In an uncertain economy, it's never a bad idea to have some strong certification credentials to go along with work experience and degrees.
Earlier this month, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers announced a new partnership with the National Association of Manufacturing. NAM has developed a Manufacturing Skills Certification System to provide "skills assessments, standardized curriculum requirements, and portable credentials that validate the attainment of these critical competencies required by industry," according to an SME release.
Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) and Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) programs. Mark Tomlinson, executive director of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, notes that while these programs have been around for some 30 years, they're updated annually to provide the latest in engineering information.
"So much has changed over time," Tomlinson says. "Automation, machinery, programming, the way you dimension products. We've added information on lean manufacturing, electrical discharge machining, lasers. The fundamentals don't change, but we have constantly evaluate what's current and what someone needs to know to be a valued practitioner in manufacturing."
The CMfgT is the more technical of the two SME certifications, notes Tomlinson, because it multiple levels of technology. "You have to understand the different aspects of machining and assembly and processing, as well as the math behind those activities, such as calculating speeds and feeds, throughput in a stamping die, and bend radiuses." Among other topics, the certification also covers applied science, design, computer applications, and automation.
The CMfgE, on the other hand, looks at the oversight of manufacturing processes "as opposed to just understanding how they work. It has a management and financial component to it. It also looks at production improvements such as Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality improvement issues. From a mechatronics standpoint, it also incorporates such topics as computer-integrated manufacturing, robotics, machine vision, networks, computer systems, and computer-aided manufacturing.
To learn more about these certifications, as well as to download sample quizzes, visit the SME Certification page.