Work Experience

What kind of work experience do I need for certification as an engineering technician?
Your work experience will be evaluated to determine whether it is engineering technician experience, craft experience, engineering experience, or other. (If your work experience consists of engineer-level or craft-level experience only, you will not be certified.) To receive full credit, your engineering technician experience must be directly relevant to the certification you seek and must be progressively more technical and responsible. Seniority, by itself, does not demonstrate the required progression. All related military and/or craftwork experience should be included on your application. A maximum of two years credit is allowed for related high-level craft experience; the Institute will determine the actual amount of credit awarded. Part-time employment will be equated to full-time employment, when appropriate, if an explicit accounting is given of the circumstances under which the work was performed (i.e. intermittent 40 hours/week employment, steady employment but less than 40 hours/week, or some other variation).

NOTE: If you work in a region where the weather does not permit 12 months of outdoor fieldwork, the field experience will be counted as a full year when a full work season (for your region of the country) is completed. However, in no case will a work season of less than 6 months be counted as a full year.

Can a graduate engineer with some work experience be certified as a NICET engineering technician? As an engineering technologist?
NICET's certification programs are designed specifically for engineering technicians and technologists. NICET technical specialists will evaluate your work history to see how the specific details of your experience and job duties and responsibilities actually relate to the field/subfield. For NICET's definition of engineering technician and engineering technologist, please visit our "About NICET" page.

Will I receive credit for work experience gained outside of the United States?
The foundation for the NICET certification programs is American work practices and technology applications. Therefore, the preponderance of qualifying work experience must be acquired while working in the United States and its territories. Experience acquired in other countries may be acceptable if work was performed in accordance with American standards and practices. Applicability of work experience obtained outside the United States will be determined solely by NICET on a case-by-case basis, and will be limited to a maximum of two years.

When should I provide a new or updated work history?
When you apply to upgrade your certification, you must provide, along with other application materials, an updated work history that begins where your last submitted work history ended.

Can I get any work experience credit for my college degree?
You can receive up to 18 months (1.5 years) of credit towards your Level II work history requirement (normally two years) if you hold an ABET/TAC-accredited associate degree or baccalaureate degree in a directly-related engineering technology program from a United States university or college. You must also acquire six months of full-time relevant technician-level work experience within one year of the graduation date (co-op technician level work experience acquired not more than 18 months prior to graduation will be considered towards the six months work experience requirement). You must apply for certification within one year of the graduation date and complete the exam, verification, and personal recommendation requirements within eighteen months of the graduation date. Complete the Education Credit Addendum form and mail it with your application.

How does NICET count work experience that is common to more than one certification program?
NICET will usually accept a limited amount (usually one or two years) of overlapping work experience from related technical areas as long as the substantive portion of the work experience is acquired in the actual technical field/subfield sought. More credit may be awarded if the two subfields are highly related and share a great deal of crossover work elements; NICET will determine on a case-by-case basis the amount of related experience that can be applied to the work history requirement.

How will I find out if my work experience is sufficient?
NICET will evaluate your work experience (and other application materials) after you satisfy an examination requirement. Between 60 and 90 days after the test date, you will receive by mail either a certificate and approval letter/wallet card or a Conditional Decision Letter advising you of the criteria you have yet to meet before NICET can award you the certification. Meeting an exam requirement does not guarantee certification; NICET strongly recommends that you compare your work history with the program's work element descriptions (or General Knowledge exam topics) to make sure your experience is relevant within the scope of the program.

What is needed for the major project write-up required for Level IV certification?
An absolute requirement for certification at Level IV (SET) is recent (within the last 3 to 4 years) involvement in a senior-level project directly related to the subfield in which Level IV certification is sought. The project must include a majority of the various activities usually associated with your certification area, and you must hold supervisory responsibilities. The completion date of the project selected should be within four years of the date of submission.

Each program detail manual gives specific and detailed guidelines for the write-up. You (not others) must describe the project and your responsibilities concisely and with enough sufficient detail for NICET to make a conclusive judgment of the quality and quantity of the experience. Your write-up must be clearly documented separately from your work history; mail it with your application for Level IV certification to avoid delays. Attachments, such as plans or drawings, are not reviewed and will be discarded.

If none of these FAQs answered your question, please e-mail NICET or search again. Questions related to your personal progress toward meeting a certification requirement must be directed to NICET by telephone. Please call 888-476-4238 or 703-548-1518.

 

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