The Best Maintenance Certifications for Professional Development

You’ve probably heard that maintenance certifications can help you get a better job. But it can be difficult to know if it is truly worth the investment. With so many certifications to choose from, you may be stuck and unsure of how to proceed.

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you by painstakingly searching for the certifications (both at the technician and supervisory level) that give you the best shot at growing your professional career.

What is a maintenance certification?

A maintenance certification is a form of verified proof of your skill and competence to perform specific maintenance roles. Regardless of the industry, certifications are typically displayed as a document stating that you have been trained and educated as a professional, and are now prepared to meet a minimum set of criteria for your role.

Why get a maintenance certification?

Maintenance training certifications provide potential employers with the assurance that you have attained a certain degree of professional skill, competence, and experience. This can be particularly helpful in advancing a career in highly specialized areas of maintenance management like HVAC, automobile, aviation, medical equipment, or industrial maintenance.

Just like any form of professional continuing education, certification programs require an investment of time and money. However, they come with indisputable benefits:

  • Objective verification of specialized knowledge or skill sets that give you an edge in the job market
  • Offer a point of negotiation for increased pay
  • Professional credibility and evidence of your commitment to personal growth

Recruiters and hiring managers often ask for specific certifications. Check platforms like Indeed, Reed UK, and Glassdoor to see what certifications are most popular.

What about CMMS certifications?

CMMS certifications are typically offered by CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) software vendors. They are a specialized series of training sessions intended to educate their customers on how to effectively use the CMMS for the most return on investment. 

Individuals who go through the CMMS certification process for their software are uniquely positioned to serve as system “super-users” (customers with specialized knowledge of the system who can serve as internal resources for training and implementation).

While their purpose and source are different from other professional certifications, do not underestimate their value. With software adoption and advancement happening quickly, a maintenance professional with demonstrated experience in learning and using maintenance software will be highly sought after. 

The maintenance certification process

Initiating the maintenance certification process is relatively straightforward. Expect to fill out an online application and pay a fee before your registration is considered successful. This part of the process will often be completed for you if the certification is paid for by your employer.

The majority of certifying bodies allow you to register and pay your application fees online. Many also offer detailed information on the certification process such as this roadmap from SMRP

Maintenance certification classes

Professionals have the option of learning in person at a training center or, increasingly, online, allowing for flexible instruction at your own pace. In addition to the classroom or online training courses, quizzes, and practical work, you’ll get more information about the testing process during certification courses. 

Maintenance certification exams

Some exams are held online, while others are administered via paper (or in a digital format) at approved testing locations. Several institutions and independent training centers offer classes (virtually or in-person) to help people prepare for exams. Before committing to any training center for exam prep, however, make sure to verify their qualifications as well. 

After the assessment 

Once you’ve passed the required exams and earned the certification, you might be given a designation (usually in the form of initials) that you can use after your name in professional settings. This serves to distinguish you as a certified professional. 

Because the certification itself in part proves your awareness of the latest trends and knowledge in your field, it is required that you renew your credentials regularly – usually every three to five years – in order to keep them. This typically includes periodic recertification exercises such as continuing education hours and additional exams. 

Major organizations that offer maintenance certifications

You don’t want to waste time and money on certifications that do nothing for your career. Below is a short list of recognized bodies that offer widely recognized maintenance certifications. Except for the City and Guilds which is UK- based, the others are located in the USA with recognized affiliations in the UK and Canada:

  • Building Owners and Managers Institute International, Inc (BOMI)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Society for Maintenance & Reliability ‎Professionals (SMRP)
  • City and Guilds

Popular certifications for maintenance technicians

  1. The Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT) certification by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) is a popular credential that verifies the competence of maintenance technicians in preventive maintenance, asset management practices, predictive maintenance, troubleshooting, and corrective maintenance.
  2. Master Certified Electronics Technician(CET) by ETA International showcases technicians with several years of experience who demonstrate proficiency in many fields of electronics.
  3. EPA HVAC Certification is required by Section 608 of The US Clean Air Act for technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of refrigerant equipment.
  4. Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) by (AAMI)
  5. Electrical Technician Certification by the (EETC)

Popular supervisory level maintenance certifications 

  1. Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) is provided by the SMRP. This certification focuses on those handling the managerial aspect of maintenance work. The coursework prepares them for team and work order management, equipment reliability, planning, organization, and leadership.
  2. The Building Systems Maintenance Certificate is provided by BOMI (also known as the SMC program). It covers in-depth information on HVAC, water systems, energy control and efficiency, and other maintenance best practices for building systems.
  3. Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) is provided by the NAA. Participants are mainly apartment maintenance technicians. The coursework validates their knowledge in several fundamentals including customer service, HVAC repair, mechanical services, painting, and similar.
  4. Certified Manager of Maintenance (CMM) is provided by the NHCM. For property maintenance managers and supervisors, the CMM credential trains candidates in the various roles they’ll need to play in managing all aspects of maintenance teams and programs.
  5. Project Management Professional (PMP) by the PMI is a globally recognized and highly sought-after certification for aspiring team leaders and project managers. It can help to give you the recognition to handle projects that will grow your career to managerial and executive levels. For truly ambitious maintenance supervisors, a PMP can set you well ahead of your peers.

The maintenance jobs market is wide open

As with any other job, maintenance professionals are encouraged and expected to continuously improve their skills and knowledge. And it is for good reason. New machines, maintenance tools, CMMS software, or testing methodologies are always emerging. There is always something new to learn. 

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