By John Ganoe, CAE, CAMICB Executive Director
Many employers offer some type of support for their CMCAs to earn the continuing education necessary to maintain their credential or the study time and preparation for non-CMCAs to successfully sit for the CMCA exam. While it may not be the first question that comes to mind when interviewing for a job – it’s important to ask what kinds of support system and benefits are in place. Employees should also be sure to review the Employee Handbook as most employers will reimburse managers for successful completion of a professional management development program.
According to Robert Felix, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, RS, owner of the Felix Reserve Group, an Industry Consulting/Reserve Study business, and President of Verity Property Management, “I believe we get to negotiate two things: compensation – including education – and time. Nothing speaks greater to a company’s support of their management team then allowing them to prepare for success. Permitting an employee to attend a preparatory class so they can pass the CMCA exam is a simple yet effective way to encourage professional development.”
Sandra Denton, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, General Manager for Sienna Associations agrees. “Giving employees paid time off to take a course and prepare for the CMCA exam puts them on a career path that benefits both the employee and the company. And, research shows that managers with certifications and designations ultimately earn more money than non-credentialed managers.”
At Sienna Associations, Denton notes that encouraging and supporting education for the staff is critical to the company’s success. “The more they know about the industry, the better able they are to serve our customers and reduce our risks, while taking pride in their work. Every year we budget for at least one educational course per staff member and we pay for many industry related credentials and designations/certifications. Further, when they earn them, we provide a special bonus.”
From an employer standpoint, Felix notes it’s a competitive marketplace and companies want their employees to stay, which they will do when they know the company is investing in them. “One only has to look at the number of companies seeking qualified managers to understand that you need an edge to attract good managers. Offering a program that costs less than $1,000 plus some continuing education allows a company to market its professional edge over its competitors.”
Felix also notes the important distinction between a job and a career. “Education allows employees to decide whether they’re in a job or a career. I ask that of my employees before starting them on an education track and making sure they understand the difference. A career involves commitment, energy, focus and desire. I want to see all of these in an individual before I invest in them. And, once invested, I follow along and continue to mentor them on their professional path. Leaving a clear thumbprint of support and opportunity for those who have the desire and drive is one of my greatest pleasures.”
For more information on CMCA exam prep and continuing education resources, go to www.camicb.org.