NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System

Enhancing Your Skills Today So That You Can Successfully Compete Tomorrow

On June 8, 2011, President Obama announced key steps by private sector partners toward building the educated and skilled workforce (U.S.) manufacturers need to successfully compete in the 21st century economy. This includes a five-year goal by the Manufacturing Institute and its partners to award 500,000 industry-based credentials to individuals — positioning them for employment and advancement in manufacturing jobs.

The Manufacturing Institute's Manufacturing Skills Certification System, which is a system of stackable credentials applicable to all sectors in the manufacturing industry, was developed to directly address the deficits in manufacturing education and training. The Manufacturing Skills Certification System is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

Need for Certification

An aging global workforce coupled with a shrinking pipeline increases the need for certification:

  • The "baby boomer" generation will be retiring by 2011 as the number of workers ages 65-74 will increase by 83 percent.
  • According to data from the Manufacturing Institute, 82 percent of manufacturers reported a moderate-to-serious skills gap in skilled production.
  • According to data from the Manufacturing Institute, 74 percent of manufacturers reported that this skills gap has negatively impacted their company's ability to expand operations.
  • Jobs in advanced manufacturing increasingly require some form of post-secondary education, but only 18 percent of ninth graders go on to graduate from high school and receive an associate's degree in three years or a bachelor's degree in six years.
  • Technological advances in modern manufacturing require more advanced skill sets.
  • Today's innovation-based manufacturing requires a technical workforce with better applied science and math skills, team building, and problem solving, as well as a holistic knowledge of manufacturing principles that enables them to advance with the evolution of new business processes.

ASQ's Involvement in the Skills Certification System

ASQ joins 13 other leading organizations representing multiple industry sectors offering skills certification programs. ASQ is the only organization in the partnership that deals specifically in the quality field, providing training and certifications directly related to quality. Since 1968, more than 170,000 individuals worldwide have taken the path to reaching their goal of becoming ASQ certified within their field or profession. Having an ASQ certification allows one to get immediate results in terms of job promotions, higher salaries, and new job opportunities. And as an employer, it's an investment in your company's future.

Benefits of ASQ Certification

  • Recognition of excellence for more than 44 years
  • Internationally accepted and recognized
  • Endorsed by more than 125 international companies
  • Peer recognition that an individual has obtained an understanding of a specific body of knowledge
  • Investment in an individual's career
  • Mark of technical excellence
  • Certifying employees is an investment in a company's future
  • Knowledgeable employees who can perfect and share new techniques in the workplace
  • Knowledgeable employees who can ensure product/service quality

ASQ issued 9,000 certifications globally in 2011 as part of the Manufacturing Institute partnership designed to help fill advanced manufacturing positions.

To learn how you can increase the value you bring to your employer through ASQ certification, visit

Value of Skills Certification to Employers

  • Employees work safely, meaning fewer injuries, lower costs, and good safety data for customers.
  • Employees can follow directions, be team players, and solve problems, leading to increased productivity and waste reduction.
  • Employees are ready to "learn it your way," cutting costs in remedial on–the–job training.
  • Employees are flexible and adaptable, able to respond to new technologies and changing demands of customers.
  • Employees will see the value in remaining with the company and advancing into higher–level jobs, creating a solid legacy for your company's continued success.

Employers can trust the Skills Certification System as a valuable tool in hiring practices and incumbent training programs because the certifications:

  • Are validated by the Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model, a framework of universal skills and competencies developed by manufacturers as the foundation to any career in manufacturing.
  • Are portable across all sectors in advanced manufacturing.
  • Follow the ISO17024 Standard to develop their programs. However not all of the certifications are ISO/ANSI accredited.


Every job I have had in the last 15 years, my certification was a factor in my being hired. A very large number of ads for jobs did list ASQ certification a plus or a requirement. -Ken H.

Upon receiving my ASQ certification as a Certified Quality Inspector, there has been a notable change for me in the work environment and also in me as an individual. I have now moved up the ranks from being a Quality Inspector to a Quality Supervisor. With this certification I now command the respect of my fellow colleagues and the recognition of my seniors. -Rishi S.

I lost my job due to a reduction in the [labor] force, and companies like that I have the ASQ certification. After some months I found a job, and they told me that my certification helped me in being selected for the job. Thanks ASQ. -Marian S.

I have been a proud member of ASQ and secured my present job as a Senior Quality Technician only a few months since I passed the exam and obtained my CQE. This professional title in the quality assurance field gives me a great honor, glorious and confidence in my career. -James J.

My company recognizes the importance and contributions of a quality professional and therefore encourages and promotes ASQ certification and membership. There is significant pride in achievement and display of one's certification. It is personally satisfying and rewarding, highly recognized and valued among peers, and an asset for enhancing advancement opportunities within an organization. -John M.

The credentialing partners that comprise the Skills Certification System are:

  • ACT
  • The American Welding Society
  • The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council
  • The National Institute of Metalworking Skills
  • The Society of Manufacturing Engineers
  • International Society of Automation (ISA)
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • North American Die Casting Association (NADCA)
  • Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA)
  • International Fluid Power Society (IFPS)
  • Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Institute (PMMI)
  • American Society for Quality (ASQ)
  • American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL)
  • Association for Operations Management (APICS)

In 2011, the program's first year, the Manufacturing Institute and its partners issued 84,738 credentials.

For more information about the Manufacturing Institute, visit