Certification cards, licenses, and completion documents. You've heard that bank advertisement that asks what you carry in your wallet. It's an important consideration for working RVers. However, we’re not talking about credit cards.
We’re talking about those little certification cards and other licenses. They can be invaluable to your employer, and therefore to you. They mean a better chance of getting a job, or getting better pay at your job.
A propane dispensing certification can be a valuable asset for many campground jobs. At an RV park in southern Texas, we encountered a sign stating propane would only be available five days a week. In a discussion with the owner, we learned it cost about $150.00 to send an employee to get certified to fill propane. He tried to keep some available every day to dispense propane. But, with employee turnover every three to four months, he couldn’t afford to pay for certification for all his employees. Now, he and his son are the only ones at the RV park that work with propane. If you had your propane dispensing certification, it would be a feather in your cap when applying at that park, as well as at many other parks.
Some jobs require first aid and CPR certification. Many others don’t require it, but employers are aware that any employee with first aid training is an asset to their staff.
Temporary workers in care giving and any of the healthcare fields are always in demand. It may be to fill in for vacationing employees, or temporary work until they find a full-time employee. Any professional certifications in these fields will be helpful in finding work.
A phlebotomy license or certificate would help with acquiring a job in a clinic, hospital or blood bank, taking blood donations, or samples for medical tests.
There are a lot of short term jobs for flaggers. It may be for a week, during a road bore operation, or three to four hours to move a building. It could be for a whole construction season. Wherever there is road construction, they need flaggers. A flagger’s certificate is a valuable asset in your wallet.
Your driver's license is an asset. If you don’t believe that, just try to get a job without one. It's possible, of course, but without one your options are limited.
A motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license can help with a job at a motorcycle rally or motorcycle dealership. When a prospective customer test drives a motorcycle, they often require an employee to ride along. If you get a job doing motorcycle repair, it is helpful to be able to test drive you work.
If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), that's even better. You don’t have to drive a semi. There are many seasonal jobs in construction and agriculture for heavy-truck drivers. A bus license is highly sought after for seasonal tour drivers, shuttle service drivers, and airport and cruise ship pick-ups services.
Farms, orchards, vegetable growers, RV parks, or other employers with large acreages may need more than average garden-store insecticides and pesticides. An EPA applicators license to work with or apply regulated chemicals is an asset when applying for work with these employers.
Have you taken classes on specific computer programs? Perhaps you have training on a particular campground reservation software. Note it on your resume. A potential employer may have the same programs. He may not, but even then, he will see you have computer skills beyond the average applicant.
Have you taken any adult education courses? Perhaps basic carpentry, small engine repair, jewelry making, fly fishing, Italian cooking, landscaping, cake decorating, quilting, pottery making, genealogy, oil painting or cross country skiing? Although they may not seem to apply to the job you are applying for, they show your interests. They may be the same interests as your future employer, or things they always wanted to pursue if they had time. Many of these types of classes do not give you a license or official certification. But, most often, you do receive a completion document to show that you have taken the course.
Not everyone has a nursing license, a crane operator’s certificate, or is certified in Freon recovery. But, you may have a food handlers permit, a gaming work permit, or a massage therapist accreditation. Almost everyone has some specific knowledge that some authority or commission recognizes. The official recognition of that knowledge is valuable.
Note these licenses and certifications on your job applications. Make them known to your prospective employers. Put those cards you carry in your back pocket (or briefcase or purse -- or that you keep stashed in a drawer somewhere) to use.
Coleen's comments: My husband, Bob Nilles, wrote this article about the value of professional credentials and course completion documents. He speaks from experience. He has taken a number of courses and received various certifications that he has put to use.