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Training for the Future: How CPT and CPT+ Certifications Can Enrich Professional Development

Certified Production Technician program

Since its inception, the United States of America has earned the moniker “The Land of Opportunity.” More than 240 years after its founding, that saying still holds true – as long as you know where to look.

Currently, the Advanced Manufacturing sector is facing a “skills gap”, meaning there aren’t enough qualified workers to fill open positions. As it stands, there are currently millions of available jobs in manufacturing, with millions more vacancies coming down the pipeline in the near future.

This leaves employers scrambling to fill the exorbitant amount of openings. However many companies are finding it difficult to identify ideal candidates who possess the right set of skills.

In an attempt to bridge the skills gap, the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) created a certification that focuses on verifying the skill sets employers want, called a Certified Production Technician (CPT) Certification.

Who is MSSC?

MSSC logo

MSSC is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification non-profit organization that focuses on core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers.

The nationwide MSSC System, which is based upon industry-defined and federally-endorsed standards, offers both entry-level and seasoned workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills needed to survive the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.

Additionally, MSSC is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), making it the only national certification body accredited under this globally-respected international standard for both manufacturing and logistics.

Difference in CPT and CPT+ Certification

Currently, an individual who passes any of the four individual certificate modules (Safety; Quality Practices & Measurement; Manufacturing Processes & Production; Maintenance Awareness) is awarded a certificate for that particular field. But in order to obtain a full CPT Certification, they must successfully complete all four individual certifications.

Skill Boss

MSSC has exclusively endorsed Amatrol’s eLearning as the preferred training courses to prepare for taking the CPT certification exams.  Amatrol is a company that specializes in innovative, interactive learning solutions.

A CPT+ Certification takes skill accreditation one step further, with the full CPT certification in hand, learners can take a more “hands-on” approach for an additional certification utilizing the CPT+ assessment device, Skill Boss Maintenance.

The Skill Boss Maintenance offers performance-based assessment for evaluating the skill levels and competencies of future machine operators in today’s modern manufacturing production areas, including assembly and machine operation. MSSC recognized the need for a standardized assessment system for industrial skills, and collaborated with Amatrol to develop Skill Boss Maintenance, which evaluates over 60 essential manufacturing skills.

Why are CPT / CPT+ Certifications Important?

In the current climate of Advanced Manufacturing, it is no secret companies are experiencing a very serious skills gap. Some reports are even estimating that upwards of 25 million jobs will remain vacant by 2020 as employers search for candidates that possess the necessary skills needed.

So for business leaders, many have already turned their attention to re-training current employees. But while re-training can help, it won’t provide the number of employees needed to fill all available positions.

CPT+ Logo

With CPT and CPT+ certifications, students demonstrate a broad array of critical technical skills. In addition, CPT addresses cross-functional skills, such as communication, teamwork, customer awareness and workplace conduct. So in essence, with a CPT Certification focused on employer-preferred, job-ready skills, a graduate of the program should have the exact skillset employers are looking for.

What enhances a CPT Certification even more is that learners can add the CPT+ certification to prove to employers that they possess hands-on skills as demonstrated by their ability to master the Skill Boss Maintenance assessment system.

What Benefits Come with Completing Certification Program?

The benefits of a CPT & CPT+ certifications are innumerable: individuals remain engaged in their learning, develop job-ready skills employers are looking for and achieve a national certification.

With the skills gap in mind, perhaps the most important benefit that comes from successfully obtaining a CPT or CPT+ certification is the plethora of job opportunities available. Thanks to the certification’s recognition nationally, students aren’t tied down to one specific location.

On top of that, these “jobs” aren’t your typical, run-of-the-mill opportunities either. Advanced Manufacturing offers some of the highest-paying, most satisfying career opportunities available today, including process technicians, control technicians and quality control technicians.

But these certifications don’t just verify professional skills – they also dabble in real-world experiences that will enhance your everyday life. Along with technical skills, individuals will utilize problem-solving and decision-making skills, teamwork and organization planning, and leadership and self-development.

Is the Certification Program Right For My Students?

A CPT or CPT+ Certification is not for everybody. Like most things in life, a career path depends on the individual and their career desires.

Generally, CPT certifications are aimed toward high school or community college students interested in pursuing employment in a STEM-related field – science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. However there is no age restriction to learning foundational skills in hopes to begin bettering one’s career path.

In fact, Amatrol’s interactive, multimedia curriculum, which was specifically design to prepare individuals for CPT certifications, is catered for a variety of learning styles – text, narration and graphics – keeping students of all ages more focused and engaged throughout lessons.

How Can Earning Credentials Help?

CPT Course Descriptions

Earning your CPT or CPT+ Credentials is equivalent to being handed the key to the city – but instead of it being access to just one city, your key works for every town nationwide, and even some overseas.

The reasoning is that a CPT Certification is recognized universally. While US Industries recognize – and even prefer – the CPT certifications, the same can be said about international companies, as the certifications are based on universal industry standards.

By successfully completing the CPT course and passing the certification exam, learners improve their prospects for hiring, advancement, and benefits. It also demonstrates that they are able to keep pace with technological changes, something that will surely come in handy in future work.

Increasingly, manufacturers are looking to national organizations to identify, develop, and establish skill standards. The standards found in CPT and CPT+ certifications offer individuals the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary skills for the technologically-intensive jobs of the 21st century.

High school students working toward their CPT Certification will benefit the most from their learning. Not only will they earn a national certification, but they can also get a head start on college and begin earning credit. Today, many schools have established college articulation for the program for up to six credit hours.

But regardless of age, a CPT or CPT+ Certification will give students the knowledge and skills to set them up for life.

For more information on CPT and CPT+ certifications, or to begin your new career path, please click here.

About Wes Scott

Wes Scott is a former public high school teacher and journalist. He is currently a Marketing Content Developer for Amatrol, Inc. Learn more about Amatrol and its technical training solutions, including eLearning, here and connect with Wes on Amatrol’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.

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