Most advice regarding certifications encourages people into going back to school to gain valuable education in an employable field. But what about those people who already have years of experience in a field but have never received a formal education in it?

Certification testing offers the chance to prove your expertise in a subject even if you are lacking a traditional 4-year degree.

Who Should Consider Certification?

Certification is especially useful for people who have worked in an industry for a year or more. For instance, people who work in commercial kitchens as sous chefs, chefs de cuisine or any other position and people who work as personal chefs can take certification tests to show proof that they are competent in those areas.

Other people who have years of on the job experience, informal educations and a combination of both have the option to receive certification as well. Fields include: Addiction Treatment Counseling Addiction Specialist, including alcohol and other drugs Esthetics Exercise Instructors Lead-Based Paint Inspector, Risk Assessor or Supervisor Loss Prevention Nutrition, specifically oncology and gerontology Personal Training Radio Operation, specifically following FCC guidelines and laws

Though that is already an extensive list, there are many more certifications a person can obtain via professional testing programs. It is not necessary for a person to have formally worked in any of these areas. A thorough self-education is enough.

Why is Certification Necessary?

Some have left jobs because of company cutbacks that they had held for years, and others are looking to change careers completely. Frustration sets in when prospective employers overlook resumes despite stellar work history or self-education in a field. Employers look for degrees and certifications as proof that people have done what their resumes say they have. The reason is that not every previous employer is willing to verify resume qualifications. Certifications are easy to check though.

Where to Get Tested

Certification testing was difficult to come by for a long time. Companies use testing companies to test potential employees and certify them on company policy. This has gone on for years. However, testing companies like now provide certification processes for those fields listed above and more.

Tests are taken across the United States at selected testing centers under ideal conditions. Costs vary for each test, but getting certified can mean the difference between gaining employment quickly and remaining unemployed for too long. Make sure to undergo certification with a reputable testing firm, and it will be extremely useful in gaining favorable notice in the job market.