Manufacturing Certification – How to get certified.

Welcome to! This site features tons of information on different certifications and degrees within a manufacturing environment.

For ease of navigation, the site is divided into seven main categories.

  1. Skilled Trade Certifications (electrical, tool and die, etc)
  2. Quality Certification (ASQ)
  3. Logistics Certification (APICS, ISM)
  4. Operations Certification (coming soon!)
  5. Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Certification (SME)
  6. Health and Safety Certification (OSHA)
  7. Project Management (PMP, IPMA)

Manufacturing Certification

If you’re thinking of working in a manufacturing field or if you already work in a manufacturing environment, there’s many options for certification. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a general manufacturing certification. You can’t take some courses and get a “Certificate of Manufacturing.”

Different manufacturing certifications typically fall into one of two broad categories.

The first is a trades related certificate or diploma. This diploma is rewarded after detailed training and work experience in an individual trade, such as a tool and die maker or an electrician.

The second category is certification related to a specific aspect of a broad range of industries. Every company that manufactures goods has jobs in this general category. In this case, the training covers details of a specific part of a process. Here we find quality certifications, engineering technicians, logistics, operations and health and safety training.


Manufacturing Certification: The Skilled Trades

Each trade is governed by a certifying body that looks after the approval process. Although you can get an accredited electrician’s diploma at your local community college or even online, you may not be able to do certain electrical work until you serve an apprenticeship.

Each trade is different and the rules may change at the country, state or even county level. Electrical apprenticeships can last 3 to 5 years and require building code knowledge that varies depending on the locality. Apprentices are managed by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee or the NJATC. In addition to certification, electricians are required to be licensed, passing an examination that tests their electrical knowledge.

Every manufacturing environment requires a variety of trades. Electricians are just one example. Tool and die makers have their own apprenticeship program. Each trade has different certification requirements. This certification may be extremely important for certain manufacturing activities, while others may require no need of some trades and no certification.

Due to the highly focused requirements for each job type, this site will not go into detail on the skilled trades and the licensing process.


Manufacturing Certification: The Industry Independent Certificates

While a metal stamping plant may not need a chemistry lab technician, and a textile factory might have no need for a tool and die journeyman, they do have similarities. When a business or factory reaches a certain size, new roles are required. With larger companies, it’s not uncommon to have quality departments, health and safety representatives and improvement groups. These types of roles can apply to any industry, since they cover a specific need within many processes.

Manufacturing certifications for these industry independent roles are quite valuable. They require specific knowledge of a certain aspect of the process (quality), yet are not tied down to a specific industry. With a certificate in quality, your knowledge of statistical process control, control charts and problem solving are beneficial in both metal stamping plants as well as textile factories and you’ll be more flexible in where you’re able to work.


Quality Certification

You can obtain a quality assurance certificate at many community colleges, especially those with a technical stream. These certificates generally cover basic quality skills such as statistical tools, auditing and quality standards like ISO. There are some that are more manufacturing based and others that specialize in administrative areas, like financial institutions and call centres. Each college is unique and adds their own flavour to the subject matter. Check with different colleges close to you to see the differences in quality certifications.

In addition to the traditional method of attending classes, you are also able to achieve quality certification online. This option is often available through distance learning programs at community colleges. As well, there are many programs offered through consulting firms and online schools. Some of these certificates are from well-known reputable sources, while others may not be worth the electronic paper they’re printed on. Investigate your options thoroughly before making a decision on which to choose. Try to find graduates who are willing to speak about their training and if it was valuable or not.

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is a professional association that also offers certificates in quality. There is a specific process you need to follow in order to get certified by ASQ.


Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Certification

Although Lean and Six Sigma have been around for many years, they are still gaining in popularity. Most large manufacturing businesses have an improvement team or department and lean six sigma falls into this category. For manufacturing certification you can’t go wrong with a lean or six sigma certificate. Lean practitioners are highly prized and a certificate in Lean will open the doors to many possibilities.

Most lean and six sigma certificates are available through consulting firms. For many years lean and six sigma candidates were trained internally at large companies like General Electric. This is still the case, however, there are some external consulting firms that now offer six sigma and lean training and certification. Make sure you check the background of each company to see if they are reputable. You don’t want to get a certificate from some company that no one has heard of.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) offers lean certification. As well, the American Society for Quality (ASQ) has a six sigma certification program. These are two established organizations that are well known in manufacturing circles. In order to qualify for these certificates  some work experience is required. For example, the ASQ program requires 3 years experience, as well as evidence of a completed project and a written exam.

Read this article for additional information on lean manufacturing and certification options. 

Health and Safety Certification

If you’re interested in Health and Safety Certification, you have several options. Similar to building trades, health and safety certification requires knowledge of specific rules and regulations that vary based on the country or state you’re working in. Knowledge of safety regulations is extremely important for any organization and this type of certification can be extremely valuable when looking for a job in the health and safety field.

Health and Safety is a broad field that covers a lot of specific information. For more details, check out the page “What is Health and Safety?” 

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is a large and established organization that offers manufacturing certification in safety management. As well, it is membership-based organization for health and safety professionals.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers a certification program as well. This government body regulates safety in the United States. OSHA Safety Certification is a requirement for many individuals working in manufacturing.

Logistics and Supply Chain Certification

Every manufacturing facility has to deal with logistics. Most medium to large companies have entire departments devoted to managing the movement of goods to the plant, inside the plant and to the customer. Supply chain management is a complicated process and many specialized logistics roles are needed. For more details on what logistics covers, check out the “What is Logistics?” page.

APICS certification is one type of course that can be followed, if you are interested in getting certified in logistics. Also, many reputable brick and mortar colleges offer online logistics degrees. 


Check out the Manufacturing Certification job board for current job listings in logistics.

Benefits of Manufacturing Certification

There are many options available for certificates in the manufacturing field, either within specific trades or more general certifications like lean six sigma. Depending on your goals, certification might be desirable or even required for you.

Whatever you decide, the certification process is a great way to expand your knowledge. Your certificate will make you more marketable when you’re looking for your next job. People with certifications earn more than those without certification in the same field. In these turbulent economic times, a manufacturing certification is a little extra insurance against job loss. And certified individuals can join relevant societies and network. It’s not always what you know, but who you know!

It always pays to invest in yourself. Manufacturing certification is an investment in your future. There will always be manufacturing, somewhere. Society needs goods and goods are manufactured. International competition makes manufacturing expertise more and more desirable, as companies look to find competent people to help them compete globally. Your manufacturing certification is another tool to help showcase your talents to prospective employers.

4 comments for “Manufacturing Certification – How to get certified.

  1. July 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Safety Certifications and OSHA is a great way to insure the safety of employees at manufacturing industries. I work at a manufacturing industry in Houston, TX and we manufacture safety equipment and OSHA and safety certificates help us reinforce the safety rules for each company.

  2. admin
    July 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Kayla. OSHA certificates are designed to protect the worker by ensuring a safe working environment.

    Someone looking to have a safety certification in order to add value to their work and make themselves more marketable as an employee should also consider looking at BCSP and the CSP credentials.

  3. Dan Morton
    January 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I would like to find out more about the Lean Silver certification process because I taking the VA/VE class at GM and was a cost engineer for fours. I have 2 yr Cost Estiminating Degree from the Chrysler University that I would like to me considered for this certification program

  4. Apoorv
    January 31, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Can I get a list of companies who are certified please?

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