Ever notice that as soon as you get certified, it feels like it’s already time to renew? If you are new to our industry—welcome! If you’ve been around a while, then you most likely know the various certifications that keep your AV technology skills fresh.
Let’s talk about the mother of all industry certifications—InfoComm’s Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification. The CTS program is comprehensive and adds significant value to your career, so here are a few ways you can keep your certification up to date.
Levels of Certifications
There are three levels to the CTS certification, and all levels signify you possess valuable audio visual knowledge and/or skills. Certification demonstrates commitment to your professional growth in the audio visual industry.
The CTS certification is for those who can perform general technology solution tasks. You should be able to create, operate, and service AV solutions as well as conduct AV management activities that provide the best resolutions for the client’s AV needs, time, and budget.
The CTS-I certification builds on the CTS certification, adding knowledge about the installation and maintenance of audio visual systems.
The CTS-D certification is also based on the CTS certification, but it focuses on the systems designer point of view. To achieve this certification you need to be able to assess your client’s needs, design an AV system, prepare AV design documents, and coordinate with other professionals to create an AV system that satisfies the client’s requirements.
Maintaining Your Certification
Congratulations, you passed your CTS test! Now you must maintain it. Wait, what? All levels of the CTS certification are good for three years. Then you need to renew your certification with proof of at least 30 renewal units (RUs), in addition to reaffirming your commitment to the CTS Code of Ethics and Conduct.
How to Earn Renewal Units
Earning 30 CTS RUs sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It’s not if you’re active in continuing your AV education. Technology changes a lot over the course of three years. You can earn CTS RUs several ways, including in-person classroom training, online training, and webinars. There are plenty of AV manufacturers that offer RUs as well.
An easy way to maintain CTS RUs is to not do them all at once, but space them out to obtain 10 a year. There are also InfoComm classes that offer 24 RUs in one shot, in case you did not space out obtaining your RUS. These classes are usually in-person classroom time over the course of 3 days, which makes for a great learning experience if you can be away from your daily tasks for 3 days.
Interested in earning your CTS certification? Read this blog where Alesia Hendley interviews Hope Roth about her path to CTS certification.