The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) is one of the foremost certification leaders in the construction industry. Our CPC certification (Certified Professional Constructor) verifies that a construction professional has achieved a certain level of expertise and knowledge in managing complex construction works.
We are proud that our certification is recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board. This designation provides assurance to Certified Professional Constructors that they are in a great position for advancement throughout their career.
For many construction professionals, though, there are questions about whether it is worth pursuing certification. How much of a difference does certification actually make?
We understand that professionals must invest considerable time and resources to prepare for and sit for the CPC certification exam. However, we believe that the benefits of striving for this designation and validating your expertise in construction management are exponential. Let’s examine recent survey findings to find the answer.
The Benefits of Pursuing CPC Certification
Workcred, an affiliate of ANSI, recently hosted a valuable presentation titled, “Does Credential Outcomes Data Actually Reflect Reality?” The presentation included key takeaways about the value of certification to professionals across various industries.
Consider what the following data says about the benefits of becoming certified in your chosen field of construction management.
1. Increased Job Opportunities
The presentation cited information from The Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES) about the role of certification in helping U.S. professionals improve their job marketability.
Based on a survey with 196 million responses, ATES reported the following statistics about the importance of having a professional certification:
- 86% indicated the certification was helpful in helping them get a job.
- 83% indicated the certification helped them keep a job.
- 86% indicated the certification helped them improve their work skills.
- 90% indicated the certification helped them be marketable.
While the construction management profession was not explicitly cited in the survey results, the findings capture the importance of certification independent of a given industry.
2. More Earnings Potential
The presentation also cited the financial benefits of certification from the findings of The Current Population Survey (CPS), which is sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
According to the responses of 152+ million people aged 16 years and older, a person’s full-time average median weekly earnings are significantly affected by having a professional certification:
- Those having a professional license: $1,223
- Those having a professional certificate: $1,288
- Those having neither a license nor certificate: $931
Therefore, a professional certification results in a 38% medium increase in weekly earnings.
When including years of education, a professional’s median weekly earnings potential increases even more.
- Associates degree and professional certification: $1,012 weekly earnings vs. $928 without the certification (9% increase in weekly earnings).
- Bachelor’s degree and professional certification: $1,564 vs. $1,331 without certification (18% increase in weekly earnings).
- Advanced degree and a professional certification: $1,872 vs. $1,702 without the certification (10% increase in weekly earnings).
Data for just the construction management profession was not included in the survey results, but the survey covered a wide swath of the U.S. workforce to offer a fair representation of the earnings potential of a certified construction professional.
3. Greater Opportunities for Employment
The presentation cited information from the Strada Center for Education Consumer Insights about the value of certification to help professionals stand out from other job applicants when competing for similar jobs.
Strada noted in their 2020 survey results that having a higher education degree and professional certification is more beneficial in helping a person obtain employment in comparison to just having a higher education degree alone.
The 2020 results build on a 2019 report from Strada and the Lumina Foundation about the value of earning certification to increase employment opportunities if a professional does not intend to pursue a post-secondary degree.
The Strada-Lumina survey found that certificate holders without a post-secondary degree enjoy the following income benefits:
- Higher full-time employment rates than their peers who lack a credential (85% vs. 78%).
- A median annual income that is 50% greater than individuals without a credential.
In summary, certification offers similar benefits as going back to school to pursue a second degree without requiring a hefty time and cost commitment.
4. Better Career Pathways
The presentation also referenced research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about the role of certification in a person’s career pathway. The survey focused on experienced professionals across a variety of industries to track their career progress. The following were the key findings:
- Certifications are valued similarly to other educational credentials.
- Individuals can follow many different educationally-related pathways to achieve their professional goals.
- Individuals decide to obtain education and professional qualifications based on perceived value, tradeoffs, and required investment.
The survey findings reinforce the value of certification as a “milestone” in a person’s career pathway – similar to obtaining a second degree.
For seasoned professionals, pursuing certification is not seen as less than returning to school; it is perceived as equal. Achieving certification is linked to better jobs, greater respect in the industry, and the ability to stand out from peers with similar years of experience.
Ready to Apply for Our CPC Exam?
Whether you are motivated by greater employment opportunities, higher earnings potential, reaching certain milestones during your career, or a combination of factors, the key is to become certified.
We offer our CPC certification exam twice each year during the spring and fall seasons. Professionals who pass the exam have the ability to add three important letters, “CPC,” to the end of their name to indicate they have achieved this professional distinction.
If you believe you qualify to sit for our Level II CPC exam, we ask that you learn more about the specifics of the CPC exam. At minimum, we require that candidates check these boxes:
- Passed our Level I Certified Associate Constructor (CAC) exam.
- Be in good standing as a Certified Associate Constructor.
- Have 4 years of additional acceptable Qualifying Education, Qualifying Experience, or a combination of education/experience.
- To satisfy the “Qualifying Experience” criteria, you must have at least 2 years of experience managing a project or a substantial portion of a construction project.
We do offer an exemption to the first line item of passing the Level I exam. To be eligible for the exemption, an applicant must have 8 years of Qualifying Education, Experience, or a combination. At least 2 years of Qualifying Experience must include managing a project or a substantial portion of a project. [Refer to the CPC Handbook for additional details.]
The benefits of pursuing certification are clear. Now is the time to validate your expertise in construction management by taking our CPC certification exam. We look forward to supporting you on your career path in the construction industry.