Cedar Rapids, IA--The 2004 NSCA Systems Integration Expo will host the first certification exams for electronic systems technicians, ESTs, March 20 and 21, in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Awarded by NSCA, it is the industry’s first electronic systems-based certification.

The certified EST, or C-EST, designation is a prerequisite to the NSCA’s more advanced certified status, the registered electronic systems integrator, R-ESI. And the goal behind the new certifications, according to NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson, is twofold. “First, the C-EST and R-ESI certifications address our industry’s need for better-trained employees. And we are also addressing the construction industry’s demand for ways to appropriately specify technology into commercial building projects. The release of the exams in March 2004 has been timed with the release of the 2004 CSI MasterFormat which will detail the commercial electronic systems industry’s work in divisions 26, 27 and 28.” Concurrent with promotion to systems professionals, the NSCA is promoting both designations to the design community.

Two years work experience is required for the C-EST, although any professional is permitted to sit for the March 2004 exam. Those with less than two years experience may sit for the exam and then receive their C-EST designation after two years time. Testing includes a written exam and a hands-on skill demonstration to assess basic installation technique. After successfully earning a C-EST and meeting a series of work elements over time, systems professionals may take the R-ESI exam.

“The intent of the certification program is to support and advance the individuals who have the desire to excel. We are confident EST certification will be specifiable by the design community. We are confident it will be affordable for our member companies. And we are confident it will elevate our industry to the next level,” Wilson said.

The 2004 Systems Integration Expo is March 19-21 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Pre-expo education opens March 17. While attendee registration won’t open until November, exhibitor booth space is on sale now. More information is available at www.nscaexpo.org.