NCMA Certification Exam

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Old Red, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Old Red

    Old Red LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Next month I will attend a one day Versa-Lok retaining wall installation seminar. There is an optional NCMA Certification Test. I have little experience with SRWs or pavers and am wondering if the seminar will be adequate preparation for the exam or should I save my money and skip the exam. Is there anything I could study prior to the exam?
  2. newleaflandscape

    newleaflandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    There are so many master gardener classes, paver classes, retaining walls, etc etc you cant take and get some kind of certificate. If you are really going to learn how to install them that is great. But if want to pay to take an exam and get a certificate you have to sit and ask yourself will it honestly help you. I know there are all kinds of online landscape construction "certification" courses you can take too. Comes down to it most customers dont care if you took some crap course, they are more easily convinced of your talents by sitting and starring at your work. Only reason I say this is a buddy of mine took one of those stupid online course things for 400 bucks, and to this day he doesnt know why he wasted his time and money with it.
  3. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    The NCMA exam is pretty well known through out the industry. It is our job to educate our customers as to the benefits of hiring a "certified" contractor. I could understand if it was something like " Jimmy's Paver Class Certification" That would be senseless, but organizations like ICPI, NCMA, EP Henry, Versa-Lok, etc. are pretty well known and a "nod" from any of these guys is definately a feather in ones cap!

  4. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    NCMA cert is worthwhile. I think the training beforehand should be sufficient, if you pay attention. The cert is similar to ICPI in that it doesn't speak to your ability to install, only that you have the basic knowledge to do an install. Also, it is a good intro. to NCMA and they are a great source for information.
  5. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    i would have to agree with newleaflandscape. 1 out of 20 people will care what certificate you have. they will first want to see pics of your work. then refferences.
  6. hollywood

    hollywood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Old Red,

    I recently took the NCMA exam this month. It was 104 multiple choice questions. The topics covered were soil stabilzation, compaction, OSHA regs, ASTM numbers, engineering aspects etc. Pay attention in the seminar and you will be given the information you need. I have a few years experience with SRW's, and that definitely helped. I agree with cgland, NCMA is pretty well known in the industry. A certification like this never hurts. I agree with mbella also. You are not being certified on your skills, but your knowledge, and it is a good starting point. Good Luck.
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I was wondering the same thing. I have very little knowledge in installing retaining walls. I think this siminar would be a great help to me, I just wonder if I should take the test or not. I would hate to take it, and then not even pass it.
  8. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    i would love to take the seminar too. i dont know about this one, but too bad all the seminars that i have heard of are on weekdays....and i have a full time job. :(
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Yeah I have that same problem....that is what the make vacation days and sick days for!
  10. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    dr, i am taking a few days off in march to take the fertilizer license class...too bad it is just a "permit to work for someone with a license"...not the actual license...but i hear you...i migh start catching a fever more often.....oh wait, i feel one coming

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