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Top 11 Furnace Operator Certifications

This article provides an overview of the various certifications available to furnace operators, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 20 min read

Certifications for furnace operators are important for several reasons. First, certifications demonstrate that an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job effectively and safely. This is especially important in a specialized field such as furnace operation, where safety is of utmost importance. Second, certifications can provide employers with the assurance that they are hiring a qualified individual who will be able to meet their needs and expectations. Additionally, having certifications can help a furnace operator stand out from other applicants in the job market, making them more attractive to potential employers. Finally, certifications may make it easier for furnace operators to secure higher salaries or better positions within organizations.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Furnace Operators and explains how they can help to enhance a furnace operator's career.

What are Furnace Operator Certifications?

Furnace Operator Certification is a type of certification that is designed to provide operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate furnaces used for a variety of industrial processes. This certification involves courses in safety, operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting of furnaces. The certification also covers topics such as combustion controls, fuel system components, furnace instrumentation and venting systems.

The primary benefit of furnace operator certification is that it helps ensure the safe operation of furnaces by providing operators with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand how to safely operate them. By having an understanding of the operations, maintenance and safety requirements associated with these furnaces, operators can reduce the risk of accidents or other dangerous situations occurring during their use. Additionally, having this certification can help employers demonstrate a commitment to safety in the workplace and may even help them qualify for insurance discounts or other benefits. Finally, having this certification can also make potential employees more attractive to employers since they will have a greater understanding of the equipment they are working with.

Pro Tip: Make sure to check the certification requirements for furnace operators in your state or region before beginning any training program. Different states and regions may have different regulations, so it's important to make sure you are meeting all of the necessary requirements. Additionally, some employers may require that their furnace operators be certified in order to work for them, so make sure to look into this as well.

Related: What does a Furnace Operator do?

Top 11 Furnace Operator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Furnace Operators today.

1. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Furnace Operator Certification

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Furnace Operator Certification is a program that provides certification to individuals who demonstrate their knowledge and skills in operating furnaces. This certification is designed to ensure that furnace operators have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and efficiently operate furnaces.

To get the NIMS Furnace Operator Certification, applicants must first complete an online application and submit it along with the required fees. Once approved, applicants will be required to take a written exam as well as a practical exam. The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions related to furnace safety, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The practical exam requires applicants to demonstrate their ability to safely operate a furnace in accordance with industry standards.

The entire process typically takes about 4-6 weeks from start to finish. Applicants should expect to spend at least two hours studying for the written exam prior to taking it.

The cost of the NIMS Furnace Operator Certification varies depending on the applicant’s location but typically ranges from $150-$250 USD.

2. American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder/Furnace Operator

American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welder/Furnace Operator is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in welding and furnace operation. This certification is designed to ensure that welders and furnace operators are knowledgeable of the latest safety standards, techniques, and materials used in their field.

The AWS Certified Welder/Furnace Operator program consists of three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each level requires the completion of an exam and a practical demonstration of welding skills. The Basic level includes topics such as welding principles, safety procedures, joint design, and basic welding techniques. The Intermediate level covers more advanced topics such as metallurgy, arc welding processes, heat input control, and quality assurance. The Advanced level covers topics such as robotic welding systems and non-destructive testing methods.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete the AWS Certified Welder/Furnace Operator program depending on the individual's experience level. To get certified, individuals must first complete an application with the American Welding Society (AWS). After submitting the application, they will be given a date for their written exam which must be passed in order to move onto the practical portion of the certification process. Once both parts are completed successfully, individuals will receive their AWS Certified Welder/Furnace Operator certificate.

The cost for taking the AWS Certified Welder/Furnace Operator program varies depending on location but generally ranges from $500 - $1,000 USD for all three levels combined.

3. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Furnace Operator Certification

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Furnace Operator Certification is a program designed to provide training and certification for individuals who operate furnaces in the construction industry. The certification is offered through NCCER's accredited training providers, which are located throughout the United States.

The NCCER Furnace Operator Certification consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as safety, furnace operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The practical exam requires the candidate to demonstrate their ability to safely operate a furnace.

In order to get certified, an individual must successfully complete both the written and practical exams. It typically takes about 8-10 hours of study time to prepare for the exams.

The cost of the NCCER Furnace Operator Certification varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $150-$300 USD.

4. Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) Certified Furnace Operator

The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) Certified Furnace Operator program is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to provide furnace operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and efficiently operate industrial furnaces. The program consists of three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Basic level certification requires completion of an online course that covers basic safety principles and furnace operation fundamentals. This course takes approximately 4 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate from IHEA.

Intermediate level certification requires completion of an online course that covers advanced safety principles, furnace operations, and maintenance procedures. This course takes approximately 8 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate from IHEA.

Advanced level certification requires completion of an online course that covers advanced safety principles, furnace operations, maintenance procedures, troubleshooting techniques, and system design considerations. This course takes approximately 16 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate from IHEA.

The cost for each level is $95 USD per person for members or $125 USD per person for non-members.

5. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour General Industry Training Course

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour General Industry Training Course is a comprehensive safety training program designed to provide workers with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and prevent workplace hazards. The course covers topics such as hazard recognition, accident prevention, personal protective equipment, fire prevention, emergency response plans, and more.

The OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training Course typically takes two days to complete. During the course, participants will receive instruction from an OSHA-authorized trainer who has been certified by the agency. Participants will also be required to take a written exam at the end of the course in order to receive their completion certificate.

The cost of the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training Course varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, courses are offered by private training providers or may be offered through employers or unions. Prices can range from $50-$200 per person depending on location and provider.

In order to get the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training Course, you must first find an approved provider that offers it in your area. You can search for providers online or contact your local OSHA office for more information about approved providers in your area. Once you have found a provider that offers the course, you can register for it online or over the phone.

6. International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Automation Professional – Furnace Operation

The ISA Certified Automation Professional – Furnace Operation (CAP-FO) is a certification program developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of furnace operation and automation. The certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as safety, maintenance, troubleshooting, process control, and instrumentation.

The CAP-FO certification requires passing a two-hour exam consisting of 80 multiple choice questions. The exam is administered online through the ISA website and must be taken in English. To be eligible for the examination, applicants must have at least five years of experience in furnace operation or related fields.

To apply for the CAP-FO exam, candidates must submit an application form along with proof of eligibility requirements such as education and experience documentation. Once approved, applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the exam. The cost of the exam is $250 USD and it can take up to four weeks to receive results after taking the test.

Successful candidates will receive their official CAP-FO certificate from ISA after passing the exam. This certificate is valid for three years before needing to be renewed. To renew your certification you will need to complete continuing education activities or retake the exam every three years in order to maintain your credential status.

7. American Foundry Society (AFS) Certified Foundry Technician – Furnace Operation

The American Foundry Society (AFS) Certified Foundry Technician – Furnace Operation is a certification program that recognizes the expertise of individuals who demonstrate proficiency in furnace operations and related foundry processes. The certification is designed to ensure that certified personnel have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively operate furnaces in a foundry environment.

To obtain this certification, applicants must pass an exam administered by AFS. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as furnace safety, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Applicants must possess at least two years of experience working with furnaces in a foundry setting to qualify for the exam.

The cost for taking the exam is $150 for members of AFS and $200 for non-members. The exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their AFS Certified Foundry Technician – Furnace Operation certificate.

8. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code – Section IX Qualification Standard for Welders, Brazers, and Solderers

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code – Section IX Qualification Standard for Welders, Brazers, and Solderers is a set of standards that are used to ensure the safety of welders, brazers, and solderers. These standards are designed to ensure that welders, brazers, and solderers are qualified to perform their jobs safely and correctly. The standard covers qualifications for welding processes such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and submerged arc welding (SAW). It also covers qualifications for brazing processes such as oxyacetylene brazing (OAB) and silver soldering.

The process of obtaining ASME certification typically takes between three to six months. In order to get certified, applicants must first pass an examination administered by the American Welding Society or an approved testing agency. Applicants must also have at least two years of experience in the field before they can apply for certification. After passing the exam, applicants must then submit a portfolio of work samples demonstrating their proficiency in various welding techniques. Finally, applicants must attend a practical evaluation session where they will be observed performing various welding tasks to demonstrate their skillset.

The cost of obtaining ASME certification varies depending on the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, it costs around $700-$1000 USD for an individual applicant to obtain certification in one or more processes covered by Section IX. This cost may include fees associated with taking the exam as well as any other fees associated with submitting work samples or attending a practical evaluation session.

Overall, ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code – Section IX Qualification Standard for Welders, Brazers, and Solderers is an important set of standards that help ensure the safety of welders, brazers, and solderers in the workplace. By obtaining this certification individuals can demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in various welding techniques which can help them advance their careers in this field.

9. National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) Certified Inspector – Boilers, Pressure Vessels, & Refractory

The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) Certified Inspector – Boilers, Pressure Vessels, & Refractory is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, and refractory. This certification is available to individuals who have completed a minimum of five years of experience in boiler and pressure vessel inspection or related fields. The program requires successful completion of both written and practical examinations.

It typically takes between three to six months to become certified as an NBBI Certified Inspector – Boilers, Pressure Vessels, & Refractory. During this time, candidates must complete the required training courses and pass the written exam. Candidates must also submit proof of their experience in the field before they can take the practical examination.

To get certified as an NBBI Certified Inspector – Boilers, Pressure Vessels, & Refractory, candidates must first apply for certification through the National Board’s website. After submitting their application and paying the applicable fee, applicants will be sent a study guide along with instructions on how to prepare for the written exam. Once they have passed the written exam, they may then register for the practical examination which will be administered by an approved testing agency.

The cost for becoming an NBBI Certified Inspector – Boilers, Pressure Vessels, & Refractory varies depending on several factors such as location and whether or not you are already a member of the National Board. Generally speaking though, it costs around $500-$600 USD for all fees associated with becoming certified including registration fees for both exams as well as any necessary training courses or materials.

10. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) HVAC/R Technician Certification

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the leading certification program for HVAC/R technicians in North America. It is the only certification program that is supported by all major industry associations, including Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), and Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association (PHCC).

The NATE certification program consists of two parts: a written exam and a hands-on performance verification. The written exam covers topics such as installation, service, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of residential and light commercial HVAC/R systems. The performance verification requires the technician to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete the NATE certification process. To get certified, you will need to pass both the written exam and the performance verification. You can find more information about how to become certified on the NATE website.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on where you take your exams and which certifications you are seeking. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$400 for each certification test plus any additional fees associated with taking the tests at a testing center or proctoring service.

11. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Certified Fire Protection Specialist – Furnaces

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Certified Fire Protection Specialist – Furnaces is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to inspect, test, maintain, and repair furnaces. This certification is designed for individuals who work in the fire protection industry or are interested in becoming certified furnace technicians.

It typically takes about three months to complete the coursework and pass the exam required for this certification. The coursework covers topics such as safety procedures, installation of furnaces, maintenance of furnaces, troubleshooting techniques, and more. The exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical demonstration. The written portion tests your knowledge of NFPA standards and codes related to fire protection systems. The practical portion tests your ability to inspect, test, maintain, and repair furnaces.

To get this certification you must first complete an application form available on the NFPA website. You will also need to submit proof of completion of a minimum of 10 hours of approved training related to fire protection systems or furnaces. Once you have completed these steps you will be eligible to take the exam.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $200-$500 USD.

Do You Really Need a Furnace Operator Certificate?

Having a furnace operator certificate can be an important asset when looking for work in the industrial or manufacturing sector. This type of certification is necessary to operate furnaces and other related equipment safely, as well as adhere to specific safety regulations. It also provides assurance that the person operating the machinery has a certain level of knowledge about its operation and safety protocols.

In some cases, employers may require operators to possess a furnace operator certificate before they are hired. This ensures that the employee is knowledgeable about how to safely operate the furnace and other related equipment, including proper maintenance and inspection procedures. While holding this type of certification does not guarantee job placement, it can give applicants an edge over their competition.

A furnace operator certificate can also provide workers with additional opportunities for career advancement. Employers often prefer employees who have demonstrated a commitment to learning new skills and staying abreast of safety regulations. Having this type of certification can demonstrate that you have taken steps to stay up-to-date on industry trends, which could open up new possibilities for promotions or higher-level positions within the company.

Overall, having a furnace operator certificate is beneficial when seeking employment or career advancement in the industrial or manufacturing sector. It shows potential employers that you have taken steps to stay informed on safety regulations and have invested in learning more about your profession. Additionally, it helps ensure that those operating furnaces are knowledgeable about safe operational practices and procedures, thereby reducing potential risks associated with working with hazardous materials or equipment.

Related: Furnace Operator Resume Examples

FAQs About Furnace Operator Certifications

1. What is a Furnace Operator Certification?

Answer: A Furnace Operator Certification is a credential that shows an individual has achieved the necessary training and knowledge to safely and efficiently operate industrial furnaces.

2. How do I become certified as a Furnace Operator?

Answer: To become certified as a Furnace Operator, you must complete the required training courses and pass an exam administered by a certifying body, such as the American Welding Society (AWS).

3. What are the benefits of becoming a certified Furnace Operator?

Answer: Benefits of becoming a certified Furnace Operator include having higher job security, increased credibility, greater earning potential, and more opportunities for advancement within the industry.

4. What type of training is required to become a certified Furnace Operator?

Answer: Training requirements vary depending on the certifying body and type of furnace being operated, but generally include safety protocols, proper operation procedures, maintenance techniques, troubleshooting methods and hazard control measures.

5. How long does it take to become certified as a Furnace Operator?

Answer: The length of time it takes to become certified as a Furnace Operator depends on the certifying body and your prior experience in operating furnaces; however, most programs can be completed in under one year with dedicated study and practice.