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Frequently Asked Questions

General Certification Questions

What is certification?
Earning a professional certification is a voluntary process by which candidates are assessed against predetermined and standardized criteria for knowledge, skills, competencies, and/or abilities required of a profession. Those successfully completing certification requirements are granted a time-limited credential. To retain your certification, recertification is required after a specific period and involves continuing training and development.

Why become certified?
Whether you are just starting out, or a seasoned professional, certification can help you become a high-value commodity to your employer and be among the most sought-after individuals in your industry. Certifications not only help you attain knowledge, they prove it. Certifications are recognized and respected industry credentials. Professional certifications:

  • Validate your knowledge against industry standards.
  • Provide a portable, industry-recognized credential that travels with you throughout your career.
  • Enhance your career opportunities — certification can provide a competitive advantage in the job market.
  • Improve your marketability by demonstrating your commitment to continuous learning.

What are SME’s certification standards?
As a certifying body, SME is held to rigorous standards to ensure certification integrity. SME’s Certification Oversight & Appeals Committee, composed of member volunteers representing industry and academia, routinely evaluate all exam questions for performance, relevance, currency, and integrity.

In the case of Lean Certification, the Lean Portfolio, Accomplishment Record, and interview process are routinely evaluated for performance, objectivity, and integrity. Additionally, the bodies of knowledge for every certification are periodically evaluated by industry-at-large through a significant qualitative and quantitative study, and updated as indicated by the market. This ensures certifications are “normed,” meaning they are relevant regardless of geographic location. This continuous improvement process and norming is what differentiates a true certification from a certificate program.

How do I list my certification credential(s)?
Once you successfully achieve your certification, the credential may be added after your name as follows:

Certified Manufacturing Associate: John Smith, CMfgA
Certified Manufacturing Technologist: John Smith, CMfgT
Certified Manufacturing Engineer: John Smith, CMfgE
Lean Bronze Certified: John Smith, LBC
Lean Silver Certified: John Smith, LSC
Lean Gold Certified: John Smith, LGC
Certified Additive Manufacturing – Fundamentals: John Smith, CAM-F
Certified Additive Manufacturing – Technician: John Smith, CAM-T
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals: John Smith, RMF

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still earn certification?
Yes, our certification programs are internationally recognized.

What is the cost for certification?
The cost for certification is different depending on the program. Program pricing is subject to change without notice. Current pricing information is available below.

Lean Certification
Certified Manufacturing Associate
Certified Manufacturing Technologist
Certified Manufacturing Engineer
Additive Manufacturing Certification
Electrical/Electronics Technology (EET) Outcome Assessment
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF)

What are the requirements to obtain a certification?
Experience requirements are specific to each certification, certificate, and outcome assessment program. To challenge for a certification, certificate, or outcome assessment, you must meet the requirements stated.

Lean Bronze Certification
Lean Silver Certification
Lean Gold Certification
Certified Manufacturing Associate
Certified Manufacturing Technologist
Certified Manufacturing Engineer
Additive Manufacturing Certification
Electrical/Electronics Technology (EET) Outcome Assessment
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF)

Do I have to be a member of SME to become certified?
You do not have to be a member of SME to become certified. Members of SME receive significant savings on the cost of the exam, recertification fees, books, videos, and other training and development opportunities.

Lean Certification partner organizations (AME and the Shingo Institute) receive the SME member rate for the Lean Bronze, Lean Silver, and Lean Gold Certification programs (exam and recertification fees).

What Lean Certification do I qualify for?
Watch this video to learn about the differences between Lean Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certification. 

Watch the Video

Questions About the Exams

How do I apply for certification and schedule an exam?
You can apply online or by mailing a completed application to:
SME Certifications
1000 Town Center
Ste. 1910
Southfield, MI 48075

Purchase the exam online or download an application:

Lean Bronze Certification
Lean Silver Certification
Lean Gold Certification
Certified Manufacturing Technologist
Certified Manufacturing Engineer
Electrical/Electronics Technology (EET) Outcome Assessment
Additive Manufacturing Certification

How do I schedule to take my exam?
When you are ready to take your exam, you will need to find a qualified individual to proctor your exam. Work with your proctor to determine a mutually agreeable date to take the exam. He/she must complete the Proctor Form and Agreement. This form must be completed and returned to SME at least two weeks prior to the date of your exam.

Lean Certification Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF)
Technical Certification Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF)
Additive Manufacturing Certification Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF)
Certified Manufacturing Associate Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF)
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals Proctor Form and Agreement (PDF)

Who can proctor my exam?
Your exam proctor can be your manager, supervisor, Human Resources representative, or a key administrator. They can also be a member of an SME chapter, or AME region, staff at your local college/university, library, or an authorized facilitator at the exam after a review program. All exam proctors must be approved by SME in advance.

You may also request to have your exam scheduled with an online/virtual proctor. Arrangements would be made through SME on your behalf. Please send your inquiry to There is a $50 proctor fee for this service.

What is the exam cancellation policy?
If you wish to cancel a scheduled exam sitting, you must notify both SME and your exam proctor within 10 business days of your examination date. You may reschedule your exam within one year from purchasing your exam (application) by coordinating a mutually agreeable date with your exam proctor and SME.

What is the policy for rescheduling an exam?
If you would like to reschedule your exam, it must be within one year from the purchase of your exam (application date). You must coordinate your new exam date with both SME and your exam proctor and provide SME with a new Proctor Form and Agreement. SME will confirm your new date with both you and your proctor.

In what formats is the exam available?
All exams except for the Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) and Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) are available in online or paper/pencil formats. The CMfgA and RMF are available online only.

What are the computer requirements to take an online exam?
You must have a Windows® or Apple® laptop or desktop computer, iPad®, or other tablet to take an online exam. At this time, you cannot take the exam on a smart phone. Test your computer by clicking Get Computer Ready for Testing.

Where can I find resources to prepare for the certification exams? You can find a list of preparation at

How many questions are on the exam?
Below is an approximate number of multiple choice questions on the exams.

Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) - 75
Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) – 130
Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) – 180
Lean Bronze – 165
Lean Silver – 150
Lean Gold – 150
Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals (CAM-F) – 100
Additive Manufacturing Technician (CAM-T) – 120
Electrical/Electronic Technology (EET) – 115
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) – 100

How will I find out my exam results?
If you take the online exam, you will learn your results immediately. If you take the paper/pencil exam, your results will be mailed within 30 days from SME receiving the exam from your proctor. Regardless of exam type, you will receive a letter and a detailed score report in the mail. Upon passing, you will receive your certificate.

Once your scores are uploaded, you can log into your SME account and view your score. Click View Your Profile and then click My Certification under My Account on the left side of the webpage.

What are the passing scores for the exams?
Lean Bronze – 75%
Lean Silver – 75%
Lean Gold – 75%
Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) – 70%
Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) – 60%
Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) – 60%
Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals (CAM-F) – 70%
Additive Manufacturing Technician (CAM-T) – 70%
Electrical/Electronic Technology (EET) – All candidates who take the exam will receive a certificate of completion
Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) – 70%

If I do not pass the exam, how soon may I retake it?
If you do not pass your exam you may retake it 30 days from your original exam date. Candidates may use this time to study and prepare for the retake. There is a reduced fee each time you retake the exam. If you take the online exam, you will learn your results immediately. If you take the paper/pencil exam, your results will be mailed within 30 days from SME receiving the exam from your proctor. Regardless of exam type, you will receive a letter and a detailed score report in the mail.

Do you offer certification exams in other languages?
The Lean Bronze Certification paper/pencil exam is the only exam available in North American Spanish and Continental French. The translations are not available for online testing. SME uses a professional translation service that complies with the American Translation Association guidelines for translation.

When will I receive my certificate?
You will receive your certificate within 30 days of completing your certification requirements. Your certificate will be mailed to the preferred mailing address you provide on your exam application. If you completed the CMfgA or the RMF certification, a digital badge will be issued to you through Credly. You will receive an email from Credly to “Accept” your badge.

Recertification Questions

What is recertification?
Recertification involves participating in continuing education to accumulate recertification credits. Credits are earned through a multitude of educational activities. Each certification program has its own recertification requirements and fees. Visit for additional information.

The educational requirements of certification are both a prerequisite and requirement for recertification. Your certification shows employers you are a leader in your field and are committed to continuing your growth and professional development.

What is the cost for recertification?
Lean Certification
Technical Certification

How do I check my certification status and expiration date?
Log into your SME account to view your certifications. This will allow you to view your status, exam results, Lean Portfolio details, Accomplishment Record details, and certification expiration date(s). You may also add your recertification continuing education activities here.

Will I be notified that my certification is expiring?
SME will mail you a statement informing you of your expiration date, the number of credits you have accumulated toward recertification, your recertification fee, directions for logging into your SME account, and directions to upload your recertification activities.

What are recertification activities and when should I submit mine?
A variety of activities for recertification credits are accepted. You are certified for a three-year period and can submit recertification activities at any time during that period. All recertification activities must align to the certification's Body of Knowledge. Visit for additional information.

How do I become life certified?
If you are a current CMfgT and/or CMfgE certification holder, and your date of birth is on your SME account, you will become life certified following your 60th birthday. Once you are life certified, recertification activities are no longer required and future recertification fees are waived. Life certification is not available for Lean Certification.

Certification Appeals

For information on the appeals process please review the documents below:

Certification AppealsRecertification Appeals


What if I need additional information?
Complete the online inquiry, email us, or call SME Customer Care at 800.733.4763 or 313.425.3000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., ET