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Top 10 Manufacturing Project Manager Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for manufacturing project managers and their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a manufacturing project manager in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise, knowledge, and experience that employers value. They also show employers that the project manager is committed to their profession and has taken the initiative to further their education and career growth. Certification programs provide an opportunity for project managers to validate and demonstrate their skills, abilities, and commitment to excellence in the field of manufacturing. Certifications help employers differentiate between applicants who have a basic understanding of the industry versus those who are truly knowledgeable professionals. Finally, certifications can give project managers an edge when competing for jobs or promotions as they can demonstrate their qualifications and commitment to the profession.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Manufacturing Project Managers and explain how they can help to advance a manufacturing project manager's career.

What are Manufacturing Project Manager Certifications?

Manufacturing project manager certification is a credential that recognizes an individual’s knowledge and experience in managing manufacturing projects. It demonstrates the holder's ability to plan, organize, lead, and control all aspects of a manufacturing project. The certification also provides evidence of the holder's expertise in the areas of budgeting, scheduling, quality assurance, safety management and risk assessment.

The certification can be beneficial to those interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing project management. It can help job seekers stand out from other candidates and demonstrate their commitment to excellence in the field. Many employers prefer to hire individuals with this certification as it serves as proof that they have obtained the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively manage complex projects within tight timelines. Having this credential can also open up new opportunities for advancement within an organization or industry sector.

Those who obtain this certification may also benefit from networking opportunities with other professionals who share their interest and expertise in the area of manufacturing project management. Additionally, individuals may receive discounts on professional development programs such as trainings and conferences related to their field of work. Ultimately, obtaining a manufacturing project manager certification can provide career growth opportunities for those seeking to become experts in this field.

Pro tip: When considering a manufacturing project manager certification, ensure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization such as the Project Management Institute (PMI). Accreditation will ensure that your certification is widely accepted in the industry and that it meets the necessary standards of knowledge and skills.

Related: What does a Manufacturing Project Manager do?

Top 10 Manufacturing Project Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Manufacturing Project Managers today.

1. Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)

Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). It is designed to help individuals develop and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of production and inventory management. The CPIM program consists of five courses, each of which covers a different aspect of production and inventory management.

The five courses are: Basics of Supply Chain Management, Master Planning of Resources, Detailed Scheduling and Planning, Execution and Control of Operations, and Strategic Management of Resources. The courses must be taken in order, as each builds upon the material covered in the previous course.

It typically takes six to nine months to complete all five courses. However, there is no set timeline for completing the program; individuals can take as much time as they need to complete it.

To get CPIM certified, you must first join APICS as a member or affiliate. Once you have joined APICS, you can register for the CPIM program online or by phone. After registering for the program, you will receive your study materials and be able to access online learning resources. You may also choose to attend instructor-led classes or participate in an online learning community with other CPIM candidates.

The cost of getting CPIM certified varies depending on how you choose to study for the exam. For example, if you choose to purchase all five modules separately from APICS’s website, it would cost $2,295 USD in total (not including any additional fees). If you opt for an instructor-led class or an online learning community with other candidates, prices may vary depending on location and provider.

2. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a professional certification offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and understanding of supply chain management principles and practices. The CSCP credential demonstrates that the holder has mastered the essential technology, concepts, and strategies necessary to effectively manage global supply chains.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to prepare for and pass the CSCP exam. This includes studying the ASCM body of knowledge, which covers topics such as supply chain design, operations, sourcing, logistics, inventory management, customer relations management, quality control, and more.

To become certified as a CSCP you must first register with ASCM and pay the registration fee. Then you must complete an online training program or attend an in-person training course. After completing your training program or course you will be eligible to take the CSCP exam. You must pass this exam with a score of at least 70% in order to receive your certification.

The cost of becoming certified as a CSCP can vary depending on the type of training program or course chosen. The registration fee for ASCM membership is $199 USD and there are additional fees associated with taking the exam ($695 USD). In addition to these fees, there may also be costs associated with any required study materials or other resources needed for preparation.

3. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is the most widely recognized and respected project management certification in the world. The PMP credential demonstrates that a project manager has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to successfully manage projects.

To get certified as a PMP, you must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. To be eligible for the PMP exam, you must have either:

A four-year degree (bachelor’s or global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects; or

A secondary diploma (high school or global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects.

The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of the five process groups—initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing—as well as your understanding of 10 knowledge areas—integration management, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, human resource management, communication management, risk management, procurement management and stakeholder engagement. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete.

The cost of taking the PMP exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of PMI. For members it costs $405 USD while for non-members it costs $555 USD. Additionally there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as rescheduling fees or late registration fees.

4. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to use Lean Six Sigma methodology and tools to improve processes and reduce waste. The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification is designed for professionals who are working in or leading improvement projects, but who do not have the experience or knowledge of a Black Belt.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification typically takes about two weeks to complete, depending on the provider and program format. It includes classroom instruction, online learning modules, and hands-on practice with real-world applications. The course covers topics such as project management, process mapping, data collection and analysis, root cause analysis, problem solving techniques, and more.

To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt you must pass an exam at the end of the program. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering the material taught in the course.

The cost of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification can vary depending on the provider and program format. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 USD or more.

5. Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)

Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) is a certification program developed by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate an understanding of and proficiency in the principles and practices of quality management, organizational excellence, and performance improvement.

The certification requires a minimum of five years of professional experience in quality management, including at least three years in a leadership role. Candidates must also pass an examination that covers topics such as quality tools and techniques, customer focus, process improvement, change management, team building, problem solving, and more.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. The cost to take the exam is $415 for ASQ members or $515 for non-members.

To maintain the CMQ/OE credential, holders must earn 60 recertification units every three years by participating in activities such as attending conferences or workshops, teaching courses related to quality management or organizational excellence, writing articles for publications on these topics, or other approved activities.

6. Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)

Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The CQE certification is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of quality engineering principles and practices. It is intended for those who are involved in engineering, manufacturing, or service-related activities that require a high level of knowledge in quality engineering.

To get the CQE certification, an individual must pass an exam that covers topics such as statistical process control, design of experiments, quality system auditing, and product/process reliability. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

The cost of the CQE certification depends on the type of membership you have with ASQ. For non-members, the cost is $399 USD; for members, it is $299 USD. Additionally, there are fees associated with taking the exam and renewing your certification every three years.

7. Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)

The Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to provide quality professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful quality improvement initiatives.

The CQIA certification program consists of three courses: Fundamentals of Quality Improvement, Process Analysis & Design, and Quality Improvement Tools & Techniques. The courses are offered in both online and classroom formats. Each course takes approximately 30 hours to complete.

To obtain the CQIA certification, candidates must pass all three exams with a score of 70% or higher. Candidates must also have at least two years of work experience in a quality-related role or have completed an approved ASQ training program.

The cost for the CQIA certification program varies depending on the format chosen. Online courses typically range from $400 - $500 per course, while classroom courses range from $800 - $900 per course. Additionally, there is an exam fee of $150 per exam that must be paid when registering for each exam.

8. American Society for Quality – Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (ASQ-CMQ/OE)

The American Society for Quality – Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (ASQ-CMQ/OE) is a certification program that recognizes individuals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage quality and organizational excellence in their organization. The certification is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices, and tools associated with quality management.

To become certified, applicants must have at least 8 years of professional experience in quality management or organizational excellence, including 4 years of managerial experience. Applicants must also pass an exam administered by ASQ. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions covering topics such as leadership, customer focus, process improvement, and measurement & analysis.

The cost of the certification varies depending on the type of membership you have with ASQ. Non-members pay $699 for the exam fee and application fee combined. Members pay $549 for the same fees.

It typically takes about 6 weeks from when you submit your application until you receive your results from ASQ. If you pass the exam, you will be awarded your CMQ/OE certification within two weeks after receiving your results.

9. National Institute for Metalworking Skills – Manufacturing Production Technician (NIMS-MPT)

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Manufacturing Production Technician (MPT) certification is an industry-recognized credential that verifies a technician’s knowledge and skills in metalworking. It is designed to provide employers with assurance that technicians have the necessary skills to perform their job safely and efficiently.

The NIMS-MPT certification requires a technician to demonstrate proficiency in areas such as safety, machine operation, quality control, and troubleshooting. The certification process involves passing a series of tests developed by NIMS. These tests are administered at accredited testing centers across the United States.

To become certified, technicians must pass all six tests within a two-year period. Each test takes approximately three hours to complete and costs $85 per test. Upon successful completion of all six tests, technicians will receive an official NIMS-MPT certificate from NIMS.

In addition to the cost of the tests, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exams depending on where they are taken. For example, some testing centers may require applicants to pay an exam fee or proctoring fee.

Overall, obtaining the NIMS-MPT certification can take anywhere from several months to over a year depending on how quickly you are able to pass all six tests and obtain your certificate from NIMS.

10. International Association of Six Sigma Certification – Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification (IASSC-LSSBB).

The International Association of Six Sigma Certification – Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification (IASSC-LSSBB) is a professional certification program designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and skills in the Lean Six Sigma methodology. The certification provides recognition for professionals who have achieved a level of mastery in their field, and it is recognized by employers as a mark of excellence.

The IASSC-LSSBB certification requires successful completion of an approved training course and passing an exam. The training course typically takes between five and seven days, depending on the provider, and covers topics such as process improvement, project management, data analysis, problem solving, and team dynamics.

To get certified, individuals must complete an accredited training program from an IASSC-approved provider. After completing the training program, individuals must pass the IASSC-LSSBB exam with a score of at least 70%. Once certified, individuals are required to maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the provider and can range from $2,000 to $4,000 or more.

Do You Really Need a Manufacturing Project Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual's goals and current situation. For those considering a career in manufacturing project management, a certificate may be beneficial. It can provide additional knowledge and skills that may be helpful when it comes to competing for positions in the field. Additionally, some employers may require applicants to have a certificate or other credentials in order to qualify for certain positions.

On the other hand, those already working in the field may not need a certificate since they already have experience and knowledge about manufacturing project management. However, even experienced professionals can benefit from taking courses and earning certifications as it can help them stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. It can also be useful if they're looking to move up within their organization or switch careers entirely.

Ultimately, it's important for individuals to assess their own needs when determining whether or not they need a manufacturing project manager certificate. In some cases, such as if an employer requires one or if someone wants additional skills and knowledge, then it might make sense to pursue one. Otherwise, the decision should be based on personal goals and circumstances.

Related: Manufacturing Project Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Manufacturing Project Manager Certifications

Q1. What qualifications do I need to become a Manufacturing Project Manager?

A1. To become a Manufacturing Project Manager, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business administration or a related field as well as several years of experience in the manufacturing industry. It is also beneficial to have certifications such as Certified Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) or Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).

Q2. How much does it cost to get certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager?

A2. The cost of getting certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager varies depending on the certification you choose and the organization offering the certification. Generally, certifications range from $200-$400 USD.

Q3. How long does it take to get certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager?

A3. The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on the certification you choose and how quickly you can complete the necessary requirements for that certification program. For most programs, completion can take anywhere from 4-6 months with some taking up to 1 year or more depending on your schedule and availability for exams and self-study modules.

Q4. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager?

A4. Becoming certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager provides several benefits such as increased job opportunities, higher salaries, better job security, increased credibility and recognition among peers, and more respect from employers who value professionals with advanced credentials in their field.

Q5. Are there any online courses available for those looking to become certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager?

A5: Yes, there are several online courses available for those looking to become certified as a Manufacturing Project Manager including courses offered by APICS (Association for Operations Management), ISM (Institute for Supply Management), PMI (Project Management Institute) and other organizations specializing in project management training and certifications