depends on the work requirements for your particular job site. OSHA always recommends wearing a safety harness.

What is a boom lift?

That’s just another name for an aerial lift. You’ll also see mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), mobile elevating work platform and aerial work platform (AWP) used, as well. All boom lifts fall under two different categories: articulating or telescoping. Boom lifts are not scissor lifts, which have their own type of lifting mechanism.

Can you use a boom lift as a crane?

No. This is one of the most common reasons for boom lift tip overs. Boom lifts should only be used to safely elevate workers to specific heights – never to manipulate cargo and materials as a crane would.

what is a boom lift

If you have more questions about aerial lifts, talk to the experts today. offers great training for AWPs, MEWPs, aerial lifts, scissor lifts and other elevated work platforms. What’s more, we also supply top-flight fall protection courses and other training for aerial lift workers. Companies all over the United States depend on CMO for their aerial lift training. Call us today at (602) 277-0615, or check out our contact page for more info. If you’re ready to get started with your company’s aerial lift, scissor lift, AWP or MEWP training, register your company – it’s the law! Thanks again for reading the CMO blog!

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