Our last post talked about the many benefits of ACMA’s Certified Composites Technician (CCT) certification program to an organization, and today we’ll take a look at why individuals may want to take a closer look at all the CCT program can do for them at their job and in their career path.
Gaining the Edge Over Other Candidates
As job hunting becomes more competitive, candidates need to work even harder to differentiate themselves from other candidates, and acquiring technical skills is one way to achieve this. Most technical skills, including composites-related skills, require experience and sometimes extensive training to master. On-the-job training is not always possible or practical, so it becomes a chicken-or-egg situation for the job-seeker or junior-level employee: How can you get the job without the skills, or the skills without the job?
Employers are growing jobs rapidly in the advanced composites fields, creating demand for a talent pipeline of trained workers. The CCT program is recognized industry-wide, and achieving certification gives individuals documented proof of their professional expertise and dedication to their specialty. Prospective employers appreciate that hiring someone who doesn’t require so much training get to a particular level saves the company time and cost and are more likely willing to offer that person higher pay.
Technically-skilled professionals with CCT certification are trained to prevent technical issues from occurring, which increases productivity, reduces the likelihood of accidents and injury that can have costly repercussions. They are likely to share their knowledge with other workers on the floor, increasing the overall pool of knowledge.
CCT program-specific certification gives students valuable hands-on instruction and exposes them to a broader spectrum than they might get on the job. CCT-Certified Instructor Wes Hobbs says, “In class we focus on building parts for aerospace and advanced composites but we also cover a broader range of applications in different industries, as well as theory. We don’t build boats in Utah but we cover the marine industry in class.
“The school where I teach is state-certified, which is good, but CCT is national certification— and that’s better. Students who graduate have industry certification on national level, and that carries a lot of weight in Utah.”
Experienced Professionals Benefit, Too
Getting certified makes employees more valuable to their employers, potentially contributing to job security and advancement. CCT certification helps plant workers, experienced technicians and other professionals such as sales people and floor managers. The program gives sales people insight into what technicians go through and experience each day and greater understanding of the challenges they face. Sales professionals learn a common language through composites training that enables them to have more meaningful conversations with customers.
“I started out in production, and if the CCT program had been available then I would have taken it. It allows you to continue to become better at your craft, whether you’re a salesperson or a laminator,” says Jeff Austad, National Sales Director at Ventilation Solutions who holds several program certifications.
“We all need to be learning more regardless of our skill level,” Even when we think we know everything, there’s much to know in both the details and the big picture. Newbies are exposed to a concise curriculum of components all the way up to open molding, vacuuming, etc. Nowhere else in the industry can you get the complete package like you can through ACMA.”