Plan Your Certification Investment
To gain the internal efficiencies and marketing advantage of having NICET-certified employees requires some up-front investment. This page reviews the elements of that investment. Please contact us with any questions or concerns that may remain after reading this information.
NICET testing and certification related fees may be found by visiting the fees page. The pass rate for tests varies widely, depending on the program, the particular tests involved, and the candidate's level of knowledge, experience, and preparation. It would probably be reasonable, for estimation purposes, to hypothesize one and a third tests, on average, for each level certification. For example, if you have one individual to certify at Level IV, two at Level III, and one at Level II:
Level IV: 1 person X 4 Levels X 1.33 tests per Level = 5.33 tests
Level III: 2 people X 3 Levels X 1.33 tests per Level = 8 tests
Level II: 1 person X 2 Levels X 1.33 tests per Level = 2.67 tests
In total, you might need about 16 tests to get your staff to the desired levels. Your actual results will vary based on the particular program and the preparation of the test-takers.
How much is enough?
NICET certification programs are developed in career tracks. Examinations for each level of the track are based on experience and length of employment. Ideally all candidates would proceed through all levels (typically 4) but you, as the employer, must determine what your workforce needs for the best ROI.
Look to your customers. What levels of NICET certification are appropriate for the types of work that your organization is performing? A review of NICET program descriptions can help with this determination. Revisit this issue regularly. In many industries, certification is changing from an expectation to a requirement.
Look to your employees. Certification and training can be important factors in employee satisfaction and retention. Incentives for certification can encourage employees to maintain and enhance their qualifications.
NICET certification is an ongoing process. Ideally a candidate begins with level 1 shortly after entering the profession and continues earning the levels as they gain experience through employment. A technician already working in the field can move more quickly earning the levels up to his or her current work experience through consecutive testing sessions. For programs using standard testing these sessions are offered four times a year. For those using computer-based testing, examinations are offered on demand.
Prepare for success
It is important to remember that the best use of your organization's funds is to assist the candidates in passing the exam on the first try. Often, a candidate can pass a NICET exam on the first try if they are properly prepared.
Training is a way to improve your workforce — whether they seek certification or not. The certification tests are based on what your employees need to know to properly perform their jobs. Any training they receive has a double benefit — preparing them for certification and making them more effective as technicians and as representatives of your firm.
All of the recommended references listed for various programs have been selected because they are useful, if not essential, resources for engineering technicians. They should have access to these materials as a resource for their jobs and as a resource for preparing for certification.
The Bottom Line
Certification can be an investment with a significant return for organizations that wish to distinguish themselves by the professionalism and demonstrated qualifications of their technical staff. It's an investment in your people that will benefit your clients and your organization.
Your customers and your employees will thank you.
Please contact NICET with any questions; we are eager to help your company distinguish itself by getting its employees certified by NICET.