Top 10 Manufacturing Specialist Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top certifications available for manufacturing specialists, including the requirements and benefits of each.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are an important way for manufacturing specialists to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field. They can help differentiate a job candidate from other applicants and show employers that the individual has taken the initiative to develop their skills. Certifications also serve as a marker of quality, as they are typically awarded by industry associations or companies that have verified the individual’s knowledge and abilities. In addition, certifications provide continual learning opportunities for professionals, keeping them up-to-date on the latest developments in their field. Lastly, having certifications may open up new career pathways and increase earning potential for manufacturing specialists.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Manufacturing Specialists and explain how they can help advance a manufacturing specialist's career.
What are Manufacturing Specialist Certifications?
Manufacturing specialist certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and experience in the manufacturing industry. This certification is awarded to individuals who have shown mastery of the core principles, practices, and processes involved in modern manufacturing. It is designed to validate existing skills and give employers confidence in their employees’ abilities.
Having a manufacturing specialist certification can be beneficial for individuals who are looking to advance their careers within the manufacturing industry. The certification can demonstrate an individual's commitment to their career and knowledge of the latest industry trends and best practices. It also provides employers with a reliable way to assess applicants’ qualifications and expertise when making hiring decisions. Additionally, having this certification can open up opportunities for higher-level positions or promotions as it shows that an individual has mastered the fundamentals of the field. Finally, it can help increase earning potential as certified professionals are considered more valuable than those without this credential.
Pro Tip: Before pursuing a manufacturing specialist certification, make sure to research the specific requirements and prerequisites for the certification. Some certifications may require additional training or experience, so it's important to understand what you need to do in order to become certified.
Related: What does a Manufacturing Specialist do?
Top 10 Manufacturing Specialist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Manufacturing Specialists today.
1. Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE)
Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) is a professional certification program offered by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). The CMfgE certification recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in manufacturing engineering. It is designed to provide engineers with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful in the field.
The certification process involves passing an exam that tests a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of manufacturing engineering principles, processes, and technologies. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as production planning, quality control, safety, materials management, and automation.
It typically takes 3-6 months to study for the exam and prepare for it. Candidates can use online resources such as SME's Certified Manufacturing Engineer Study Guide or take an online course from an accredited institution to help them prepare for the exam.
The cost of the CMfgE certification program varies depending on whether you choose to take a self-study course or attend an in-person review course. Self-study courses range from $200-$500 while in-person review courses cost between $1,000-$2,000 depending on the institution offering it.
2. Certified Production Technician (CPT)
Certified Production Technician (CPT) is a nationally recognized certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful production technicians. It is designed to help employers identify qualified applicants for production technician positions in manufacturing, construction, and other industrial occupations.
The CPT program consists of three parts: Core Skills and Knowledge, Advanced Manufacturing Processes, and Maintenance Awareness & Preventive Maintenance. The Core Skills and Knowledge portion covers topics such as safety, quality control, problem solving, communication, mathematics, and computer skills. The Advanced Manufacturing Processes section focuses on topics such as process control systems, robotics programming, welding technology, machining operations, and more. The Maintenance Awareness & Preventive Maintenance section includes topics such as lubrication systems maintenance and electrical/electronic systems maintenance.
To obtain the CPT certification it typically takes about 6-12 months of study depending on the individual’s level of experience. To become certified an individual must pass all three sections of the exam with a score of 70% or higher.
The cost for taking the CPT exam varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $200-$500 USD.
3. Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)
Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The CQE certification demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of quality engineering principles and practices. It is intended for those professionals who are involved in the design, development, production, installation, and/or maintenance of products and services.
It typically takes about 4-6 months to prepare for the CQE exam. To get certified, one must pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as quality management systems, statistical process control, product design and development, measurement systems analysis, sampling plans, and problem solving methods.
The cost of taking the CQE exam varies depending on which country you take it in. Generally speaking, it costs around $400-$500 USD to take the exam in the United States. Additional fees may apply if you choose to take the exam outside of the US.
4. Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB)
Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB) is a professional certification program designed to help individuals master the Lean Six Sigma methodology. It is designed for those who want to become experts in the field of process improvement and have a thorough understanding of the principles, tools, and techniques associated with Lean Six Sigma.
The CLSSBB program typically takes between 8-12 weeks to complete depending on the provider. The program includes both classroom and online instruction, as well as hands-on training in the application of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques. The cost of the program varies depending on the provider but can range from $2,000-$4,000 USD.
In order to become certified, individuals must pass an exam administered by an accredited certifying body such as ASQ or IASSC. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions related to Lean Six Sigma topics such as process mapping, data analysis, project management, and problem solving. Individuals must also demonstrate their ability to apply Lean Six Sigma principles through case studies or projects that they complete during the course of their training.
5. Certified Professional in Production and Inventory Management (CPPIM)
Certified Professional in Production and Inventory Management (CPPIM) is a professional certification offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in production and inventory management.
The CPPIM certification requires applicants to demonstrate their mastery of key concepts in production and inventory management, including supply chain management, operations planning and control, materials requirements planning, quality assurance, and more. To obtain the certification, applicants must pass an exam that covers these topics.
The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. The cost of the exam is $495 for APICS members or $595 for non-members. Candidates can prepare for the exam by taking an APICS course or studying independently using APICS study materials.
Once the exam has been passed, candidates will receive their official CPPIM certificate within 6-8 weeks. The certification is valid for three years from the date it was awarded; however, recertification can be completed at any time during this period by retaking the CPPIM exam or completing a recertification application form.
6. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a certification program offered by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). It is designed to elevate supply chain professionals and organizations to the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field. The CSCP designation demonstrates an individual’s mastery of end-to-end supply chain management concepts and best practices.
It takes approximately three months to complete the CSCP program, depending on the individual's learning style and experience. The program consists of three parts: an online self-study course, an online proctored exam, and a post-exam application process. The cost of the program varies depending on whether you are an ASCM member or not. For non-members, it costs $995 USD; for members, it costs $795 USD.
To get certified as a CSCP, individuals must first register with ASCM and purchase the CSCP Learning System. This includes access to online study materials and practice tests. After studying these materials, individuals must pass a 3-hour proctored exam with a score of at least 500 out of 800 points. Finally, they must submit an application to ASCM with proof of their passing score and other required documents in order to receive their official certification.
7. Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP)
Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) is a professional certification program offered by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the areas of maintenance, reliability, and asset management. The CMRP certification is internationally recognized as a mark of excellence in the field.
The CMRP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as preventive/predictive maintenance, root cause analysis, asset management, safety and environmental regulations, reliability engineering principles, and workforce development. To qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least five years of experience in the maintenance or reliability field.
It typically takes between six months to one year to complete the application process and become certified. The application process includes submitting an application form with relevant work experience information; passing a background check; submitting two letters of recommendation from employers or colleagues; completing an online learning module; taking a practice exam; and finally taking the actual CMRP exam.
The cost to take the CMRP exam is $495 for SMRP members ($595 for non-members). This fee covers all associated costs including registration fees, study materials, practice exams, and the actual exam.
8. Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM)
Certified Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of industrial maintenance mechanics. It is offered through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
The CIMM certification requires successful completion of an assessment that covers topics such as electrical, mechanical, fluid power, and welding systems. The assessment consists of both written and practical components. The written component includes multiple-choice questions on safety, theory, and application of industrial maintenance principles. The practical component consists of hands-on tasks related to industrial maintenance activities.
It typically takes between one to two years to complete the CIMM certification program depending on the individual's experience level and commitment to completing the required assessments.
To get certified as an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (CIMM), individuals must first register with NCCER by completing an online registration form and paying a fee. Once registered, individuals can take the assessment either at an approved NCCER testing center or online through their MyNCCER account.
The cost for registering for the CIMM certification program is $150 USD plus any additional fees associated with taking the assessment at a testing center or online through MyNCCER.
9. American Society for Quality's Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)
The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) is a professional certification offered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated mastery in the principles and practices of quality and organizational excellence.
It typically takes between 3-6 months to complete the requirements for the CMQ/OE certification. To be eligible, applicants must have at least eight years of experience in quality management or organizational excellence, with at least three years in a decision-making role. Applicants must also pass two examinations: one on quality management principles and practices, and one on organizational excellence principles and practices.
The cost for the CMQ/OE certification varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or nonmember. For ASQ members, the cost is $399; for nonmembers, it is $599. The fee includes both exams as well as access to study materials and resources.
Once certified, individuals must recertify every three years by earning 60 continuing education units (CEUs). CEUs can be earned through attending conferences, seminars, workshops, webinars, or other approved activities related to quality management or organizational excellence.
10. International Society of Automation's Certified Automation Professional (CAP).
The Certified Automation Professional (CAP) is an internationally recognized certification program offered by the International Society of Automation (ISA). The CAP program was designed to recognize and promote the professional development of automation professionals. It is a comprehensive certification that validates the knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, maintain, and troubleshoot industrial automation systems.
To become a Certified Automation Professional (CAP), applicants must pass an ISA-administered exam. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as process control, instrumentation, safety systems, networking, programming languages, and system integration. The exam is typically taken at a testing center and takes approximately four hours to complete.
In order to be eligible for the CAP exam, applicants must have at least five years of experience in automation engineering or related fields. Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria: hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or technology; hold a master’s degree in engineering or technology; possess equivalent work experience in automation engineering or related fields; or have completed an ISA-approved training course in automation engineering or related fields.
The cost for taking the CAP exam varies depending on where it is taken. In the United States, it typically costs around $400-$500 USD to take the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with registering for the exam and/or taking it at a testing center outside of your home country.
Once you have passed the CAP exam and met all eligibility requirements, you will receive your official ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certificate which is valid for three years from date of issue. To maintain your certification status you will need to recertify every three years by completing continuing education activities such as attending conferences or workshops related to automation engineering and passing additional exams if needed.
Do You Really Need a Manufacturing Specialist Certificate?
When it comes to the decision of whether or not to pursue a Manufacturing Specialist Certificate, there are several factors to consider. A Manufacturing Specialist Certificate is an additional qualification that can be obtained by completing a course of study in a specific area of manufacturing. This certificate may be beneficial for those who wish to specialize in a particular type of manufacturing and demonstrate their expertise in that area.
The first factor to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a Manufacturing Specialist Certificate is the cost. Depending on the program, this certificate may require an investment of time and money. If you believe that the cost will be worth it in the long run, then going after this certification may be the right decision for you.
The second factor to consider is your current career path and goals. If you have already established yourself in a certain field or industry, then pursuing this certification could help further your career goals by providing additional credentials and demonstrating your proficiency in manufacturing-related topics. Additionally, if you are currently looking for employment or considering changing careers, having this certification could give you an edge over other applicants who do not have this extra qualification.
Finally, it is important to consider what benefits you will receive from gaining the certificate itself. Having this certification can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in manufacturing-related topics as well as provide potential employers with assurance that you possess necessary skills for success within their organization. Furthermore, it can also open up new opportunities for advancement within your current field or industry as well as potentially giving access to new opportunities outside of your current role.
In conclusion, when deciding whether or not to pursue a Manufacturing Specialist Certificate it is important to weigh all of the potential costs and benefits against one another before making any final decisions. Ultimately, only you can decide if obtaining this certification will be worth the investment of time and money while also helping further your career goals both now and in the future.
Related: Manufacturing Specialist Resume Examples
FAQs About Manufacturing Specialist Certifications
1. What type of certifications are available for manufacturing specialists?
Answer: Manufacturing specialist certifications vary depending on the industry and specialization, but common areas include operations management, quality control, process engineering, supply chain management and production planning.
2. What qualifications do I need to become a certified manufacturing specialist?
Answer: To become a certified manufacturing specialist, you will typically need a combination of experience in the field as well as formal education in industrial engineering or a related field. Depending on the certification program you choose, you may also have to pass an examination or complete additional coursework.
3. How long does it take to become certified?
Answer: The amount of time needed to become certified varies depending on the certification program and your prior experience with the subject matter. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months up to two years to obtain a certification in manufacturing.
4. Are there any prerequisites for certification?
Answer: Depending on the certification program, you may need to meet certain prerequisites such as having professional experience or completing specific coursework before being eligible for the exam. It is important to check with each individual certification program for their exact requirements before starting your application process.
5. Do I need to renew my certification?
Answer: Yes, most certifications require renewal every few years either through continuing education or by taking an updated version of the original exam. It is important to check with your chosen certification program for their exact requirements and deadlines for renewal.