Hey everyone-I'm a New Jersey resident looking to get into the facilities/plant operations area and I'm not clear on what steps to take in order to do so. I have a bachelor's degree in education (social studies) and a New Jersey state teaching certification, but I actually went to work for the federal government right out of college. For the past three years I've been working in community relations. However, I also have some mechanical experience-in order to put myself through community college and then onto a four year school I worked as a maintenance man/ice resurfacer operator at two different ice rinks. From the time I was a junior in high school until just recently I worked in maintenance, alternating between full and part time for a total of about 9 years experience. Because ice rinks usually have small staffs, resurfacer operators tend to handle just about everything from mopping floors to fixing toilets to monitoring/maintaining the refrigeration plant, not to mention the maintenance and operation of the machine itself.
I did all of that and more in addition to supervising and scheduling a crew of ten employees in a facility that operated from 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM daily, but bor all of the experience I have in these areas I have no official certifications, etc...to show for it. Most facilities/operations oriented jobs I find require a black seal boiler license at the very least, which (the way I understand it), require that you first take the course, then find a place that will hire you so that you can work for at least 90 days as a boiler operator, and then you can sit for the exam. Do I have that right? If so, how does that process usually work since all of the jobs seem to want you to have your license as a prerequisite? Will some places hire you with the condition that you train, sit for, and pass the exam? I'm grateful for any advice I can get because I'm looking to get out from behind my computer and working with my hands a little more. Ultimately I'd love to go to work for a college or university (we have plenty of those here) because the pay and benefits tend to be pretty good, so any tips on those types of jobs would be appreciated as well.