Do You Need a Job Certification?

Automotive, IT and nursing certifications

A great way to boost your career potential is to separate yourself from your coworkers and get certified. Many jobs require certification from day one, but lots of jobs have bonus certifications that can help you focus your career in a particular area.

The benefits of certification can be huge. First, certification from a reputable organization (your field’s non-profit professional association, for example) offers you a set of professional credentials. Think of certification as a great job reference that will never be disputed – you have test scores and a certificate to prove you know what you’re doing. It also proves you meet all of the standards established by the industry.

HVAC Excellence—the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry’s non-profit association—offers two levels of certification for HVAC technicians: Professional and master specialist. To get certified at the professional level, techs must pass an exam, and for master specialist certification, technicians must go through a hands-on assessment.

Being certified also shows that you’re committed to your career field. Certification usually involves a written or hands-on test, which means you have to invest your time in preparation and in taking the exam. That shows your employer (or future employers) that you’re serious about your career. You might also learn something new, and if you love your job, learning new and interesting things can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Professional credentials and proven commitment can lead to more money and better job opportunities. Certification can separate you from others in the field, giving you the edge when it comes to increased responsibility, a promotion or a new job. Having extra certifications can also be convincing factors for a raise.

Some of the top career fields for certification include:


Auto mechanics with two years of full-time experience under their tool belts can earn specialized certifications from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence, including:

  • Advanced engine performance
  • Alternative fuel
  • Collision repair and refinishing
  • Damage estimate and analysis
  • Electronic diesel engine diagnosis
  • Light, medium and heavy truck repair
  • School bus repair
  • Transit bus repair
  • Undercar specialist

Information Technology

The IT field is probably one of the hottest for certifications, with every IT pro clamoring to learn the latest technological advances and to stay one step ahead in the game. Computer pros can take their pick; certification programs are offered for pretty much every hardware and software program and issue that exists. Microsoft alone has a slew of its own particular certification programs. Some of the more popular certifications include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Citrix
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network +
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Linux
  • Microsoft .NET
  • Microsoft ADO .NET
  • Microsoft ASP .NET
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000
  • Microsoft Visual Basic .NET
  • Novell
  • Oracle
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP)

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