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NIMS Certifications Pave the Path to a Successful Career in Industry

Amatrol InfoGraphic stating 284,000 new jobs in 2018, the best year of manufacturing job creation in more than two decades with Amatrol logo and factory worker in background.

If you’re looking for a job, look no further than the nearest advanced manufacturing facility. In today’s job market, that’s good advice because manufacturing is booming. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturers added 13,000 new jobs in January 2019.

This continues the trend started in 2018. In total, manufacturers created 284,000 jobs in 2018, which turned out to be the best year of manufacturing job creation in more than two decades. It’s no wonder that manufacturers remain very optimistic about the future.

Despite tremendous job growth, manufacturers still face an ongoing problem with hiring qualified workers. Due to advances in technology, manufacturers have a great need for workers with advanced technical and technological skills. Not only do front-line production workers need more advanced skills, but manufacturers also need highly-skilled workers to operate, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair today’s advanced automated systems. Unfortunately, the supply of such workers isn’t keeping up with demand.

Skills Gap InfoGraphicThe Skills Gap

This problem, commonly called the “skills gap,” has resulted in 493,000 open manufacturing jobs as of the end of November 2018. And things are projected to only get worse. According to a recent study by Deloitte, nearly 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade. Because of the skills gap, however, experts estimate as many as 2.4 million of those jobs could go unfilled.

To take advantage of the skills gap and secure a successful advanced manufacturing career, students and current workers need to ensure that they’re obtaining the in-demand skills manufacturers need. With the proper training, the sky’s the limit.

But how can students and workers demonstrate their skills and market their training? And how can manufacturers be sure they’re hiring qualified workers who won’t need hundreds of hours of additional training?

Certifications MatterAmatrol InfoGraphic with logo and text ("Certifications validate knowledge & skills.") over photo of worker with certificate standing in front of Amatrol Pressure Process Control System - T5555.

The answer to these questions is industry-standard certifications. Not associated with any particular educational institution and developed in conjunction with industry partners, certifications define objective standards regarding the knowledge and skills required to succeed in an advanced manufacturing career.

Certifications give students and current workers validation and documentation of the marketable skills and knowledge they’ve obtained. They also provide an objective assessment for manufacturers that a person has the skills necessary for a particular job. Certifications also provide guidance to educational institutions to ensure that curriculum teaches the knowledge and skills industry needs.

Red and white official logo of NIMS, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills

What Is NIMS?

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is one of the premier certifying bodies in advanced manufacturing today. The organization got its start in 1995. Its stated mission is:

to provide world-class, industry-developed and validated, competency-based skill standards, credentials, and training frameworks that enable collaboration between educators, manufacturers, policy makers, and community-based organizations in a joint effort to increase the skills of the manufacturing workforce.

Partnering with more than 6,000 metalworking companies and five major industry trade associations, NIMS develops industry skill standards and offers more than 60 certifications that never expire in precision metalworking and industrial maintenance disciplines.

NIMS Certifications

Amatrol InfoGraphic with factory worker with safety glasses, hard hat, and gloves writing on a clipboard with text: NIMS Certification Process with two subtexts: (1) Performance Assessment with arrow pointing to "Skills Checks & Demonstrations" and (2) Theory Assessment with arrow pointing to "Knowledge of Relevant Concepts" - Amatrol logo at bottomNIMS certifications validate knowledge, skills, and abilities via a two-step process. A performance assessment requires individuals to perform a specific set of skills checks and demonstrations. The theory assessment then tests knowledge of the relevant concepts.

A wide variety of people seek NIMS certifications, such as students, teachers, current workers, trainees, trainers, apprentices, and military personnel. Although individuals can rely upon prior training and experience when pursuing NIMS certifications, most people complete a training program aligned to NIMS skill standards through an educational institution or employer.

NIMS offers more than 60 stackable certifications in specific technical areas, including Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM); Diemaking; Machine Maintenance, Service and Repair; Metalforming; Press Brake; Screw Machining; and Stamping.

The most popular NIMS certifications are in the areas of Industrial Technology Maintenance and Machining.

Industrial Technology MaintenanceAmatrol InfoGraphic - female factory worker with hard hat, safety glasses, & tablet computer looking at equipment. NIMS logo with Industrial Technology Maintenance Certifications heading with following text below in bulleted list: basic hydraulics systems, basic mechanical systems, basic pneumatic systems, electrical control systems, electrical systems maintenance, operations maintenance, piping maintenance, welding, and process control systems.

Industrial Technology Maintenance (ITM) certifications can be obtained in nine specific technical areas: Basic Hydraulic Systems, Basic Mechanical Systems, Basic Pneumatic Systems, Electrical Control Systems, Electrical Systems Maintenance, Operations Maintenance, Piping Maintenance, Welding, and Process Control Systems.

These stackable certifications cover a broad range of skill sets needed for industrial maintenance positions in today’s advanced manufacturing facilities. Manufacturers seeking qualified industrial maintenance technicians will hire with confidence individuals with all nine ITM certifications.


Amatrol InfoGraphic: NIMS Machining Certifications with Level 1 and Level II distinctions. Bulleted list under Level I: CNC Mill Operations, CNC Milling Programming Setup & Operations, CNC Lathe Operations, CNC Lathe Programming Setup & Operations, Drill Press I, Grinding I, Job Planning, Benchwork & Layout, Milling I, Measurement, Materials & Safety, Turning I (Between Center), and Turning I (Chucking). Bulleted list below Level II: CNC Mill II, CNC Lathe II, Drill Press II, EDM (2-Axis Wire), EDM (Plunge), Grinding II, Milling II, Turning II (Between Centers), and Turning II (Chucking).Along with qualified industrial maintenance technicians, another type of manufacturing worker often in short supply is the skilled machinist. NIMS seeks to help fill this gap by offering a variety of certifications for machining (CNC and manual) skills.

Individuals can obtain certifications in multiple specific technical areas. For example, NIMS Machining Level 1 certifications include: CNC Mill Operations; CNC Milling Programming Setup & Operations; CNC Lathe Operations; CNC Lathe Programming Setup & Operations; Drill Press I; Grinding I; Job Planning, Benchwork & Layout; Milling I; Measurement, Materials & Safety; Turning I (Between Centers); and Turning I (Chucking).

More advanced certifications are available in the NIMS Machining Level II certifications, which include: CNC Mill II; CNC Lathe II; Drill Press II; EDM (2-Axis Wire); EDM (Plunge); Grinding II; Milling II; Turning II (Between Centers); and Turning II (Chucking).

Benefits of NIMS CertificationsAmatrol InfoGraphic: Certification Benefits. For individuals: validate skills & knowledge and competitive edge. For manufacturers: hiring with confidence and reduced training time/costs. For educational institutions: alignment with industry standards and validation of student comprehension and teaching effectiveness.

NIMS certifications benefit individuals, manufacturers, and educational institutions alike. For individuals earning certifications, the advantages are obvious. Certifications validate their skills and give them a competitive edge when seeking the best positions. Current workers can also pursue certifications to earn promotions or higher compensation.

Manufacturers know applicants or current workers with NIMS certifications have demonstrated the necessary skills that have been established by industry experts. Thus, they can hire or promote certified applicants knowing that they’ll make an immediate impact on the production floor without a lot of additional training.

Likewise, educational institutions from high schools to colleges rely upon NIMS skills standards to ensure that their curriculum teaches the knowledge and skills that industry experts value. Teaching to NIMS standards allows schools to use certifications as both a goal and validation of student comprehension and teaching effectiveness.

Amatrol: A Trusted Partner

With over 30 years of experience creating quality curriculum, Amatrol remains the world’s leader in skills-based interactive technical learning. Focusing on in-depth knowledge and hands-on skills, Amatrol’s comprehensive, highly-interactive multimedia curriculum features stunning 3D graphics and videos, voiceovers of all text, and interactive quizzes and exercises designed to appeal to learners with different learning styles.

NIMS recommends Amatrol’s eLearning courses for students seeking its most popular certifications. Working in conjunction with NIMS, Amatrol developed eLearning courses designed to prepare students for each of the nine Industrial Technology Maintenance (ITM) certifications, as well as two key Machining certifications: CNC Mill Operations and CNC Lathe Operations.

Amatrol’s courses thoroughly cover all relevant knowledge areas, fully preparing students for NIMS theory assessments. Moreover, Amatrol’s courses feature virtual simulations that allow learners to develop and practice the hands-on skills that they will need to demonstrate during NIMS performance assessments.

Amatrol’s eLearning courses pave the path to success in obtaining the valuable NIMS certifications they seek. With industry-standard certifications from NIMS in hand, learners can confidently seek the job or promotion they desire and enjoy a successful career in advanced manufacturing.

About Duane Bolin

Duane Bolin is a former curriculum developer and education specialist. 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 Duane on Amatrol’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.

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