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Kellen Tyburski:
Hey all..
I'm looking into getting my CTS certification.... I'm an AV professional, and currently in operations management in NYC... It appears that the CTS certification is pretty widely known, based on the website... 
Is really something that is recognized as valuable in the industry?

Is there a difference in skill level between the CTS and CTS-D? (ie. are the CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I regarded as different "tiers"?)

Kellen Tyburski:
Oh, I did a little more reading and looks like you have to have a valid CTS certification before going for the CTS-D.

This all seems nice, I'm just hoping that this is something regarded as valuable in the real world.


Clayton Luckie:
I got my CTS about 2 years ago.  Yes, there is a difference between the certifications.  The general CTS is basic A/V knowledge, and is required for continuation on to other CTS certs.  It's not too difficult, and if you take advantage of the study tools Infocomm gives you, you will pass.

CTS-D is a specialization in design and CTS-I is for installation.  From what I've heard, the tests are much more difficult.

As far as the usefulness of the CTS, it varies.  If someone knows what it is, it can be a quick way to communicate that you at least know something about A/V, and aren't just an electrician or phone tech (not that it's bad to be one of those things).  I say if you can expense it or if you have the budget for it, get your CTS. 


Brad Weber:
There is a significant difference between the general CTS and CTS-D.  The general CTS is a test of basic AV knowledge while the CTS-D and CTS-I are specifically oriented at more advanced system design and installation roles, respectively.

I have mixed feelings on the value of the certifications.  I think that prepping for the CTS-D and CTS-I and the classes InfoComm offers for that can be a great learning opportunity for many people.  And one can pretty safely assume that someone with an advanced CTS certification has some level of related knowledge.  However, being certified does not mean they necessarily have complete knowledge of everything related nor is it any specific commitment that the knowledge they do have will be applied properly, if at all.

I'll put it this way, I've been in the professional AV industry for over 25 years and involved with InfoComm for most of that time.  I helped review the initial CTS-I curriculum, count many of the developers of the CTS-D and CTS-I curriculum as my peers and was involved in developing one of the reference resources listed for the CTS-D.  Long story short, for various reasons I have never bothered obtaining a CTS-D or CTS-I certification and that has never impacted a single job or project.  I know many designers and installers in similar situations, they get work based on experience and reputation and would not benefit much from a certification.  However, if I was new to the industry or to the design or installer roles then I might pursue the certifications as way of increasing and validating my knowledge.

As far as study resources, that changed significantly a few years ago.  Initially the CTS certifications were all 'in-house' InfoComm, and before that ICIA (the International Communications Industry Association), certifications based on their courses.  When InfoComm pursued ANSI/ISO recognition of the certifications part of the effort required going to third-party testing and exams based on a general body of work rather than any particular course or curriculum.  So it used to be that the InfoComm course curriculum greatly drove the certification exam content, not it is the other way around.  Anyways, there is some information on references in the exam content in the CTS-D Handbook (  and some suggested study resources at

Do be aware that in some cases the answer wanted for the certification exams may not be the most technically correct answer.  For example, the CTS-D Handbook offers some sample questions that include "To measure background noise in a room, you would use a measurement device that measures: A) SPL B) NC C) RTA D) RT60."  They say the correct answer is "B)NC".  However, NC levels are calculated based on octave band SPL levels, the current practice recommended by ASHRAE for mechanical system noise references RC or PNC criteria rather than NC criteria and some Standards, such as the ASA/ANSI Classroom Acoustics Standard, reference dBA levels for background noise levels.  SPL levels also relate much more directly to the impact on AV systems.  All of these values could be measured directly by or calculated from octave band measurements with an RTA, however they cannot be calculated from a single number NC measurement.  Thus one could easily argue that the most accurate answer is C or even A, B and C rather than B, but over the years I have seen a number of such questions in the certification exams where the 'correct' answer is not necessarily the most accurate choice.


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