Although the benefits of holding professional certifications seem obvious — they serve as effective marketing tools as well as a way of ensuring job quality, among other things — many remodelers have been slow to get certification for themselves and their employees. Fewer than half of remodelers surveyed currently hold certifications, and although uncertified contractors offered several reasons for not getting certified, the most common of those cited was that it was simply inconvenient.

Has your company ever paid employee wages for time spent attending certification classes?

If yes, why?

“If they pass, we pay for their time. It shows we believe that they are an important part of our company.”
Linda Holmes, Creative Carpentry Remodelers, Aurora, Ill.

“In this situation, the employee is increasing his knowledge and value to the company as well as to himself.”
Charles Aud, Gemini Design Build, Glenmont, Md.

If no, why?

“Because they receive a performance raise for attending.”
Randy Franz, R&W Construction, Cary, Ill.

“It's their part of the investment since in the end they own the certifications.”
Mike Ellery, S.J. Janis Co., Wauwatosa, Wis.

“It puts my company on a whole other level compared with some other contractors, and it gives me a sense of how important it is to put out a quality product that will stand the test of time.”
Jerry Kerkvliet, Starbuck Construction, Starbuck, Minn.

“It shows that our people are serious about their profession and have the drive and desire to better themselves. If they feel good about themselves, then it shows in their work.”
Michael Thierry, KMS Builders, Santa Cruz, Calif.

“Some certifications are useful in giving the public the assurance that [the remodeler] knows what he is doing.”
Randall Lewis, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District, Tulsa, Okla.

“It raises the level of professionalism for our industry.”
Thomas Buckborough, Thomas Buckborough & Associates, Concord, Mass.

Do you currently hold any professional certifications? (This includes technical as well as business-related certifications.)

Has your company ever paid (in part or in full) the fees associated with an employee's becoming certified?

How much has your company spent in total for certification fees (include yourself and any certified employees)?

Besides yourself, do any of your company's employees have certifications?

Does your company use employee certifications as a marketing tool?

How does your company market employee certifications?

Which of the following best describes why you decided not to get certified?

On a scale of 1–5, how important are your certifications in a homeowner's decision to work with your company? (1 is not at all important; 5 is very important.)

Why is certification important?