There are just a very few of us. It is not an easy test by any means. Do you do much Floodplain Management work?
Once you get it you have to have credits to keep it so unless you are really dedicated I would not bother.
I really think the only big benefit is if your community is a part of the CRS then it counts in the points.
This is the reason I never got my certification. I took the FEMA floodplain management course and am currently the city floodplain administrator, but we only have 3 homes who need flood insurance. Our ordinances also direct development out of floodplains, so it just doesn't seem like it'd be worth my time or the City's money to keep me certified at this point. It might in the future, especially if we expand to the north bank of the San Gabriel River as our growth boundary shows.
I'm a MUP student slated to graduate May 2010. I'm concentrating in land use and environmental planning and am looking for ways to differentiate myself from other job seekers. Will a CFM, with no actual floodplain planning experience, be a worthwhile investment? Or is a CFM only valuable if it is in addition to real-world floodplain work?
I passed the exam last November. Having CFM isn't as important as being fully informed about FEMA processing and interpretation issues. I'll keep it as long as my employer pays for the continuing education needed.
Like the LEED-AP credential (which is useless for anyone except architects and engineers), I really don't see the point of earning CFM, unless you are actually going to use it on an actual project where you are currently working. Otherwise it's a bunch of money towards a bullet point on a resume (i.e. marketing purposes). I agree with jmello, for recent or soon-to-be graduates it can pigeonhole you in certain jobs. However, if you still want to earn CFM credentials, you don't HAVE to list CFM on those job applications that have NOTHING to do with floodplain management.
I passed here in Kansas. I remember a lot of questions about finding the BFE, reading the maps, etc. There is also a good mix of insurance questions along with general knowledge. A lot seemed to be process and regulation driven. I took the 273 Managing Floodplain Development class before the test and did okay. Here's a link to the FEMA 480 study guide. It covers just about everything, and yes some of the questions are stupid like knowing the difference between a hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces. http://www.floods.org/index.asp?menuid=389&firstlevelmenuid=180&siteid=1
My new boss asked me yesterday if I was interested in become a CFM. Our ordinances require anything built in the floodplain must be 18 inches above BFE. Considering this is coastal Texas and our city ranges from an elevation of 7 feet up to about 20 feet, I am thinking this may be a useful skill to have. I will have to do more research and see if this is worthwhile. Does FEMA still pay for local government employees to take CFM classes? My city will pay for the exam.
I'd check with your state people. I've been getting my credits from free classes offered by the state.
As far as career help, I can see the CFM being helpful in coastal and flood prone areas, but go to some place like Phoenix and the answer is meh.
I think the knowledge is more important than the cert. As long as you know what a BFE is and the difference between and A and V zone you've got most of it covered for daily practice. The test will ask for a little more.
Also good to learn how to establish a BFE if you're in a flood area.
I still have my CFM two years removed (3rd renewal) from my public planning job. I've even put it on my business card with AICP......:-| I'm hanging on to it for another two years since I can get free continuing education credits and it is relatively cheap. I really enjoyed the floodplain management duties back in the day.....:-|