By Donna Pollander, ACA, IFPS Executive Director
Professional certification offers numerous benefits that IFPS has detailed many times since the inception of our Specialist certification in 1980. However, certified individuals can provide a unique perspective on how they personally benefit from their certifications.
David H. Knight, CFPS, from Parker Hannifin has been a Certified Fluid Power Specialist (CFPS) since 1992. He explains, “Achieving IFPS certification helped me realize that my work isn’t just a job; it’s truly a profession that needs the services of people that really understand hydraulic and pneumatic systems in addition to the business side of things. I’ve used my IFPS certifications as building blocks to climb ladders in the various positions I’ve held.”
Scott Gower, CFPS, CFPEC, has also certainly seen the advantages of being certified. In fact, it landed him a job! As his family was growing, Gower realized he needed a higher paying job. He says, “I built a resume to post online, and Monster.com allows just five words to describe your experience to a prospective employer. Realizing that ‘super-awesome, smart, cool guy’ probably wouldn’t cut it, I chose four: Certified Fluid Power Specialist. Perfect—it fit the job requirements and provided something akin to a college degree: instant credibility. I flew down for an interview and was offered the job two weeks later. In December 2016, I started my 14th year with the company.”
Gower has been certified since 2002. I’ve heard many stories like this in my 20+ years working within the fluid power industry. It makes me proud every time I hear something like it.
Certified personnel can also benefit their organizations, as employees gain an improved ability to ensure safety, reliability, and deliver quality assurance. Hydraquip in Houston, Tex., is a long-time supporter of IFPS certification and encourages its employees to seek the certification that is appropriate to their jobs. As Tim Nichols, CFPS, Hydraquip’s president who has been certified since 1994, explains, “Our Power Solutions employees are encouraged to become Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialists (CFPHS). Our Service and Repair technicians are factory trained and also are Certified Fluid Power Mobile Mechanics (CFPMHM). Several of our Hose and Couplings salespeople have the Hydraulic Specialist designation, as well. These certifications are so important that we pay for the training, the testing, and we will increase an employee’s wage by 5% once the employee has obtained certification.”
Greg Loew is fleet manager for Avista Utilities in Spokane, Wash. In his experience, IFPS certification has resulted in reduced downtime, extended asset life, and major cost savings on the bottom line. “We highly value having our mechanics IFPS certified. It provides Avista Utilities with a substantial cost savings to maintain our equipment in-house. The CFPMHM certification provides us with the level of confidence we need in order not to be reliant on outsourced repairs. Our certified mechanics are significantly more capable and better trouble-shooters—getting things done correctly the first time.”
Whether you are an individual seeking certification to prove your competence or gain confidence in your work, or an employer eager to prove your dedication to a safe and reliable workforce, IFPS can help. We certify thousands of fluid power professionals each year and serve as the industry standard for assessing the knowledge and skill level of your employees, which can provide you with a safe and competitive advantage. It allows future employers to validate the knowledge and experience that a potential employee brings. It also provides an unbiased third-party endorsement of that skill and knowledge. Certification demonstrates competency, motivation, and a dedication that is important in a highly technical field.