Certification and Why

A question I get asked daily: “I lost my job. I was there for ___ years. Can you help me find a new job?”
My next question is seldom popular: “Sure, are your tickets up to date?”
I get it. You are in a shop that does in house testing, so why spend $200 renewing your all position ticket when you don’t need it? Why take those couple of hours off once every two years if you don’t absolutely need to? Well, here are the reasons.
In a time of economic uncertainty no job, especially jobs in manufacturing where jobs are driven by the number of contracts they have, is one-hundred-percent secure. Contracts get filled, and manufacturing jobs that are busy as can be one week can start laying off the next. It never hurts to be prepared. Having up to date CWB certification is like having insurance. You hope you may not need it, but if you do…
It is easier and cheaper to do a check test than start over, from scratch. A check test is $200. If your certification goes more than ninety days past its expiry date, you have to do all four tests to recertify. At $200 per test, that is $800 for an all position ticket. PLUS you have to do all four tests, and that certainly ups your chances of failing one or more. And, yes, you do have to pay to redo a failed test.
It is easier to shell out money when you are working. Yes, we all know money gets tight, especially when you are first laid off. The four plus week wait before you get your first EI payment is a hard time to lay out money.
We test every two weeks. We test more than any other test center in the area. But when you really need certification those two weeks can be two more weeks of waiting for an opportunity. It ALSO takes two weeks from the date of the test to get official test results. Yeah, so up to a month. That is four weeks worth of opportunities that you will not get back.
A certified and experienced welder can find work quickly, especially with our help. But almost every employer we work with requires C.W.B. certification. In fact, even companies who are not C.W.B. certified want welders with certification. It is a standard in the industry and ensures that the welder has the skills they need.
Often the interviewer is not a hands-on supervisor, and may only work in Human Resources, or for that matter a hiring agency, so your tickets are proof that you can weld. Weld tests are no longer the first opportunity you have to prove your skills. In the days of emailed resumes, you may not get to the interview stage without some proof of your skills.
Even if you are not looking, sometimes we get some really good opportunities, and we will contact former students who may be interested in a really good paying job opportunity. Keeping your tickets up to date, and maintaining communication with the school is an excellent way of not missing great opportunities that may come your way when you least expect it.
And to me the most important reason, you are a welder. Certifications are one of the tools of your trade. As a welder, keeping your certifications up to date should be like keeping your driver’s license up to date, even if you may not drive very often. You never know when you may need it.