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Comparing AVIXA CTS Certifications for AV professionals

Posted by Joseph Barrera on Wed, Dec 04, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

Weighing the Importance of the AVIXA CTS Certifications

Anyone who is anyone in the Audiovisual industry knows all about AVIXA. Formerly, known as InfoComm, AVIXA is the international trade association that represents the professional AV industry.

AVIXA Certifications (CTS, CTS-I, and CTS-D) are highly regarded and recognized globally, as the leading AV credentials.

Which certifications you choose to pursue are dependent on your current experience in AV, as well as your desired career trajectory. 

Let’s take a deeper look into the three AVIXA CTS credentials and outline which is most appropriate for you and your career.

What is the Certified Technology Specialist Credential (CTS)?

The Certified Technology Specialist Program (CTS) is considered globally as the leading credential for AV professionals. Currently, there are over 12,000 CTS holders, 2,000 of which have a specialized credential (CTS-I, CTS-D). 

These three certifications are ANSI accredited under the ISO and IEC, which represents a “symbol of excellence, recognized by worldwide employers, industry leaders, hiring managers, and credential holders.” - ANAB (National Accreditation Board)

What are the benefits of a CTS?

Earning your CTS offers a wide variety of benefits:

  • Improves core competency with AV equipment
  • Improves credibility among colleagues
  • Improves marketability to potential employers and clients
  • Showcases willingness to learn and improve skill set
  • Showcases professionalism and technical proficiency
  • Improves career options and salary

What is the AVIXA CTS Certification

The AVIXA CTS or Certified Technology Specialist is the most general AVIXA certification. As a CTS specialist, you will be able to create operate and service AV solutions, and manage AV activities that best services the client’s needs. 

Further Reading: How to Prepare for the AVIXA CTS Exam

Requirements for AVIXA CTS

There are no prerequisite courses or experiences required before applying (Though AV experience would make the test much easier). 

Is the AVIXA CTS for you?

If you are new to the audiovisual industry, the AVIXA CTS should be one of the first certifications that you acquire. By doing so, you will establish the baseline knowledge that you need to be an entry-level AV technician or installer

What is the AVIXA CTS-I Certification

The AVIXA CTS-I (Installation) installs and maintains audiovisual systems. 

  • Follows specification and safety protocols
  • Administers Installation Process Logistics
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving AV systems
  • Communicates with clients, and other designers to ensure the best AV solutions

Requirements for AVIXA CTS-I

In order to apply for your CTS-I exam, you must have a valid CTS certification and a minimum of two years of experience installing AV equipment.

Is the AVIXA CTS-I for you?

If you have a few years of experience in the AV industry and you are looking to go from an entry-level AV technician to a Lead technician or field engineer than the CTS-I can be an incredibly valuable certification for you. 

The emphasis of the AVIXA CTS-I certification is the installation of commercial AV systems. Many managers at AV Integrators on the install side (i.e. Field Operations Managers and Technical Operations Managers) possess this certification. Also, a fair amount of Crestron Programmers will have the CTS-I as well. They are involved not only with software solutions but in writing the control logic for Crestron’s hardware installed in integrated conference rooms. 

What is the AVIXA CTS-D Certification

The AVIXA CTS-D (Design) designs audiovisual systems.

  • Designs AV systems
  • Prepares documents for design
  • Communicates with vendors and clients to create AV solutions that meet client requirements. 

Requirements for AVIXA CTS-D

In order to apply for your CTS-D exam, you must have a valid CTS certification and a minimum of two years of experience designing AV equipment.

Is the AVIXA CTS-D for you?

The CTS-D is highly regarded in the AV industry and one of the most difficult certifications to acquire (Under 20% pass rate). It is important for every higher AV support department to have a CTS-D on staff who can initiate AV installation projects by collaborating with consultants and integrators and writing a scope of work. Furthermore, having a CTS-D level engineer on staff allows integrators to bid on certain commercial and/or government projects.

If you are looking to move into the design or engineering side of the AV industry (Design Engineer, project engineer, solutions architect) then the CTS-D is the appropriate certification for you. Any Management level positions overseeing a design team, such as an Engineering Director, or Manager of Pre-Sales Engineering are often required to have a CTS-D.  

How much does each AVIXA certification cost?

The cost of the AVIXA certifications varies based on country, AVIXA membership, and certification type.

AVIXA Certification Fee (2018)

  USD Member USD Non-member Euro Member Euro Non-member GBP Member GBP Non-member AUD Member AUD Non-member
CTS 375 475 320 400 280 360 490 630
CTS-D 475 575 400 490 350 440 630 760
CTS-I 475 575 400 490 350 440 630 760
Retest/Reinstatement 130 110 100 170
Renewal 130 110 100 170

AVIXA CTS Handbook

Is there an advantage to being dual-certified? (CTS-I & CTS-D)

There are currently over 12,000 AVIXA CTS holders, still less than 500 with both the CTS-I and CTS-D certifications. AV professionals who are dual certified are respected amongst their peers, highly sought after by employers, and considered leaders in the AV industry. 

They are considered to have a mastery of two of the most crucial phases of the project life cycle: the design phase and installation phase. 

Are the AVIXA CTS credentials worth it?

As previously mentioned, the CTS credential is highly regarded in the Audiovisual Industry. While they are not cheap, these certifications allow you to position yourself as a professional in the AV industry, they earn you credibility among colleagues, and can dramatically put your career in AV on the fast track to promotion. 

If you are passionate about AV and see yourself working in the industry in the long-term then yes, the CTS credential is definitely worth it. 

Sound like you? J.Patrick & Associates has multiple AV Industry Jobs which we encourage you to check out!

Looking for a project engineering, audio engineering, project manager, sound engineer, design engineer, sound technician, or any technician position? Click Here to search all our jobs!

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, certifications