NARTE Certification: Is This the Right Plan for You?
Brian and Kathy Lawrence meet with Professor Wen Xun Zhang (far right), IEEE EMC Nanjing Chapter Chair, during his recent visit to Cambridge University.

There is no doubt that certification of your proficiency in specific technologies can be of significant value in boosting your career and exposing you to more opportunities.
However, it is very important when considering this step that you understand the commitment you will need to make and that you investigate the relative values of the different certification options that exist today.
Certain industries present a confusing range of certification options. The IT sector is one example where hundreds of certification programs exist for software, hardware, for general computing knowledge and for very specific systems competency.
Here also the major industry suppliers offer many network and system specific certification programs. As a result, certification in this sector may in fact limit your future options. The advice in these circumstances is to know where you want to go and be prepared to regularly update your certification credentials.
Fortunately, the EMC community is not such a confusing arena. Far fewer certification options exist and, generally speaking, the technology is less dynamic. Certainly new products are coming on line, platforms are changing and becoming more complex, and the standards are adapting to recognise these changes. However, the basic EMC science, design and measurement principles remain valid.
Given these circumstances, is certification important for you as an EMC technologist?
Yes it is, but not as a stand-alone qualification. It is essential that before considering certification, you have a solid education background applicable to the discipline, together with appropriate work experience. At that point, certification can be the extra credential that will separate you from the competition as your career develops.
Consider a situation where you are happy with your employment, have no intention to enter the job market, yet you need to be recognised at review time and see that there are advancement opportunities for you. Certification could be the answer, whether you pursue it independently or suggest that your company sponsor you, it will set you aside as a dedicated individual with an eye to the future.
On the other hand, if you are one who is prepared to jump from ship to ship in order to advance your career, certification can be the one thing that sets you aside from other job applicants. In fact, it may be the one factor that offsets any doubts in the mind of your next employer if there is a pattern of job changing in your past.
There are other career options in the EMC field where certification can be of value for the individual, such as consultancy, authorship, lecturing, etc. However, in all instances the value of certification is only there when your employer, the end customers and the community at large appreciate it. So choosing the right certification and the right time to acquire it is most important.
For a company seeking to staff an EMC department, there could be very many applications to sift through. Perhaps the Human Resources office could even conduct the first review. In such a circumstance, having the right independent certification of your professional excellence could make the difference between early rejection and getting a personal interview.
There is no doubt companies seek to employ certified engineers and technicians in order to be assured of having the most qualified, dedicated and motivated staff. If the business involves marketing services in competition with others, certification of the staff needs to be prominently featured in company literature, proposals and quotations. This is particularly important in our global economy where products can be manufactured on one continent, tested and validated on another, and appear in markets all over the world.
For manufacturers and government agencies that purchase these services, seeking providers with a certified staff can assure performance of a high value, executed accurately and competently. As a result, products with improved reliability can be on the shelves faster.
For the community at large, the more certified professionals there are involved in the supply chain, the better and more reliable the products are that come to market and go into service.
In the EMC industry, certification programs offered by NARTE have significant advantages:
• NARTE certification is applicable to the whole industry and requires competency in as many as 26 EMC disciplines.
• NARTE certification involves the validation of an individual’s education and work experience in addition to testing their knowledge and problem solving abilities.
• NARTE certification requires the individual to have demonstrated motivation and a dedicated work ethic.
• NARTE is the only EMC certification that is internationally recognised.
• NARTE certification is available for both Engineers and Technicians.
• NARTE is a contractual partner with the IEEE EMC Society to co-promote technical awareness, education and achievement in EMC.
In addition to its other activities, NARTE regularly holds a Certification Preparation Workshop and a Certification Examination in conjunction with the EMC Society International Symposium. During the week beginning Sunday July 8th, EMC 2007 will be held in Hawaii in celebration of the Society’s 50th anniversary.
NARTE will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007 and we have arranged that our Preparation Session will be presented on July 8th as a part of the “Fundamentals of EMC” tutorial. This arrangement will allow a larger audience and students of the Global EMC University to benefit from the NARTE presentation without conflicting schedules.
The NARTE Certification Examinations will be held on Saturday, July 14th at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel. Advance registration for the examination is recommended, but on site applications will be available.
Your registration fees for the EMC 2007 Symposium will include access to the examination room. Candidates will only need to pay the regular NARTE certification application fees with no added proctoring costs.
Visit for more information about EMC certification programs, study guides and other NARTE products and services. EMC

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