Well, I think I became involved in the fluid power industry when I was just a wee thing. My father was finishing up his degree in mechanical engineering, and, with every one’s busy schedules, I would sometimes end up going to class with him. His career path led in toward fluid power. In 2013 I entered the industry as well, through the shipping and receiving department for a hydraulic distribution/repair company in Broussard, LA.
Being that I usually had the most contact with customers (first point of contact because of will call) I felt it was necessary to become knowledgeable about the products we service. So, I started trying to figure out what the customer needed before having to interrupt someone else. (trying to make things more efficient, if you will). I remember getting excited when I identified the lip seal our customer needed for their P76 pump correctly.
The first step was convincing myself I could do it. Second step was becoming a member of the International Fluid Power Society and to get all the study materials I needed to study for the exam. I then chose a test date and studied away.
Being that my father is a mechanical engineer, CFPE, CFPS, and on the board of the IFPS, I felt it would be foolish not to tap that resource. We decided on a study schedule that I was quite fond of, meeting once a week (twice as it got closer to test day) to go through the study manual and practice questions he would make for me. As a bonus, I would get a free meal out of it all!
I am still “green” in the industry, so when I get to use my fluid power certification, it is very exciting. The certification has really helped with selling components for these systems with better efficiency. I know what my customer is saying and can visualize their needs, enabling me to do further research from there.
With such little experience in the industry, becoming certified has made a big difference. It helped me get the job I have today with Motion Industries. I believe that my certification will only enhance my opportunities to continue to grow. It is nice to work for a company that is supportive and has encouraged me to figure out what else I can do, geared toward maintaining and increasing my certification.
I would definitely encourage others to become certified. It has opened a number of doors for me. I am currently studying for 2 additional certifications.
Besides the obvious pros, there is another reason to become certified. With whatever career we choose to become a part of, we should try to be more knowledgeable about what we do. For me, I strive every day to learn more and more about the industry I am in, so as to best serve my customer base. Fluid power is a part of everything we use, whether it’s systems that built the cars we drive every day or we see it face-to-face working in plants and troubleshooting units. We can only benefit by having knowledge about how things run and getting to the root of problems.