Researchers have reported that zinc finger CCHC domain containing 12 gene (ZCCHC12) plays a role in the progression and tumorigenesis of papillary thyroid cancer. However, the biological role of ZCCHC12 in osteosarcoma (OS) remains unknown. ZCCHC12 was highly upregulated in OS cell lines according to our present study. Also, our subsequent assays demonstrated that ZCCHC12 enhanced the proliferation, tumor growth and migration of OS cells. Moreover, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of OS cells was also promoted by ZCCHC12. In addition, downregulation of ZCCHC12 induced apoptosis and S-phase arrest in OS cells. Then, our study indicated that ZCCHC12 exerts its oncogenic function in OS cells by activating the PI3K/AKT pathway. Inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway greatly limits the oncogenic function of ZCCHC12 in OS cells. Also, overexpression of ZCCHC12 promotes tumor growth in vivo. Altogether, our study suggests ZCCHC12 promotes OS cells progression by activating the PI3K/AKT pathway. The ZCCHC12 gene may be a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target for OS.