Certification the next step in your maintenance career

Using the CMRP/CMRT certification to improve your career


Nick Roberts of DuPont is chairman of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals. Courtesy: SMRPIt's the same story for hundreds of professionals working in the manufacturing sector:

You've sent your resume to prospective employers and heard nothing about the open position.

Or maybe you did get an interview, but not the job, and you're left wondering what happened.

As the chair for the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP), a nonprofit devoted to developing the careers of those in physical asset management, I talk with a lot of employers from manufacturing companies and they're looking to hire the candidate with the best credentials.

With the current economic situation, there are plenty of candidates to choose from, and earning a certification is one way to stand apart from all the other candidates. SMRP offers two programs-the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional and the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician-which test and evaluate the knowledge and skills of individuals working in the industry.

The CMRP is ANSI-accredited and substantiates your knowledge according to five categories: Business management, manufacturing process reliability, equipment reliability, organization and leadership, and work management. The CMRP illustrates that you are a well-rounded candidate with an extensive amount of knowledge and skills.

Similarly, the CMRT tests your knowledge according to four domains: maintenance practice, preventative and predictive maintenance, troubleshooting and analysis, and corrective maintenance.

I believe in certifications not because they make you an expert in everything, but because they prove you have a sound understanding of the fundamentals and demonstrate your commitment to continuously learning and improving.

Obtaining my CMRP certification when I moved into a leadership role in the maintenance and reliability industry helped me in a variety of ways. It increased my ability to work with the technicians and professionals at my site, because I more thoroughly understood their roles and capabilities.

With a more complete understanding of organization and leadership, I was also more equipped to work with and relate to the experts in our corporate M&R Center of Competency at DuPont.

With the start of the New Year, there are plenty of reasons to get certified:

1. Both exams keep you abreast of the latest maintenance and reliability tools and best practices. With five different areas of required knowledge and skills for the CMRP and four for the CMRT, preparing for and passing the exam ensures that you have an in-depth and complete understanding of the industry's best practices.

2. The certifications set you apart from the crowd. You may be the most qualified applicant for a position in the manufacturing facility, but the hiring agent, recruiter, or human relations manager looking at your resume may not notice all your qualifications. I've been told by employers that the CMRP/CMRT certifications increasingly set applicants apart and give them an edge over other applicants.

3. The CMRP/CMRT will help expand your career. Are you looking for your next exciting new job opportunity or salary increase? Obtaining the CMRP/CMRT can open doors in your career and expand the number of jobs for which you are qualified.

4. The CMRP/CMRT is a great opportunity for unemployed veterans. The manufacturing industry needs skilled workers, and veterans-especially those who ran maintenance programs on aircraft carriers or maintained systems on military vehicles-are the perfect candidates for these jobs. Earning a certification shows that you are qualified, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will reimburse the cost of the CMRP test. As an added benefit, SMRP offers the CMRP exam to all eligible veterans at the discounted rate of $250.

5. The exam process and results will help you develop professionally. The exam results show applicants where they did not score well and compare their results to the average scores of other applicants. The process allows you to see where you can improve.

6. SMRP is excited to help you pass the exam and expand your career! The society is devoted to helping maintenance and reliability professionals, and our staff is ready to assist you. 

Nick Roberts of DuPont is chairman of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.

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