All You Need To Know About Becoming NICET Certified

What is NICET Certification?

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), founded in 1961, is a nationally recognized, non-profit division of the National Society of Professional Engineers based in Alexandria, Va., whose stated mission is to “provide an independent evaluation of technical knowledge and experience, through certification,” for individuals “working in the fields of engineering.”

The Institute provides detailed certification information on its Web site (www.nicet.org) regarding multi-discipline certification programs for individuals working in the fields of architectural design as well as civil, structural, mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineering. NICET certification programs are structured to promote a greater degree of technical knowledge and competence in the workforce, with the goal of ultimately providing more highly qualified designers and professional engineers within the engineering community.

According to the NICET website, here are the levels of certification and what they represent.

NICET certifications are based on the candidate’s ability to prove a level of expertise in their field via an examination, work experience, and performance verification. Varying levels of certification represent different levels of expertise in your field, with the more advanced levels also requiring personal letters of recommendation and further project management documentation.

  • Level 1: Minimal relevant experience or entry-level training
  • Level 2: A minimum of two years of relevant experience
  • Level 3: A minimum of five years of relevant experience and a personal recommendation
  • Level 4: A minimum of ten years of relevant experience, a personal recommendation, and document of your role in a major project

The Benefits of NICET Certification

NICET’s nationally recognized certification programs lay out a path for your career advancement from entry to senior level responsibilities. Designed by industry experts to provide engineering technology fields with a qualified workforce, our programs are increasingly used by employers and specifiers to measure job skills and knowledge.

Exam Taking Tips

(www.nicet.org)

Be healthy – Physical health can affect mental performance. You have probably already heard about the importance of getting adequate rest, eating right, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly. Improving your health will help you perform better but it is probably best to avoid making drastic changes close to your test day.

Understand the test content – Download and review the Content Outline (CBT exams) or the Program Detail Manual (Work Element exams). These serve as guides to the work on which the test questions will focus. If some areas are less familiar, then additional prep work in those areas might improve your test scores. Some of the resources listed as “Selected General References” or as “Reference Materials” may be useful.

Understand testing procedures and tools –  Review the information about test day procedures in your exam confirmation letter from NICET. Download and work through the CBT testing tutorial that is available from Pearson VUE, including the on-screen calculator in the “practice exam.”

Use your test time efficiently to maximize your score – No question is worth more points than another, so capture points for the questions that you know how to solve on your first pass through the test. Flag those that will be more of a stretch for later review. After your first pass, return to those questions that you marked. Continue to focus on those questions that you have the best shot at answering correctly in the least amount of time. Finally, if your remaining exam time is running out and you still have an unanswered question, remember:

·        There is no penalty for guessing.

·        If you can logically eliminate one or two of the answer options, then the odds of guessing correctly are improved.

Most importantly: Read each question carefully –  Don’t rush! Pay attention to words, numbers, and punctuation in the question and in the answer choices to accurately understand the meaning of each. Questions are not written to be “tricky”; however, correct solutions do require understanding BOTH what is being asked (including the effects of any given conditions or details) AND each of the answer choices.

Double-check your answers –  Time permitting, you can revisit questions of which you might be a little unsure. If you have reason to think that you answered incorrectly the first time, then don’t hesitate to change your answer to the one you now feel is correct. (It is only a myth that your first choice is always the best choice; most often, if you think of a good reason to change your answer, then you should change it.)

Develop a personal testing strategy –  Are you a “good test-taker”? If your answer is anything less than an enthusiastic “YES!” then it will be worth a few minutes to ask yourself what it is about testing that stands between you and optimal performance. Once a problem is properly identified, you should be able to plan an approach to testing that will reduce its troublesome impact. Here are suggestions for dealing with three common issues:

“The test environment is unnatural.”

Problem: Test centers. Waiting rooms. Lockers. Identification and verification. Test rooms. Other people. Proctors. QUIET. While most people like the test centers, for some they can seem confining or impersonal or, well . . . unnatural.

Suggested Test Strategy: Sometimes, very simple things can help to reduce that vague sense of unease with a place, such as a short, friendly conversation with someone in the waiting room; finding the bathroom or a drinking fountain, or looking at other people and room features and imagining something funny. The general idea is to find ways to connect with the people and the facility, and to find specific features that either remind you of something or just seem familiar.

“Taking a test is not like doing a job.”

Problem: A job includes lots of activities, people, documents, locations, resources, etc. that are all interrelated, while a test is a bunch of unrelated, “out-of-the-blue” multiple-choice questions.

Suggested Test Strategy: A test can never duplicate the experience of performing a job, but the questions are pulled from the kinds of knowledge and thinking skills that you would use in doing the work. Some folks can use their awareness of this to shift their mental landscape; that is, to think of the test as just another type of job that requires the same know-how as any other job. Each question then becomes something that may call to mind flash memories of other jobs, people, locations, documents, and so on. It’s still just a multiple-choice test question but it begins to feel less alien – and some of those flash memories may help you to recognize the correct answer.

“Time pressure makes it hard to focus and think.”

Problem: The awareness that the time available to complete the exam is limited creates a pressure that can distract from the job of working through the test questions.

Suggested Test Strategy: If you have this reaction to timed tests, then prepare yourself to deal with it. Know that there will be a clock (for work element tests) or a “time-remaining” timer in the upper right-hand corner of the test screen (for CBT tests). Make a decision that you will ignore it throughout the exam, or at least until some point near the end. Often, time worries come from uncertainty about the upcoming questions and your ability to answer them. To deal with this, you might:

·        Have a plan for how to tackle the test (see tips below) – and stick to it.

·        Take a practice test, if one is available.

“Some questions take too long.”

Problem: Some questions take so long to solve that there is not enough time to complete the exam.

Suggested Test Strategy: After carefully reading a test question, do you feel ready to either answer it or immediately start to work through the solution steps? Or, do you think, “I think I maybe can solve it, if I can just remember . . .” or “I’ve seen something like this before . . . somewhere . . . somewhere . . .”, or, “Is there really enough information to answer this? Let me think about this a little . . .”?  If it’s the latter, then flag the question for later review and move on. The key to this strategy is to plan it ahead of time and remind yourself immediately before starting the exam.

Choosing the Right Program

NICET has over 25 specialty certifications. There are two main things to consider when choosing the program to pursue. First, which one best matches your knowledge and experience? Second, which one matches your employer’s criteria, any contract specifications, and any possible jurisdictional requirements as conditions of employment? Go to http://www.nicet.org/become-certified/what-certifications-are-available and find the certification program title that best matches your knowledge and experience. Then, click through to the program pages and review the exam documentation and experience requirements.

Standard Model/CBT

The exam documentation is listed in the Content Outlines and Reference Material sections of the program page. The Content Outline can be used for on the job preparation and to determine areas of study on which to focus? The experience requirements can be found in the exam application.

Currently these programs are available in the Standard Model/CBT: Electrical Power Testing, Fire Alarm Systems, Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems, Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems, Special Hazards Suppression Systems, Water-Based (formerly Automatic Sprinkler System) Layout, Video Security Systems Designer, and Video Security Systems Technician.

Testing Information:

·        Pearson VUE’s website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/athena/athena.asp) has a free download of the exam interface. You can use it to familiarize yourself with the navigation within the exam and practice with the on-screen calculator

·        When selecting answers during your exam, you will be directed to select either the open circle or open squares. Any selections outside the open circle or open squares will not be recognized as answers.

What to Expect for the test day:

·        NICET sends a confirmation notice that contains test day instructions. It is important to read it carefully.

·        Prior to beginning your exam, read each tutorial carefully.

There is a set 10 minutes to review the tutorials. This time is NOT included in the exam time, so not using the full 10 minutes does NOT leave more time for the exam.

Once you begin, questions will appear as either multiple choice (one correct answer) or multiple response (between two and three correct answers). The number of correct answers will be provided in the exam question twice (i.e., “Which two of the following …. (Choose two).” A multiple-response question is only counted as correct if all answers selected are correct. Partial credit is not awarded on NICET exams.

After the exam, you will receive an unofficial score report. A passing score is determined by the number of correct answers compared to the minimum correct answers that are required to pass as set using an established scientific method. The method statistically analyzes input from subject-matter experts (SMEs) to match exam results with the levels of knowledge that are expected of the testing candidates. NICET uses scaled scores for consistency across all of our exams.

Scaled scores are assigned on a sliding scale between 0 and 700, with 500 as the lowest passing score. Scores of below 200 are reported as 200; scores of 500 or above are reported as “pass.”

Scores of 500 or above are indicated with a “pass.” Scores of below 500 include the scaled score for the exam and, for multiple-domain exams, the percent correct for each domain or section. NICET will mail an official score report within two weeks of your exam date.

Work Element Exams

All other exams are administered in the Work Element format. However, within the next two years, they will be converted to the Standard Model/CBT format. The exam documentation and experience requirements are listed in the Program Detail Manuals.

What to expect for the test day:

·        NICET sends a confirmation notice that contains test day instructions. It is important to read it carefully.

·        Test takers should arrive early and follow the proctor’s instructions. The proctor distributes test booklets that contain the selected Work Element, an answer sheet and starts the exam. Each Work Element has a set of questions that is graded independently of the other Work Elements. Questions are multiple choice.

·        At the end of the test session, the proctor will collect the test booklets and answer sheets, and then return them to NICET.

After the exam, NICET will send an official score report within two weeks.

https://www.nicet.org/newsletter/june-2015/tips-for-taking-nicet-exams/

Six Benefits to using a Recruiting Agency

1. TIME SAVED

In business, we all know time is money and using a Recruitment Agency is a HUGE time saver. They will save you time because they take care of the beginning steps of the hiring process. If you post a job opening on traditional job boards, there is a strong chance you will receive hundreds of resumes for any single position. Out of the hundreds of applicants, a significant amount will not be qualified or will simply not be right for the job. Finding the right applicants to interview will take a great amount of time and effort.

2. ACCESS TO THE BEST

A Recruitment Agency will also have access to the best talent available. This includes access to talent that is currently employed elsewhere. This allows the individuals an opportunities to work discreetly with a recruitment agency when they are looking for a new challenge and opportunity. Often, Recruitment Agencies have their own database of qualified applicants that they can pull directly from.

3. COST

It is often assumed that bringing recruitment in-house will result in a saving of cost to the business. Cost needs to proportioned to advertising your vacancy, which can prove expensive if posting single jobs. Recruitment Agencies will often have allocations on the all the top job boards, so you can ensure that your job is advertised in all the correct places. Administrative costs also need to be taken in consideration of facilitating the process, sifting through the Resumes, initial conversations, the list goes on – these all take time, and as we all know time is money. A Recruitment Agency is also there to help negotiate the best salary, giving you guidance and advice on what is fair and appropriate, but also what you might need to do to guarantee that top candidate that everyone else is after too!

4. THE SCREENING PROCESS

The screening process when hiring has several layers. You need to run background checks on potential employees, follow up with references and conduct preliminary interviews to make sure the candidate matches the promises they make on their resumes. Again, these are vital steps that just take up time when you are conducting them on your own. A Recruitment Agency will see to it that these steps are taken care of before you meet anyone for your own interviews. You will feel assured that anyone you meet has already passed these tests.

5. PEACE OF MIND

A good Recruitment Agency is going to have a proven track record of finding the right employees for the job. When you meet with their narrowed down choices, you can feel more confident with your final hiring decision. Working with a Recruitment Agency will help you make a more assured decision.

6. RELATIONSHIP

Once you have developed a relationship with a Recruitment Agency that you trust, your future hirings will go even more smoothly. The Agency will be aware of the qualities that it takes to make the right fit within your company and what you expect from them. The next time you have an available position, you can fill it quickly and satisfactorily.

BlueSkiescareers.com

45 Ways To Stand Out During The Interview Process

 

BEFORE YOU APPLY

  1. Set up an online portfolio, if applicable.
  2. Pursue industry-related certifications.
  3. Check that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date.

IN YOUR APPLICATION

  1. Tailor your application to the job.
  2. Address the hiring manager in your cover letter.
  3. Include portfolio and social links in your resume.
  4. Keep your resume neat and clean.
  5. Send your resume as a PDF.
  6. Mention you have references available upon request.

BEFORE A PHONE INTERVIEW

  1. Choose a quiet location to take the call.
  2. Print out any reference material and lay them out in front of you.

DURING A PHONE INTERVIEW

  1. Answer with, “Hello, this is [Name].”
  2. Have a professional voicemail message, just in case.
  3. Use a friendly and upbeat tone of voice.
  4. Allow a pause before taking your turn to speak.
  5. Thank your interviewer for their time.
  6. Say goodbye in a professional way.

AFTER A PHONE INTERVIEW

  1. Send a follow-up thank you email.
  2. Emphasize your interest in the job.
  3. Keep it brief.
  4. Have a professional email signature.

BEFORE AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW

  1. Prepare copies of your resume and cover letter – print them on high quality paper.
  2. Dress according to office culture.
  3. Keep hair and makeup simple.

DURING AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW

  1. Arrive at least 10 minutes early.
  2. Be kind to everyone you encounter.
  3. Turn off or silence your devices.
  4. Stand up when your interview walks in – shake hands with everyone.
  5. Use your research to break the ice.
  6. Keep a friendly but professional distance.
  7. Practice social etiquette.
  8. Keep business cards handy.
  9. Ask thought-provoking questions (Prepare these ahead of time).
  10. Maintain eye contact.
  11. Keep a strong and confident posture.
  12. Don’t forget to smile.
  13. Don’t be afraid to brag.
  14. Tie your experience and skills to the job specs.
  15. Make your narrative clear.
  16. Ask for feedback.
  17. Listen carefully.
  18. Thank your interviewer for their time.

AFTER AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW

  1. Send a  thank-you note (Handwritten, email, etc) – personalize it to each conversation.
  2. Reiterate your fit during follow-up.
  3. Be patient.

Change your clocks, Change your batteries

Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead. NFPA provides the following guidelines around smoke alarms:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
  • Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

**A new alternative is the 10-year smoke detector with sealed lithium power cell, so you don’t have to replace the battery.

https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/News-and-media/Press-Room/News-releases/2014/NFPA-encourages-testing-smoke-alarms-as-Daylight-Saving-Time-begins

5 Traits Every Job Seeker Should Have

Behavioral science suggests that most successful people are aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. There are 5 strengths that best represent character attributes.

1. Decisive

In order to move decisions forward you often need to make decisions that are swift and decisive, that need an immediate action that otherwise, would have a potential consequence of lost revenue. Additionally, react to emergency situations that require a person who is resolute; without fear to make a quick and decisive action.

2. Confident

Along with being decisive, confidence is a strong strength that is a necessity as a sales manager. Being the leader in the sales department; both your sales representatives and other employees of the company are very dependent on the success of the sales team so being a confident leader establishes your ability to lead your sales team and prove to the other employees that you someone who can be counted on.

3. Leadership

If you feel you’re a leader, all one needs to do is look behind them; if no one is there you simply taking a long walk in the park. Of all my strength being an effective leader is at the forefront of my strengths like football or baseball who both have their leaders. Typically, the quarterback or in baseball, the catcher. In sales it’s the Sales manager, who is the Quarterback or if you will, shortstop. Regardless, has the expectation to lead his team to success.

4. Communicator

An effective communicator can save a lot of hardship and frustration. In order to be decisive leader who has an abundance of confidence they must be an effect communicator that has an audience who is listens to the message being sent. Sales Managers often lead sales meetings with the intent of a set of directives along with time tables to complete those directives.

5. Persistence

In order to be an effective Sales Manager there will be many obstacles that are thrown your way that must be overcome in order to get the intended result. To be told, your persistent is one of the highest compliments you can receive as either a sales representation or in my case a Sales manager. To win awards or be considered a revue producer you will be told NO much more often than you will hear the word “yes”. Most folks when asked if failure is an option they will respond with; no, absolutely not. However, when presented with the option rather than take the road less traveled they too, will be on a one way street on the road most traveled. Sales people that are effective at their jobs are very much in demand for obvious reasons of monetary gain for companies.

Outlook on Careers for Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers

The overall job outlook for Fire-Prevention or Protection Engineer careers has been negatively affected since early 2004. Recent patterns show that vacancies for this career have substantially decreased by 10.22 percent nationwide since 2004, with an average decline of 1.79 percent per year.

We current are finding that the demand for Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers are exponentially increasing, with an expected growth of over 4,910 new jobs directly filled in the Fire Protection industry by early 2018. This represents an annual increase of 2.82 percent over the next few years.

For further questions and potential job openings, please contact Lakeside Recruiting Fire Protection.

The Importance of a Fire Prevention Plan at Your Facility

Fires will affect thousands of companies every year, which results in injury, lost client trust and the obvious, building damage. By establishing a detailed fire prevention and preparedness program, you’ll help avoid injuries to your employees and visitors, costly damages to the building, as well as potential fines to the business.

Below are some best practices:

  1. Implement a Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan – Response becomes easier when everyone knows their respective roles and/or responsibilities. By establishing a comprehensive and detailed fire emergency evacuation plan, giving distinct instructions on “How” to respond, when to respond, and which will identify a path of egress. Also remember, if certain employees have special needs or require special attention, address these details within the plan that’s devised!
  2. Establish a Fire Prevention Plan – These are a set of fire prevention plans that are provided the facility with comprehensive documentation outlining the procedural plan for the employees deemed responsible for identifying combustible materials, fire hazards and heat-producing equipment. Within these same plans you’ll find outlines of the procedures necessary to prevent potential emergencies.
  3. Train Team Members – On an Semi-Annual basis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NFPA requires that there be a fire extinguisher training session for ALL employees. Each of these employees should receive this required training and be also be briefed on new enhancements or regularization or procedural changes ongoing.

Above are 3 Major components of how important it is to have a Fire Protection Plan in place at your business. Failure to have the plan in place will defiantly have cause for loss of life or damages to structures that a Fire Protection Plan is to Protect!

How Is Your Company’s Fire Prevention?

Four Questions for Business Owners!

National Fire Prevention Week has been a yearly campaign since 1922, occurring on the Sunday through Saturday period that includes the date October 9. It was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire on October 8-9, 1871. This infamous tragedy claimed 250 lives, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and left 100,000 people homeless. Fire prevention week is a day to remember this event and what kind of effect a fire could potentially have on our lives.

No matter what kind of business you own or manage, October is also the perfect time to remember how devastating fire can be, and how important it is to be ready for an emergency. A fire can cause serious damage to your company’s facility and equipment, not to mention employees! This is as good a month as any to make sure you have these five ‘checks’ taken care of within the boundaries of your office and/or facilities.

  1. Are your fire hazard risks assessed properly? Some businesses have greater fire risks than others, but there are very few businesses that have none. They all need to be properly assessed so the proper prevention can be implemented accordingly. Some local governments offer fire marshal visits, or workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building’s property manager.  A commercial fire safety firm can also help you mitigate problems.
  2. Do you have emergency plans in place? Do you have an evacuation plan and do your employees know what to do in case of a fire? Do they fire training, so that they know how to use fire extinguishers, and when to use them?
  3. Do you have the right fire protection equipment installed? Your fire safety equipment needs likely include sprinkler systems, but you might need more to be up to code or compliant with regulations. Industries dealing with machinery that overheats or flammable substances might need a suppression system tailored to your business.
  4. Do you have scheduled routine equipment inspections?  Even if you have the right sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and suppression systems, they also need routine inspections (at least annually) to keep everything in working order. Know what tests you can do yourself, and which require professional visits from fire alarm technicians.

Even though Fire Prevention Week is over, it’s not too late to think about your fire prevention and safety.

Workplace Fire Safety

As we know all too well, fires can happen anywhere at any time. For this reason, it’s crucial to be prepared no matter where you are. For many adults, most of the day is spent at work. Office environments are especially at risk for fires, given the amount of flammable materials and electronics that can typically be found there.

If a fire broke out in your office, would you know what to do? Here’s a list of workplace fire safety tips.

  • Make sure your emergency action plan is regularly updated and that all employees know what to do in case of an emergency. This includes having a predetermined escape route and meeting place outside the building. Make sure exits are clearly marked and doors are unobstructed always.
  • Keep office equipment (like printers and fax machines) regularly serviced and repaired. This will prevent overheating/malfunctions that can lead to a potential fire.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or use wires that appear to be damaged or frayed.
  • Keep all equipment that isn’t being used unplugged. Designate one person in the office to unplug all appliances at the end of each work day.
  • If your office has a kitchen, make sure employees are trained in kitchen fire safety and that cooking supplies are never left unattended.
  • For small fires, appropriate fire extinguishers should be available, and employees need to be trained on how to use them properly. Fire extinguishers should only be used for smaller, contained fires that don’t pose an immediate threat.
  • As always, make sure your office is equipped with life-saving fire sprinklers–that can put out a fire in a matter of minutes and prevent injuries.