Why Certification Programs are Important to Industry Pros

Posted on October 25, 2018

To date, more than half-a-million concrete pros have successfully completed certification programs administered by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and its local Sponsoring Groups. The value of ACI certifications increases as more and more decision makers require them.

In Pennsylvania, virtually any commercial or PennDOT project will require appropriate certifications from the American Concrete Institute. ACI establishes industry standards recognized worldwide, and its certifications are a gold standard in the industry.

Aci training

ACI Certification Programs

Through its local Sponsoring Groups, ACI offers more than 20 certification programs in the inspection, testing, construction and specialist areas.

ACI inspection programs cover concrete construction inspection and concrete quality management as well as specialties in concrete flatwork and finishing, Other certification programs cover adhesive anchor installation, concrete foundations, shotcrete construction and tilt-up construction. In the testing category, you'll find programs for testing regarding cement, aggregates, laboratory concrete, field concrete and masonry.

As an example, ACI's Craftsman Certification Committee (C640) has established three levels of certification to satisfy various finishing requirements:

  • Flatwork Tradesman (regarding hand skills: no written test)
  • Flatwork Technician (written test: no work experience)
  • Flatwork Finisher (work experience and written test)
  • Commercial/Industrial Flatwork Finisher (requires Flatwork Finisher certification and experience in high-tolerance floors and operation of relevant finishing equipment)

Finally, online training opportunities are expanding, and they are now available for a number of the certification tests, including Grade 1 concrete field testing, concrete strength testing and adhesive anchor installer.

You can get answers to frequently asked questions about ACI certification here.

Certification Benefits

Those who take the time to get certified make a strong statement about their commitment to quality. Everyone from prospective employers to project decision makers value the professionalism and expertise that certification signifies.

Industry pros, including contractors, producers and technicians, benefit from certification programs for important reasons.

  • Build credibility
  • Gain a competitive advantage
  • Ensure competence
  • Objectively measure skills/knowledge
  • Increase efficiency

Hear from the Pros

Individuals committed to advancing their careers in the concrete industry will find that ACI certification helps them stand out when multiple applicants are competing for the job.

Testimonials on the ACI website further attest to the benefits of certification. Zachary S. states, "Having ACI field testing technician and PCI level 2 certifications qualified me for my current position," while Allen M. asserts that, "Everyone knows I am ACI certified and never questions my results."

Finally, Jessica H. suggests that "ACI is one of the only organizations I know of that can certify personnel in specific test methods. This is very valuable in maintaining nationally-recognized accreditations that are required to work on various projects, especially public works projects."

Having the opportunity to include an ACI certification on your resume instills pride and increases confidence.

ACI Certifications Through PACA

PACA is an ACI Sponsoring Group authorized per terms approved by the ACI Board of Directors in 1991 and revised in 2011. PACA currently offers these classes:

  • Grade 1 Field Testing Technician
  • Flatwork Finisher
  • Concrete Strength Testing Technician

Every certification program imparts valuable knowledge. For example, the Flatwork Finisher certification program helps industry pros to better understand how:

  • Overworking concrete reduces durability
  • Joint locations are critical
  • The timing of joint placement is important
  • Curing is so important
  • Proper concrete testing is essential

About PACA

The Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA) offers certification opportunities that advance careers and help contractors qualify for major projects. To learn more, please contact us.