Nari: Are You Certified?

No matter if you use the term designation, certification, or credential recognizing your commitment towards the advancement of the remodeling industry is critical in order to stay ahead in your local market as well as in the growth of your personal career. Earning a certification is an optimal way to achieving this level of expertise. Every day we see designations floating around after the names of professionals. For example, CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CAE (Certified Association Executive), and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) are all certifications that appear in the every day business world. The remodeling industry isn’t much different and since it is such a competitive market it makes earning a relevant certification necessary in maintaining and showcasing your commitment to excellence.

Certification is a confirmation of certain qualities that you possess in a specific area of expertise. This confirmation is often determined by some form of external review, education or assessment (or the combination of all three). Once a certification is attained, periodic recertification is normally essential by maintaining a continuing education requirement. Even though earning a certification may not be mandatory, some companies require it as a condition of employment. Many times the company’s leadership requires both the higher level employee and the marketing value the certification brings. Whether or not becoming certified is required, the benefit of this achievement can have a significant impact on the operation of your company.

There are three major areas that will benefit by earning a professional certification: you, your company, and the public. Earning a certification illustrates that you are competent, updated with current knowledge in your career, can face new challenges within your job, and shows any future employers that you are qualified and have the necessary skills required for the position. Most important, earning a certification will provide you with prestige and a competitive edge over non-certified individuals.

Having employees who carry certifications can also be extremely beneficial as it can have a major impact on work performance and the bottom line. Once hired, it saves companies time, training, money, and effort if the new employee is already certified. If an employer offers or requires that employees attain a specific certification, this can create an improved method of employee evaluation that reviews their knowledge and productivity. Another major benefit is that certifications can increase business and overall profit through enhanced marketing opportunities.

Marketing an employee’s certification is a great way to bring in new business and to differentiate your company as a leader in the remodeling industry. The designation earned should be listed in all advertising efforts such as business cards, Web sites, directories, and e-mail signatures. If there is a logo or stamp provided with the certification, then these should be used as well in all appropriate places. When a consumer is searching for a local remodeler, they will be able to distinguish which companies have certified staff by seeing the designations and logos. This can be a positive factor in their decision-making process, allowing them to be more informed about their options.

These certification programs benefit the general public by protecting them from having less skilled and unqualified remodelers working on their homes. Certifications can establish a professional standard for both the remodeling industry and the remodelers. Most certification programs within an area of work are challenging, credible, and recognized by the public. By achieving a certification, the public can verify that you are an expert having met the strict qualifications required when completing a certification program. This instills confidence to the public that you are going to exemplify professional work skills.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers eight certification programs for the different positions within your company. To see a complete listing of NARI Certification Programs and for more information on how to apply, please visit www.nari.org/certify. In addition to NARI there are a couple of other organizations that have certification programs geared for remodelers. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offer certification programs in seven different areas of kitchen and bath remodeling and design. The National Association of Home Builders Remodelers (NAHBR) offers a designation to professional remodelers as well.

Earning a certification is a growing trend that is becoming more recognized by the public. This makes it even more critical for you and your company to get involved and professionally set yourself above the rest. Continuing your education and training indicates that you strive for excellence within your company and in the service you provide to your customers.

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