Value of Certifications

#1
Hey guys,

So I've been in the tree/landscape industry since I was about 16 with positions ranging from ground guy to lead foreman.

Recently I began acquiring certifications to supplement my field knowledge in an attempt to break through into a management position.

My list has grown substantially this year but I was wondering, as business owners, what actual value you hold towards a prospective employee who holds certs like the MCA, MCLP, etc?

Thanks!
 
#2
Hey guys,

So I've been in the tree/landscape industry since I was about 16 with positions ranging from ground guy to lead foreman.

Recently I began acquiring certifications to supplement my field knowledge in an attempt to break through into a management position.

My list has grown substantially this year but I was wondering, as business owners, what actual value you hold towards a prospective employee who holds certs like the MCA, MCLP, etc?

Thanks!
I think it’s great.
Shows you’re more serious about your career.
If I had the time to get more credentials, I would.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cerviarborist

Well-Known Member
#4
If you want to step out of the field and into the office to manage people, you might want to eschew further field credentials in favor of taking business management courses on a college level.
 

Fairfield

Well-Known Member
#5
This is always an interesting topic to me and admittedly one that will piss me off from time to time...... pride may be a big part of that..... I always get asked to take the Cert Arb test because it is such a big step and "will open doors" and the best one, "will earn you more money an hour". Now here is the kicker to me.... It will only earn me 50 cents more an hour. Yet I get a CDL I get a dollar more an hour. A CDL says nothing about my education level in Arb work, nor towards my ability to successfully do the job. S why such the big push by my employer to have a piece of paper that will sit in a desk and need me to pay for to keep? Out of curiosity, how much are membership dues for the ISA a year? How much for their classes? Does 50 cents an hour cover that and if it does what will I be left with in the end? Mind you, I already study and do my best to keep up with my education without having a drive to hold a cert.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#6
Do you
This is always an interesting topic to me and admittedly one that will piss me off from time to time...... pride may be a big part of that..... I always get asked to take the Cert Arb test because it is such a big step and "will open doors" and the best one, "will earn you more money an hour". Now here is the kicker to me.... It will only earn me 50 cents more an hour. Yet I get a CDL I get a dollar more an hour. A CDL says nothing about my education level in Arb work, nor towards my ability to successfully do the job. S why such the big push by my employer to have a piece of paper that will sit in a desk and need me to pay for to keep? Out of curiosity, how much are membership dues for the ISA a year? How much for their classes? Does 50 cents an hour cover that and if it does what will I be left with in the end? Mind you, I already study and do my best to keep up with my education without having a drive to hold a cert.
do you even climb bro?
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#9
This is always an interesting topic to me and admittedly one that will piss me off from time to time...... pride may be a big part of that..... I always get asked to take the Cert Arb test because it is such a big step and "will open doors" and the best one, "will earn you more money an hour". Now here is the kicker to me.... It will only earn me 50 cents more an hour. Yet I get a CDL I get a dollar more an hour. A CDL says nothing about my education level in Arb work, nor towards my ability to successfully do the job. S why such the big push by my employer to have a piece of paper that will sit in a desk and need me to pay for to keep? Out of curiosity, how much are membership dues for the ISA a year? How much for their classes? Does 50 cents an hour cover that and if it does what will I be left with in the end? Mind you, I already study and do my best to keep up with my education without having a drive to hold a cert.
Its been a little while since I paid. It's about $300 every 3 years. Classes and conferences are spendy. 0.5 CEU's per half hour study, and the other tests price out to about $10 per CEU. However there are many free options, and you can get CEU's for shit you do anyway. I've had to pay for a few, but I'd guess less than 10% needed. There are a few classes that I went to, but would have gone regardless CEU's.

The Cert is simply a gateway (never stop learning), and a marketing ploy. I found it very easy and entry level, but it does give you credibility. Around here the Arborist has final say when it comes to working in critical areas, acquiring permits, etc.... For me, if you have the experience needed to take the test your job hinges on it and you get $5 an hour more once you pass. I was a certified groundie for years!
 

JD3000

Well-Known Member
#10
You can get all the CEUs you need for CA from Arborist News, Journal of Arbo. and Urban Forestry, and perhaps from your local chapter. All available on line.
 

cerviarborist

Well-Known Member
#11
Penn State University and UMass both have extension programs with free 1 hour lunch time webinars. Both have archived content. Your extensions will typically hold a tree based program with ceu's annually as well. It's gotten pretty easy to maintain ceu's without breaking the bank. A credential is a tool you purchase and figure out how to monetize, just like a chainsaw. You can be passive and settle for whatever comes your way, or you can figure out how to use that tool to better leverage your position in your market. My credentials and qualifications pay for themselves again and again. They're profit centers for me.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#12
I thought I actually learned some stuff from mine. It’s cool when someone asks you where your getting your info and you can back it up. The worst problem with this industry is misinformation
 

Fairfield

Well-Known Member
#14
I have always been on board for the education ( that you can have or get regardless of having a cert in hand). As from the employee side of things, listening to an employer tell you that they want you to have the cert and how important it is to the company.... yet, unfortunately their words of the importance and the pay increase value are so far apart its laughable. Here is the catch though, as soon as you have it the company will be quick to point out that they have an arborist on staff or mention they added to the ranks of them. It's just business and I understand this, although the last time I checked I work for my family and I am employed by the company. So in essence I am in the business of my family first and foremost. You want me to hand you a copy of my cert I personally believe you better be offering more then 50 cents. I am perfectly happy having my cert and using it for side stream flow of money rather then earned income ( that ends up being over taxed anyway killing off any 50 cent raise ). Keep in mind, price of living continues to go up while most tree companies in my area insist on having a battle of low balling each other while throwing most standards of work out the window in the name of money for them. I can keep rambling on and going down the rabbit hole I just walked myself in, but I will stop knowing that my views are falling far to one side and most likely will be argued against or misunderstood.
 

Levi.CO

Well-Known Member
#16
I have always been on board for the education ( that you can have or get regardless of having a cert in hand). As from the employee side of things, listening to an employer tell you that they want you to have the cert and how important it is to the company.... yet, unfortunately their words of the importance and the pay increase value are so far apart its laughable. Here is the catch though, as soon as you have it the company will be quick to point out that they have an arborist on staff or mention they added to the ranks of them. It's just business and I understand this, although the last time I checked I work for my family and I am employed by the company. So in essence I am in the business of my family first and foremost. You want me to hand you a copy of my cert I personally believe you better be offering more then 50 cents. I am perfectly happy having my cert and using it for side stream flow of money rather then earned income ( that ends up being over taxed anyway killing off any 50 cent raise ). Keep in mind, price of living continues to go up while most tree companies in my area insist on having a battle of low balling each other while throwing most standards of work out the window in the name of money for them. I can keep rambling on and going down the rabbit hole I just walked myself in, but I will stop knowing that my views are falling far to one side and most likely will be argued against or misunderstood.
Sounds like an untenable situation. I thought you had your own gig going?
 

JD3000

Well-Known Member
#17
I hear your points and find them quite valid. However, many of us look forward to a possible day when only certified folks can perform certain work, similiar to plumbers or electricians. Then the bar will truly be raised.
 

Fairfield

Well-Known Member
#18
I hear your points and find them quite valid. However, many of us look forward to a possible day when only certified folks can perform certain work, similiar to plumbers or electricians. Then the bar will truly be raised.
I hear ya, I use to look forward to that day as well. Unfortunately that’s more of a smoke dream then a realistic thought. What is the ISA doing right now at a political level to make a certification mandatory to do business? Let’s face it we can “educate” the customer all we like, 98% of them are looking for best price with no real thought as to how qualified or skilled the crew may be. Simply put, we can’t quantify the value of our personal time other then to put a dollar value to it. So if you want a cert from a worker to add to a file that won’t be looked at ever, then there should be an understanding that the workers time put into getting it has a value. I bring money into it because if we all just cared about the intelligence only part it would not matter about a cert in our field. The day customers, and government at hole start demanding a cert that will change my mind... till then
 

JD3000

Well-Known Member
#19
Points taken but a few states have taken this step and I've been told their exams are more difficult too. Step in the better direction?

Pesticide license exams here in Ohio are way too easy and many an applicator doesnt have one. They work under their boss's license as a trained applicator. Much to be improved upon for sure.
 
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