09 November 2008
Ridiculous NABCEP issues.
Okay. I took my state photovoltaics license exam and passed it in August. Now, I'm wanting to take my national, the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) exam, to basically make myself more valuable and so that I could potentially install systems in areas close to Nevada, like St. George Utah or Kingman Arizona, for instance. I took it in Vegas in 2006 and failed by 1 question, which broke my heart, but I know far more now than I did then, so I feel ready. The only problem is, the local facility at which I took my NABCEP approved course and the exam hasn't offered an exam since, and isn't planning to anytime soon. So I looked at other options.
There are over a dozen facilities in surrounding states that I've emailed to try and find a solution. I only wrote to the ones in Arizona, California, and Utah, because I can book a cheap flight to get down there, take the exam, and get back all in one weekend. I won't miss work that way, and I can get the exam taken care of relatively soon.
This is the issue. Most of these places offer the exam at colleges and universities and so the exam itself is scheduled at the end of each semester: December and May. May is too far off, because I want to go to Solar 2009 in Buffalo to get my continuing education credits for my state license and (hopefully) the NABCEP certification, as well. Just take care of both at the same time. I looked for a facility near Buffalo to potentially take an exam, but the closest facility is over 100 miles away, in Syracuse. That won't work.
Of the ones that bothered answering me near Nevada, several offer the exams mid-week, which won't work for me because I really don't want to miss work. Some refuse to let me just sit in on the exam, I have to pay hundreds of dollars for the class, as well; even though I already had my prerequisite classes required by NABCEP to take the exam. I found only two facilities that were willing to work with me, both in California. One has a set date for the exam in mid-December, and I was going to book my flight and hotel this weekend, until I found out I was likely going to be on the River Mountain job in December and can't risk being gone on a Saturday. (That totally sucked, by the way.) The second facility is charging $15 more to take the exam--I don't know why--but they say they have a proctor available at just about any time I want to take it. I wrote back and asked if that included Saturdays, and have yet to receive a response. Think I'll call them this-coming week. I'm hoping. I've been screwing around with this for nearly 2 months now.
And to the administrator who keeps emailing me, and bad-mouthing my contractor in an off-hand way for not paying for the exam and travel expenses: fuck you, I wouldn't let them pay $1,200 for your class anyway. And no, your class doesn't look that great, yours isn't the only one that's squished into a single week, and it isn't the most comprehensive, so get over yourself.