Have you ever wondered how gasoline, electricity, and other daily necessities function effectively?
We’ve got plants to thank for that, and by that, we don’t mean the leafy kind! We mean mechanical plants- those metallic, man-made structures that produce objects through chemical means. Did you know it plays a big role in our everyday functions too?
Power plants deal with highly sensitive material, and how it works without threatening the lives of its workers is a feat in itself.
Good thing we have plant mechanics!
What Are Plant Mechanics?
Plant mechanics are technicians who oversee, maintain and repair defective industrial or agricultural equipment. Their jobs vary depending on what their employers specifically want from them. A plant mechanic’s usual tasks usually revolve around deciphering instruction manuals, repairs, welding, transportation.
Plant mechanics work alongside mechanical engineers and tend to fall under the same field. Some of their tasks may sound similar to each other but they differ in many ways. For starters, mechanical engineers have broader theoretical knowledge in mechanics and also have a hand in designing machinery. Plant mechanics, however, specialize in hands-on experience and emphasize more on repairs and maintenance, which means they really focus on skills as a whole.
Becoming a certified plant mechanic is a huge responsibility. Factories and plants won’t be able to produce necessities without proper equipment, and a malfunctioning plant might cause accidents if it isn’t maintained well.
This is why the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has specific guidelines for individuals who plan to work as plant mechanics. One of which includes having a certification to work as a professional plant mechanic, as mandated by the Philippine Mechanical Engineering Act of 1998, which covers the exams of professional mechanical engineers, mechanical engineers, and certified plant mechanics.
And if you’re about to manage a plant or learn how to repair one, you’ll need to ace PRC’s Certified Plant Mechanic exam to do so!
When Does the Certified Plant Mechanic Exam Take Place?
Like the Mechanical Board Exam (which also hold its exams on the same day), the Certified Plant Mechanic Exam is usually held twice a year, namely in February and August. Registration also opens every April and October.
Are There Requirements That I Need to Prepare?
For starters, you have to be a graduate of a two-year course from a government-approved vocational or trade school.
You must also have at least one year’s worth of work experience, so you’ll need to have a certificate signed by a registered mechanical engineer to prove that you’re fit to take the exam, along with your updated ID and a copy of your certificate of employment. These documents must also show a detailed description of the equipment that you handle, together with a signed Affidavit of Competency by a professional mechanical engineer.
You’ll also need to gather the following documents before you can take the exam:
- NSO / PSA Birth Certificate
- NSO / PSA Marriage Contract (if you’re female and legally married)
- Transcript of Records with scanned photo
- NBI Clearance
- a payment of P600
Once you’ve gathered all of these requirements, present them to any PRC service center near you and choose a schedule for an exam.
If you fail to pass the exam after three takes, you will have to rest for one year before re-taking the exam. Don’t worry. Think of it as a valuable time to refresh your memory!
What Courses Should I Take to Become a Plant Mechanic?
The type of course that you should get really depends on your employer, along with the job description that they specifically need.
If you don’t have the time or funds to enroll in a 4-5 year mechanical engineering course in college and you specifically just want to get the skills as a plant mechanic, you can easily enroll in a course through Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). TESDA is the government authority responsible for providing tech-voc training to individuals to prepare them for work. They offer hundreds of courses that lead to in-demand jobs, which you can take as a professional once you’ve earned your National Certificate.
Some of TESDA’s courses for plant mechanics include:
- Diesel Power Plant Maintenance NC III
- Diesel Power Plant Operation and Maintenance NC II
- Diesel Power Plant Operation and Maintenance NC III
- Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II
- Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC III
- Electrical Installation and Maintenance nc Iv
- Flux-Cored Arc Welding NC I
- Flux-Cored Arc Welding NC II
- Flux-Cored Arc Welding NC III
- Gas Metal Arc Welding NC I
- Gas Metal Arc Welding NC II
- Gas Metal Arc Welding NC III
- Gas Welding NC I
- Gas Welding NC II
- Plant Maintenance NC I
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC III
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC IV
What Do I Expect in the Exam?
Depending on the PRC Board’s preference, the Certified Plant Mechanic Exam may either be in oral or written form, based on subject matters related to the applicant’s submitted statement of experience. These subjects include the following: (1) Elements of Power Plant Machinery; (2) Elements of Industrial Plant Machinery; and (3) Shop Machinery and Practice.
Generally speaking, the exam isn’t completely as in-depth as that of mechanical engineers and professional mechanical engineers, so it’ll really test you based on your plant mechanic skills in general.
To pass the exam, you have to get an average of seventy percent (70%) on all categories. Take note, too, that you must have no grade below fifty percent (50%) in any of your subjects.
When Do Results Come Out?
Typically, the PRC releases the exam results five working days after your last examination date. Results of the exams are usually provided alongside mechanical engineering board results.
Once you’ve successfully passed the exam, you get to pledge an oath of the profession in front of the Board! And tbh, we know you will!
Interested to learn more about engineering? Or do you want to learn more about your possible job careers? Check out our Job Hunting section at Edukasyon.ph to get more tips on fast-tracking your career!