×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Jobs

NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

(OP)
I think some of you might find the numbers interesting.

How many of us are out there?

Overseas is considered Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada.



In October, 2009 there were a total of 2,881 NICET III's and IV's and we've grown a bit now sitting at 2,945. Of that number 44 are on the official Retired list so that drops us to 2,901 active Level III's and IV'S.

While there are more Level III's and IV's certified technicians the numbers of Level I's and II's has dropped rather dramatically. There were 2,526 Level I's and II's in 2009 whereas, as of April 20th, the number has dropped to 1,838.

Now I am working on coming up with ages and this is where it gets interesting.

Of all Level III's and IV's it appears the median age is mid 50's while the median age for Level IV's is 62.

Being 70 myself I am wondering where my replacement will come from.

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

Interesting numbers, SprinklerDesigner2. We face much the same issue in Canada. Last month, I attended a career fair for Seneca College's School of Fire Protection (by far the most prolific incubator of future sprinkler system layout techs in the country), and there were as many companies looking for applicants, as there were students looking for jobs. Many of the layout techs I know are going to be retiring in the next decade (or sooner) and like you, I also wonder where their replacements are going to come from. Doubly concerning, is that most of them are freelance guys with no employees, and when they decide to call it quits, the decades of knowledge they've accrued is going to go with them instead of being passed on to the next generation.

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

(OP)
skdesigner,

My first NFPA #13 was 1974 when 90% of what we did was pipe schedule and we had three different kinds of sprinklers; upright, pendent and sidewall.

We called NFPA #13 a "pamphlet" and I seem to remember it was around 175 pages, we could actually fold it in half and carry it in our back pocket. The oldest edition I have is 1980 but it gives an idea of what we were working with.



We also had NFPA #231 and #231C which were small, little pamphlets for solid pile and rack storage.

I started my career on June 1st, attended Jack Woods hydraulic calculation class in Hastings, Michigan in November and at about nine months experience I was laying out the system for a new K-Mart super center all on my own. Hydraulic calculations were trees and loops because computer programs for grids weren't around yet so all the calculations I did were by hand the old fashioned way.

I was in Ohio when the only approval that mattered was ISO, IRI or FM. We didn't have any government body reviewing sprinkler plans for any building when I started.

We could hire a new trainee without any experience at all and he would actually be paying for himself inside of four to six months because it just wasn't that hard. All heads were standard response while anything like quick response, extended coverage, ESFR or storage sprinklers were well into the future. Back then if we didn't have enough water the insurance company would tell you to drop the hose stream from your calculations and that would be the end of it.

Everything was worked out on a drafting table as CAD was 15 years yet into the future.

NICET showed up around 1980 and the first time I took it I flunked, I really thought I knew it all but I guess I didn't, and didn't bother taking it for another 17 years as there weren't any governmental bodies around that required or recognized it.

Today a new designer has to know ten times what I knew to be productive paying his own way which is why so few are being trained today. The expense and time involved in training is absolutely hideous.

We need to give a little credit where credit is due to our new aspiring NICET applicants taking their tests and sometimes wondering if they will ever pass it. Give it time, learn and you will pass and let me repeat again what you need to know today is ten times what we needed to know 40 years ago. By luck I had 40 plus years to learn it all where a new technician needs to know it all in a few short years. It's a tall order.

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

Quote:

Doubly concerning, is that most of them are freelance guys with no employees, and when they decide to call it quits, the decades of knowledge they've accrued is going to go with them instead of being passed on to the next generation.

This is one of the reasons I have hired a guy to train in the industry. Hopefully I can pass something on in the next decade to help the industry that has been good to me. I will say that I searched for someone, anyone, for about 9 months. I even tried to get kids coming through the local high school CAD classes and none were interested.

It will be interesting to see where this stuff goes in the coming years.

Travis Mack
MFP Design, LLC
www.mfpdesign.com
"Follow" us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MFP-Design-LLC/9221...

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

I passed my Level III exams in February, and am still waiting for my official certification. That being said, I am a Level II. Seeing as I am about to turn 43, I feel like I still have a long, long time I can be doing this job. Which is good, because I am the only designer in my office. And there is no replacement anywhere in sight. Looking down the road, they better hope nothing happens to me smile

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

I've trained 5 people; one of whom is still in the industry.

Most candidates I meet just look at how much they can earn today which is very little with no experience. The true value, as we all know, comes from experience and I'm sure we all make a good living with our knowledge and skills.

I don't really know the solution but it seems young people are not interested in construction generally.

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

Quote:

I don't really know the solution but it seems young people are not interested in construction generally.

I think this is very true and will be a problem across the board for all. Hopefully we find some really good guys to come behind this generation of us design guys.

Travis Mack
MFP Design, LLC
www.mfpdesign.com
"Follow" us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MFP-Design-LLC/9221...

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

Quote (TravisMack)


I think this is very true and will be a problem across the board for all. Hopefully we find some really good guys to come behind this generation of us design guys.

We are experiencing a severe shortage here too. Not just in new designers getting into the industry, but also fitters too. I am blessed that both my sons are in the industry as helpers.

RE: NICET Layout Technicians by the numbers as of April 20, 2018

I have spoken with many about the issue. I think we will see a rise of immigrants come to take the place of Americans in the construction ranks, especially given the good wages paid. Young people today seem to lack the traditional motivations we oldies had and have. I suppose this makes us even more valuable a commodity!

I recently pointed out that we have thousands of professional engineers registered in my state. A much smaller number of people are NICET certified technicians. Which is more valuable?

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources

Ebook - Mastering Tolerances for Machined Parts
When making CNC machined parts, mastering tolerances can be challenging. Are general tolerances good enough? When does it make sense to call out for tighter tolerances? Do you need a better understanding of fits, datums, or GD&T? Learn about these topics and more in Xometry's new e-book. Download Now
eBook – How to Choose the Correct Corrosion Testing Method
When designing a metal component, engineers have to consider how susceptible certain alloys are to corrosion in the final product’s operating environment. In a recent study by NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), it was estimated that the direct and indirect costs of corrosion in the United States is approximately 6.2% of the GDP. In 2016, that cost exceeded $1 trillion dollars for the first time. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close