To keep our fingers on the pulse of the systems integration industry, we conducted a survey in mid-2015 to ask integration firms about their biggest business challenges. One of the most popular responses: “We can’t find technicians with the skillsets needed to hit the ground running.”
No one has the time (or resources) to put toward training technicians on the job anymore.
We heard your frustrations, and we’re working on some exciting projects that will be unveiled in late 2015 and early 2016 to help address this need. But did you know that NSCA has been working on filling the industry with qualified, reliable technicians and installers for almost a decade?
In 2006, we partnered with CEA and CEDIA to form the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA). Dedicated to properly training technicians to be effective and productive from Day One on the job, ESPA helps feed properly trained electronic systems technicians (ESTs) into the industry to be hired by systems integrators.
ESPA’s EST certification is an industry credential given to future technicians or installers after they successfully complete a series of education and training courses.
The curriculum covers five areas, which are updated and modified as industry technology and processes change:
- Electrical basics
- Construction methods and materials
- Wiring and installation practices
- Standards, codes, and safety practices
This basic training provides the foundation to not only install, upgrade, and service commercial and residential electronic systems (AV, control systems, security, telecom, networking, lighting, etc.), but it can also lead to careers in design, engineering, programming, and project management.
Students can decide how they want to complete their education:
- Online training that offers self-paced courses for those who feel comfortable learning on their own.
- A printed review guide that can be used as a method of self-study to gain the knowledge base needed for certification. The guide can also be used as a supplement to online training.
- In a classroom through the many high schools, technology schools, and community colleges offering ESPA’s curriculum and certification.
It may seem difficult to find the trained employees you want, but NSCA, CEA, and CEDIA are working hard to make recruitment and hiring less of a challenge by training tomorrow’s technicians and installers. When hiring entry-level technicians, look for the ESPA certification first. This “stamp of approval” indicates that technicians are qualified and ready to work on jobsites right away. Want to learn more? Visit www.espa.org to learn all about it.