How Becoming a CPRE Benefited My Career

March 5, 2019, Department, by Samuel R. Metott, CPRE

2019 March NRPA Update How Becoming a CPRE Benefited My Career 410

A few years ago, I began looking for the next step in my career and seeking an opportunity to become a director-level administrator. With more than 15 years of experience, 10 of which were in administration, I have a diverse résumé within many elements of parks and recreation. After carefully reviewing various job openings, I applied and interviewed for three notable director-level positions but fell just short on all three. Age should not be a factor, but, since I was a younger professional, it seemed as though it played into the equation.

I began searching for a way to solidify myself as a viable candidate, regardless of my age, and the CPRE certification offered me that opportunity. The prerequisite — seven years as an administrator — would demonstrate leadership and organizational experience, while being able to pass the exam would indicate a benchmark level of competence, knowledge and understanding.

After becoming certified, I interviewed once again. This time, I received an offer letter. It is not to be assumed my selection was simply based on the CPRE certification. However, it was certainly a topic of discussion during the interview process and helped me prepare for the interview and answer questions from a different perspective.

Unlike the CPRP test, there is no study guide for the CPRE exam. Instead, it is recommended that candidates read Management of Parks and Recreation Agencies. I found the text to be a thorough, straightforward read with valuable insights into our profession. Side Note: It’s also a great resource for CAPRA certification requirements.

With the CPRE certification and the knowledge base gained from the Management of Parks and Recreation Agencies text, I had less apprehension during the transition into my new role as an assistant director.

To learn more about the CPRE certification, visit

Samuel R. Metott, CPRE, is the Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Delray Beach Parks & Recreation Department.