How To Become A Crestron Programmer In The AV Industry
What Is A Crestron Programmer
A Crestron programmer is a specific type of control systems programmer. They develop programs for video conferencing rooms, and spaces which enable seamless integration with the audiovisual equipment in that space. What makes a Crestron programmer unique is that they specialize in the coding language specific to Crestron, known as Crestron SIMPL.
Crestron Electronics is a privately held company based out of Rockleigh, NJ dealing in home and commercial automation. The average person is probably completely unaware of the ubiquity of this company’s products and solutions.
Crestron’s control systems, hardware, and software solutions are everywhere:
“automated light, sound and temperature controls for luxury homes; digital screens and speakers for conference rooms; surgical camera controls and displays; classroom projectors; digital signs and retail displays; and even remote controls for hot tubs aboard luxury yachts.” -Forbes
This electronics distributor (often mistaken as a regional player) pulls down $500 million in revenue annually and carries no debt!
Entire careers in the audiovisual industry are built around Crestron’s products. With a multi-galaxy of different programmers out there that specialize in different programming languages, it’s easy to get confused.
How Much Does a Crestron Programmer Make?
As of September of 2019, the average salary for a Crestron Programmer was around 80k a year. The bottom of the pay scale was around 65k a year. The top salary was as high as 115k a year.
According to indeed.com, hourly rates for a Crestron Programmer currently range from $28.72- $61.46 per hour.
Why so much variation in the compensation range?
Variations in compensation are due to factors such as: project size and complexity, vendor certifications, and experience level of the programmer.
How to Become a Crestron Programmer:
In the AV industry, there is not a standard, discernible path to success.
In the case of becoming a Crestron Programmer, a few different roads can spill out to the same destination. That being said, there are definite career experiences and vendor-specific certifications that are highly sought after by potential employers.
Many Crestron programmers have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Engineering. However, few transition into a role at a commercial AV Integrator right out of college. Often, Crestron programmers make their bones learning how to install and commission AV equipment in the field first. This way future programmers learn the basics of AV control systems like Crestron, AMX, and Control4 (to a lesser extent).
What does a Crestron Programmer resume look like?
Here’s what employers are looking for on a resume:
- High School degree is usually necessary, BS/BA may be required but not always seen as vital
- Ability to install, troubleshoot and maintain Crestron Control Systems
- Create, load & modify Crestron Code (SIMPL)
- Ability to design Crestron and/or AMX control systems, and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)
- At least two Crestron Certifications (Crestron DMC-E-4K, Crestron DMC-D-4K, CSP, CSP Silver, CSP Gold)
What Crestron Certifications Are Available
Training for these certifications are offered at Crestron Technical Institute (CTI). Here’s some certifications that a programmer will gain along the way in his or her career:
- Crestron DMC-E-4K - The Crestron Digital Certified Engineer has a working knowledge of installing, configuring and commissioning Crestron hardware products to industry standards.
- Crestron DMC-D-4K - The Crestron Digital Media Designer Designation can design and tailor Crestron Digital Media Systems to a client’s specific needs.
- Crestron Certified Programmer - The Crestron Certified Programmer can configure and commision a Crestron fusion deployment, and shows proficiency in Crestron SIMPL.
- Crestron Silver Certified Programmer - This CSP has attended three annual Master Level classes and passed the Silver exam
- Crestron Gold Certified Programmer - This CSP has attended six annual Master Level classes and passed the Gold exam.
What Is A Typical Crestron Programmer Job Description
The job duties and specific Crestron certifications that the employer is looking for may vary. Generally speaking, the job requirement will deal with designing, installing, troubleshooting and/or Crestron programming.
Sometimes AV Integrators will deal with other control systems such as AMX, or Control4 (if they deal with Residential AV Integration). In this case, the programmer may need experience in these languages as well.
- Create, load & modify Crestron Code (SIMPL)
- Program Devices with Crestron SIMPL
- Perform commissioning and acceptance testing of Code
- Develop and maintain Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) for Crestron touch panels
- Develop system recovery protocols in the event of destruction of all or part of the system or components
- DMC-E required
- Crestron Master level Programmer Preferred
Are you a qualified Crestron Programmer looking for work?
Are you an Employer in the AV industry seeking a Crestron Programmer?
JPatrick & Associates is here to help!
We are an executive recruiting firm with over 20 years of experience and we specialize in the AV industry.