At age 20, I decided I needed to better myself. I looked into a technical school to see if something might match my skill-set. The school invited me to take an aptitude test, and the test revealed that I should own and manage a hardware store. So they asked if mechanical packaging or fluid power would interest me. They took me to the lab areas of both fields. After seeing the fluid power lab, I knew it was the area I should pursue. I have always had a passionate interest in the inner workings of mobile earth-moving equipment.
We were told in the fluid power school that certification was a must, so the entire class took the exam. I became certified back in 1993, and I have retained by CFPS ever since. I believed it would be a helpful tool in the fluid power industry.
The school was fun and exciting. The CFPS was a challenge, but I was well prepared for it. The takeaway was that being prepared is a must in order to obtain the certification the first time around.
I believe that my certification has put my resume to the top of the stack. It has also had a large part in landing me all of the jobs for which I have applied.
I would recommend that all sales engineers get the certification, as recruiters recognize it in the industry. They can see that you are dedicated and knowledgeable in fluid power.
Ernie Parker (IFPS-certified instructor at Hennepin Technical College) taught me almost everything I know regarding hydraulics.
My advice is to learn about what part of the fluid power industry you would enjoy working in the most. Then, make that a focus and earn the appropriate certifications for that area.
I see higher pressures, more demanding duty cycles, and quality of hydraulic components as a must.