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Top 10 Plant Technician Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for plant technicians, including the requirements and benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a plant technician in the job market for several reasons. First, certifications demonstrate that the technician is knowledgeable about their field and has achieved a certain level of expertise. This can help them stand out among other applicants when seeking employment. Second, certifications give employers confidence that the technician is qualified to do the job, as they have completed all necessary training and passed any relevant tests. Finally, some employers may even require certifications in order to be considered for a position, so having these credentials can make or break an application.

The purpose of this article is to review the various certifications available for Plant Technicians and explain how they can help to further their career.

What are Plant Technician Certifications?

Plant technician certification is a type of professional credential that shows employers that an individual has the skills and knowledge to maintain and repair various types of industrial machinery. It is designed to give technicians the ability to troubleshoot complex issues with mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems.

The certification can help technicians demonstrate their expertise in the field to potential employers. This can be especially beneficial for those who are new to the profession or are looking for advancement within their current role. Additionally, some employers may require certification as a condition of employment or for promotion opportunities.

Having this certification also allows technicians to keep up with changing technology and industry standards. As new technologies emerge, plant technicians must stay informed on the latest advancements in order to effectively troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Certification provides them with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to do so.

Finally, having this type of certification can often lead to higher wages since employers recognize that certified technicians have a greater understanding of industrial machinery and processes than those without it. This can make it easier for individuals in this field to negotiate higher salaries or find more competitive job opportunities.

Pro Tip: When considering plant technician certification, make sure to research the relevant industry standards in your area. Different states and countries have different requirements for certification, so it's important to understand what is expected of you before committing to a program. Additionally, look into any prerequisites or specific courses that may be required for certification.

Related: What does a Plant Technician do?

Top 10 Plant Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Plant Technicians today.

1. Certified Plant Technician (CPT)

Certified Plant Technician (CPT) is a professional certification program designed to provide technicians with the knowledge and skills needed to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair complex industrial equipment. The program is offered by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). To become certified as a CPT, an individual must complete an NCCER-accredited training course and pass an industry-recognized exam.

The CPT course typically takes 8-10 weeks to complete and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Topics covered include safety, electrical systems, hydraulics, pneumatics, welding, machining, fabrication, and maintenance. Upon successful completion of the course and exam, individuals are awarded a CPT certification card.

The cost of the CPT course varies depending on location but generally ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. Financial aid may be available for those who qualify. Additionally, some employers may offer tuition assistance or reimbursement for employees taking the course.

In order to get certified as a CPT you must first find an accredited training provider in your area that offers the program. You can search online or contact local technical schools or trade associations for more information about available courses in your area. After enrolling in the course you will need to successfully complete all required classes and pass the certification exam in order to receive your CPT certification card.

2. Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP)

Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge in the maintenance and reliability field. This certification is offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP). The CMRP designation demonstrates an individual’s commitment to professional growth and development, as well as their ability to apply best practices in maintenance and reliability.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, which include having at least three years of experience in the maintenance or reliability field, completion of at least 30 hours of approved continuing education credits within the past two years, and passing an examination. The exam consists of 150 questions covering topics such as asset management, preventive/predictive maintenance, root cause analysis, and failure analysis.

The cost of obtaining the CMRP certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of SMRP. For members, it costs $395; for non-members it costs $495. It typically takes four to six weeks to receive your results after taking the exam.

3. Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM)

Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Maintenance Professionals (AMP). The CPMM certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and experience in plant maintenance. It is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates expertise in the areas of maintenance management, safety, and environmental compliance.

It typically takes around six months to one year to complete the CPMM certification program. To get certified, applicants must first meet all eligibility requirements, including having at least five years of relevant experience in plant maintenance or a related field. Once eligible, applicants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge on topics such as preventive maintenance, reliability engineering, and asset management.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the country you are located in. In the United States, it typically costs around $1,200 USD. This includes the application fee and exam fee. However, some countries may offer discounts or other incentives for those who pursue this certification.

Finally, once you have passed the exam and received your CPMM certificate, you will need to maintain your certification by completing continuing education credits every two years. This ensures that your skills remain up-to-date with industry standards and best practices.

4. Certified Industrial Maintenance Technician (CIMT)

Certified Industrial Maintenance Technician (CIMT) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of experienced industrial maintenance technicians. The program is offered by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET).

The CIMT certification requires applicants to have at least two years of experience as an industrial maintenance technician, and to pass an exam that tests their knowledge in areas such as safety, electrical systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, and mechanical systems.

In order to become certified, applicants must complete an application form and submit it along with a fee of $125. Once the application has been approved, applicants must then take the CIMT exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

Once applicants have passed the exam they will receive their CIMT certification card. This card will be valid for five years from the date of issue. Applicants who wish to renew their certification after this time can do so by taking a refresher course or retaking the exam.

5. Certified Plant Engineer (CPE)

Certified Plant Engineer (CPE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of experienced plant engineers. The CPE program is offered by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and is open to all individuals who have a minimum of five years of experience in plant engineering, operations, or maintenance.

It typically takes about three months to complete the CPE program. To get certified, applicants must first submit an application with their resume and transcripts that demonstrate their experience in plant engineering. After submitting their application, applicants must then take and pass a comprehensive exam which covers topics such as safety, reliability, energy management, process control systems, and more.

The cost for the CPE program varies depending on the applicant's country of residence. In the United States, it typically costs around $400-$500 USD to take the exam. This fee includes access to study materials and practice exams as well as registration fees for taking the actual exam.

Overall, obtaining a Certified Plant Engineer certification can be beneficial for those looking to advance their career in plant engineering or operations management. It demonstrates your commitment to professional development and expertise in this field while also providing you with recognition from ASME and other organizations within your industry.

6. Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

Certified Automation Professional (CAP) is a certification program offered by the International Society of Automation (ISA). The CAP program is designed to recognize and reward professionals who demonstrate knowledge and experience in the field of automation.

The CAP program consists of two parts: an online exam and a practical project. The online exam is a multiple-choice test that covers topics such as automation principles, system design, control systems, instrumentation, data acquisition, and process control. The practical project requires the candidate to develop an automation system based on their own design and implementation.

It typically takes about one year to complete the CAP program. During this time, candidates must pass both the online exam and the practical project. To be eligible for the CAP certification, candidates must have at least three years of professional experience in automation engineering or related fields.

To get started with the CAP program, applicants must first register for an ISA account and pay the associated fees. After registering for an account, applicants can then access all of the materials needed to prepare for both parts of the exam. The fee for taking the online exam is $250 USD while the fee for taking the practical project is $500 USD. Candidates are also required to pay a $50 USD annual membership fee to maintain their certification status with ISA once they have completed all requirements for certification.

7. Certified Plant Electrician (CPE)

A Certified Plant Electrician (CPE) is a professional who has been certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). This certification is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in the installation, maintenance, and repair of industrial electrical systems.

The CPE certification requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of electrical theory, safety practices, electrical equipment operation and maintenance, and troubleshooting. The certification process involves a written exam and practical performance evaluation.

To become a Certified Plant Electrician, an individual must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having at least four years of experience as an electrician or related field; completion of an approved apprenticeship program; or completion of an associate degree in engineering technology from an accredited college or university.

Once eligible, applicants must then pass the NICET Level III Plant Electrician Exam. This exam consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical performance evaluation. The written exam covers topics such as AC/DC circuits, motors and controls, transformers, instrumentation and control systems, wiring diagrams, power distribution systems, grounding systems, protection devices and more. The practical performance evaluation tests applicants’ ability to install components correctly and safely according to industry standards.

The cost for taking the NICET Level III Plant Electrician Exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $200-$400 USD. After passing the exam successfully, individuals are awarded their CPE certification which is valid for five years from date of issue.

8. Certified Process Safety Professional (CPSP)

Certified Process Safety Professional (CPSP) is an internationally recognized professional certification program designed to assess the knowledge and skills of process safety professionals. It is administered by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), a division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The certification is based on a comprehensive body of knowledge developed by CCPS and covers topics such as process safety management, hazard identification, risk assessment, accident investigation, process safety culture, and more.

To be eligible for CPSP certification, applicants must have a minimum of three years of experience in the field of process safety or related disciplines. They must also pass an examination that covers the various aspects of process safety management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

The cost to apply for CPSP certification is $400 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee includes access to online study materials, practice exams, and other resources that can help prepare you for the exam. Additionally, there are optional courses available through AIChE that can provide additional preparation for the exam.

Once you have passed your CPSP exam and received your certification, you will need to renew it every five years to maintain your status as a Certified Process Safety Professional. Renewal requires completion of continuing education credits or retaking the CPSP exam every five years.

9. HVAC Systems Technician Certification

HVAC Systems Technician Certification is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to install, maintain, and troubleshoot heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems. This certification is offered by several organizations including the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), North American Technician Excellence (NATE), Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and HVAC Excellence.

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the program chosen. Most programs require at least two years of experience in the field before taking the exam. The exam itself usually consists of multiple choice questions and can take up to four hours to complete.

To get certified, individuals must first meet any eligibility requirements set by the certifying organization such as having a certain amount of experience or completing a specific training course. Once these requirements are met, they can then apply for the exam and pay any associated fees. After passing the exam, they will receive their certification card or certificate.

The cost of HVAC Systems Technician Certification varies depending on which organization you choose to certify through. Generally speaking, most organizations charge between $200-$500 for the exam fee alone. Additional costs may include textbooks or study materials as well as travel expenses if you have to attend an in-person training course prior to taking the exam.

10. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certification

National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certification is a nationally recognized certification program that assesses the skills and knowledge of metalworking professionals. The program is designed to ensure that individuals have the necessary skills and competencies to be successful in the metalworking industry.

The NIMS Certification Program consists of two levels: Level I, which is an entry-level assessment; and Level II, which is an advanced level assessment. Each level requires passing a written exam as well as a hands-on practical evaluation. The exams cover topics such as safety, metallurgy, machining operations, welding, assembly processes, quality control, and more.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete both levels of the NIMS Certification Program depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying and preparing for the exams.

To get started with the NIMS Certification Program you must first register with NIMS and pay a registration fee. After registering you will receive access to online learning materials that will help you prepare for the exams. You can also purchase additional study materials from NIMS if needed. Once you feel ready to take the exams you can schedule them through NIMS or your local training provider.

The cost of the NIMS Certification Program varies depending on whether or not you choose to purchase additional study materials from NIMS. The registration fee is typically around $300 while additional study materials can range from $50 - $200 depending on what materials are purchased.

Do You Really Need a Plant Technician Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need a plant technician certificate to work in the field. However, depending on your goals and the type of job you are looking for, obtaining a plant technician certificate may be beneficial.

A plant technician certificate is generally awarded after completing a program of study focused on industrial technology or engineering at an accredited college or university. This type of program is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills related to the operation and maintenance of production plants. It can also include safety protocols and training.

Having a plant technician certificate can help you stand out when applying for jobs in this field. Many employers prefer to hire technicians who have completed specialized training programs, as they are considered more knowledgeable and experienced than those without one. Additionally, those with a certificate may be eligible for higher salaries than those without one.

On the other hand, if you already have experience working in production plants or have obtained other certifications related to industrial technology or engineering, then there may be less need for you to obtain a plant technician certificate. However, having it could still give you an edge over other applicants when applying for certain positions.

In conclusion, while it is not necessary to have a plant technician certificate in order to work in this field, obtaining one may increase your chances of being hired and help you secure better pay. Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not getting certified would be worth your time and effort.

Related: Plant Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Plant Technician Certifications

1. What is a Plant Technician Certification?

A Plant Technician Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the field of plant equipment and machinery operation, maintenance, and repair. It is designed to prepare individuals for successful careers as plant technicians.

2. How do I become certified as a Plant Technician?

To become certified as a Plant Technician, you must first complete an accredited training program in the field of plant equipment and machinery operation, maintenance, and repair. After completing the program, you must pass an exam administered by an approved testing agency to earn your certification.

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as a Plant Technician?

The benefits of becoming certified as a Plant Technician include increased job opportunities, higher wages, recognition from employers for your expertise in the field, and the ability to work on different types of plants or machines without needing additional training.

4. How often does my Plant Technician Certification need to be renewed?

Your Plant Technician Certification needs to be renewed every two years by taking continuing education classes or passing an exam administered by an approved testing agency.

5. Is there any financial assistance available for those seeking certification as a Plant Technician?

Yes, there are several organizations that offer scholarships or grants for those seeking certification as a Plant Technician such as The American Association of Industrial Maintenance (AAIM), The International Maintenance Institute (IMI), and The National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER).