CEDIA Boot Camp -- From Technophile to Technician

You've just hired a motivated employee to fill a technician role. One problem: he's never set foot on a jobsite.
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You've just hired a motivated employee to fill a technician role. One problem: he's never set foot on a jobsite.

So you've just hired a smart, young, motivated employee to fill a technician role within your company. He's enthusiastic and a fast learner. Just one problem: he's never set foot on a jobsite.

Maybe he has some do-it-yourself knowledge, or maybe even some training in a related industry. Or, maybe he just has a passion for great audio and video.

But how do you tie this knowledge together in order to perform quality installations? How do you ensure his work is on par with your company's reputation?

Start by sending him to Boot Camp.

CEDIA's Electronic Systems Technician (EST) Basic Residential Boot Camp is a comprehensive starting point for those just entering the electronic systems industry.

"Our Basic Boot Camp attracts not only entry-level ESTs, but also people moving into our industry from another discipline such as IT, electrical or security," said CEDIA director of technical training, Jeff Gardner.

Created to give new hires and aspiring technicians the skill and confidence level required to be effective on the job, this three-day hands-on training session takes students through the pre-wire and trim-out phases of new construction, covering much of the background and terminology needed by entry-level technicians.

Boot Camp sessions, which run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day of training, are offered only at CEDIA's Training Facility in Indianapolis. Students begin with classroom instruction to get a grasp on the fundamentals, then move into hands-on training in the lab area.

The Basic Boot Camp course focuses on core residential electronic systems skills, including a thorough roster of installation tasks, test procedures, and proper job documentation. CEDIA ensures that presentation materials are frequently updated to remain in line with changing industry standards. The courses, which often sell to capacity, provide a strong foundation to help attendees jump-start their career as part of an electronic systems contractor team.

"Our Boot Camp sessions include an abundance of fundamental knowledge needed to be successful in the industry, in addition to helping prepare students for CEDIA Certification," Gardner added.

CEDIA also offers a similar three-day session for technicians who have already had a few years on the job: EST Advanced Residential Boot Camp. Building on the principles that made the original Boot Camp successful, the Advanced offering targets ESTs looking to transition into the role of lead technician.

This course expands on the installation, configuration, testing, calibration, and basic control tasks associated with more advanced subsystems, including flat panel and front projection displays, distributed audio and video, satellite video distribution, RF source distribution, AV entertainment systems, and home theater systems. Like the Basic course, Advanced Boot Camp focuses on hands-on, personalized aspect of the instruction. The lab portion of this course is devoted to the installation, setup, and calibration of a typical home theater system.

"This is a hands-on business, and there is no substitute for actually doing the installations in real rooms, with real tools," Gardner said. "And we always have multiple instructors here to work with participants and answer their questions."

CEDIA will next offer the Basic Boot Camp session May 20-22. Additional information is available at www.cedia.org/education.