Integrators: What Certifications Do You Require Your Technicians To Have?

Do they need any to be hired? Once on board, do you require other credentials? Do you cover costs of any other required certs?

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It really depends on the level of technician you are hiring. I have hired techs with no certifications as a general employee and others with specific certs due to the programming that they where going to do.

I'm searching articles here for what certifications to look for in a tech to hire. Has there been any discussions on what certifications seem to be most helpful for hiring into our industry (Access and CCTV)?

Geoff, we've found manufacturer certifications generally hold the best value, particularly if they are relevant to the product lines you sell/install. In addition to developing the technical skills necessary for that given product the techs pick up some knowledge that applies to other manufacturers as well. For example, if a technician is certified in Lenel Onguard they should at least know how to wire up Mercury panels which covers much of the access control industry.

Certain specialized certifications are useful for similar reasons. Common examples include the CCNA, Microsoft, etc. They demonstrate a certain knowledge level and have some field use.

Other more generalized certifications such as Comptia A+, Network+, Security+ are useful in that they demonstrate a given person has a baseline level of knowledge. However, we have found that these are less useful in the field for our industry. They are too general.

Finally, trade show manufacturer sponsored "training" such as what is seen at ADI expos, ASIS, or ISC West are completely useless.

IPVM offers certifications in Camera Fundamentals, IP Networking for Video Surveillance, and Access Control. There are not many other options when it comes to industry certifications, certainly not independent. If you have any questions about our classes please let me know. jscanlan@ipvm.com

I just put the person on the white board. Technician, PM, Sales, Managers, Engineer and see what they can do.

If they cannot layout security, sales, management or business concepts on the white board than you realize that knowledge base does not exist in their head.

All these two week boot camp style certs are only starting points cover simple scope. Those who love what they do will master what they do in their field.

Those who love what they do will master what they do in their field.

Do you assume that everyone who has acquired some mastery loves what they do, though? Do you only hire people you feel love what they do?

I agree with both. Just looking for certs to reference in a job description for a job posting. If I'm looking for techs with a good network background but not "over qualified" for field work of installing access and CCTV it would seem to me that listing a Comptia A+, Network+, Security+ may be over kill but a CCNA may not. Just want to confirm with others more knowledgeable in that field. Thanks for the help

it would seem to me that listing a Comptia A+, Network+, Security+ may be over kill but a CCNA may not.

Personally, I do not possess a CCNA so I cannot speak on the usefulness of it. I will say Network+ and A+ were both useless as I possess both of those and got them both with almost no study over a decade ago. Perhaps the CompTIA certs have changed since, but I have to believe the CCNA is more relevant/useful. I honestly felt as though the A+ was the GED of the IT world. Depending upon the skill level and salary grade of technicians you are looking that may suffice. Apprentices would be valuable with any certs at all.

An A+ is a decent introduction to computer hardware, and was a lot more valuable in the pre-YouTube, pre-Google days. Same for Net+, it was a good introduction to networking concepts for people who did not grow up with them.

They're both a lot less impressive nowadays.

It would seem to me that listing a Comptia A+, Network+, Security+ may be over kill but a CCNA may not.

My experience is that that Comptia certifications are more basic / broad than Cisco's which are more focused on Cisco's own product lines (which are not that important in most video surveillance systems).

On the one hand, having any of them is a good sign for vetting someone without much work experience. On the other hand, once people have work experience, better to vet them directly on that than hire based on certifications.

In my area, folks in our line of work are required to have a special low voltage electrical license. It's not very heavily enforced by the city/province, but you can get fines for getting caught without a license/permit on commercial jobs.

So technically it should be a requirement for every job, but a lot of folks float by without it.

For awhile CANASA Alarm tech courses were a big thing, but no one really seems to care about it too much anymore. I've long since taken it off my resume.