How to Become a Certified Professional Organizer

Do you want to become a Certified Professional Organizer? This is how to get started and find out more.

Today I’m going to explain to you how to become a certified professional organizer. Hi, I’m CPO, Katherine Lawrence. I train and support new professional organizers and help you to live a life with less clutter. This is a question I’ve gotten from a couple of you guys which is, do I need to be certified in order to work as a professional organizer? I want to explain some of the details about the certification program. In 2007 when the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) launched a certification program for professional organizers, I was very proud to sit for that inaugural exam. And as a Certified Professional Organizer, I am required every three years to renew my certification. To maintain that certification, I don’t need to sit for the exam again, though this is an option, I do need to submit to NAPO that I’ve been taking CEUs, or continuing education units, at least 45 hours over the last three years.

There are a ton of training programs to become a professional organizer. I run one myself. You guys have asked me what is the difference between a training course in professional organizing versus a certification in professional organizing? The short answer to that is that you need to be trained and experienced as a professional organizer before you can sit for the exam to become certified. I highly encourage you to get experience in the field, work with your clients, document all of that paid work that you’re doing, read books, build a portfolio, and then after you have built up 1,500 working hours in the field, you can take the exam to become a certified professional organizer. NAPO makes this really simple for you. If you go on their website, there’s actually a handbook that will walk you through the entire process of being prepared to become a certified professional organizer.

The handbook has information about the test, there is a recommended reading list, and other tips to help you navigate and record all of your training that you’ve taken up to that point. One kind of cool thing is that you can substitute a few of those hours. Up to 250 hours can be substituted out of that 1,500 hours of experience. The current pricing for taking the exam is $450.00 plus an annual maintenance fee of $100. The exam is taken online and you can get all of the details at this link. The certification program is not something you take instead of getting your training as a Professional Organizer. It’s something that you pursue after you’ve been working as a professional organizer and have received training and experience. My advice to you is to start taking paid clients as soon as possible. The benefits of being certified are that you’re going to have confidence in yourself and credibility moving forward so that you can have a long and prosperous career as a professional organizer.

In my 17 years of business, I have seen more organizers quit this industry than I can even count, but the ones who take their training seriously, pursue certification as a goal and then obtain that certification, seem to stick around and have a thriving business. If you’re wondering how to launch your Professional Organizing business, or you’ve been mulling over starting a business, but you don’t quite know what the next step is, I encourage you to get my free ebook. It’s going to give you a list of 30 things to do in the next 30 days to launch your Professional Organizing business.

My question to you is, are you working towards your certification, and what challenges are you facing starting this business as a professional organizer? I’d love to hear from you. E-mail [email protected] with questions about a Professional Organizing career.

Happy Organizing!!!