WHY ENGINEERS NEED TO BE CERTIFIED.

You are an Engineer seated somewhere and perhaps you are bored with your current job position, you are looking for promotion, you want to change careers or better still you want to be an ‘engineerpreneur’. Or you just want to be set apart from the rest of the engineers out there. All these you want to do but going back to school for more training or further education is not an option because of one reason or another. Plus for many engineers going back to school after spending five or more years pursuing under graduate education is not top of their priority. Well Engineer, the answer could be certification in your area of choice.

Certifications are earned formal qualifications through certain set processes and standards that allow individuals and /or companies permission to do certain specific tasks. A Certification is an excellent way for protecting the integrity of a profession. In engineering we need this like yesterday. It is quite appalling how everyone keeps donning the engineer hat and yet they are not qualified to do that which they actually purport to doing. We all know how that can end.

The reason regulating bodies are put in place is to ensure that a professional title is defined by an oversight committee of the board and only a certain few who meet the set criteria as set by board are awarded the title. The process of being certified is tedious and far more unattractive to most Engineers, but it is this process that maintains the high level of standard in the Engineering profession.  After all who said anything good comes easy?

There are a number of reasons for Engineers to consider professional certifications:

  • Prevents loss of life: It has just dawned on most people in Kenya that if Engineers do not do their work well, it can result to loss of lives, the more reason we need certifications and set standards to regulate the whole engineering profession.
  • Value Addition: Certification add value to careers of both Professional and Graduate Engineers.
  • Client Assurance: Clients are assured of engaging with highly qualified Engineers on their projects.
  • Specificity: Certification allows an Engineer to specialise in their field of Engineering
  • Career Development: Most employers have confessed to have a high preference industry certifications for both new and experienced hires. You get to rise higher in your profession to increased level of authority and responsibility.
  • Money: Compensation is one of the key motivators for all professionals. Being certified ranks you higher than your peers and as such you get higher pay. Your boundaries are also expanded and you can work as an independent consultant.
  • Career Flexibility: Certifications enable you to grow your career to greater lengths. You can decide to open your own company. If you are employed, your expertise protects you during downsizing.
  • Respect and Prestige: Certifications earn you respect among your peers in the engineering community because they know it is no easy job being certified and you automatically join an elite group. In some countries you even get to join special clubs
  • Safety to the General Public: Registration serves as a precautionary measure taken by the state to guard against unsafe engineering practises. This is geared towards promoting public safety, health and above all peace of mind.
  • Use of the special reserved name: Once you are registered you are allowed to exclusively entitled t use a reserved name and even abbreviation before your name. In this case the abbreviation ‘Eng’. If you are not registered, it is a criminal offence.

There are various regulating boards and organizations that offer certifications to Engineers. Identify your area of interest and/ or speciality and identify the right organization that offers the certification to get started.

Engineering certifications depend on what kind of Engineer you are and with the industry you are working in among many other factors. Some industries may not demand it as a requirement, while to others it may be a requirement to have it before doing any related works. It also depends on your focus. Some Engineers would rather have a PE (Professional Engineer) certification than all the others, while other engineers might go ahead and have PMP, Six Sigma and the like. It all depends on your focus.

With power comes responsibility bigger responsibilities which to some people seem like liabilities. Once certified you are responsible and personally held liable for failed projects or projects that injure people.

Hi! I am Brenda Rombo, a mechanical engineer, a writer and a dreamer but you can call me Bee. In 2014 I started a platform to discuss the various issues and emerging technologies in Engineering. During my years both as a student and an engineer I have always been fascinated with new and emerging technologies and diversity and inclusion.

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