Need for General Communications Technicians Continues to Grow

ETA® International sees increasing demand for qualified General Communications Technicians (GCTs) who are certified to repair two-way radios, service and maintain public safety emergency systems, and perform complete communication installations. ETA’s GCT accredited certification series validates both knowledge and skills necessary for successful careers in today’s communications industry and has many useful applications for careers in all areas of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Greencastle, May 28, 2019: ETA® International anticipates industry’s need to fill thousands of entry-level jobs as well as advanced-level career openings for skilled technicians in the communications industry. ETA’s General Communications Technicians (GCT) certification series provides credentials so that industry and governmental agencies are assured they are employing competent installers, highly-skilled technicians and designers/engineers.

“The GCT series examines the technology protocols used in communications as well in new technology, such as IoT, and takes into account every aspect of the technical side of communications,” said ETA Vice Chairman Ira Wiesenfeld, PE, CETms(RF) of IWA Technical Services, Inc.

Wiesenfeld emphasizes that the understanding of the digital transmission modes in communications being used today is extremely important. He stated that the backbone of most communications systems has gone from analog to digital and today’s technicians and engineers need to be fully competent in this technology. He went on to say that GCT is instrumental in order to understand the physical layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model and the GCT suite addresses these topics as well as legacy technology still found in use today.

Wiesenfeld instructs a GCT Level 1 hands-on training course at ETA’s annual conference, Education Forum.

GCT Level 1 is devoted to the most important skill set required by the communications technician and provides basic knowledge in all the areas that the radio communications technician will encounter. GCT Level 2 delves into details of situations typically encountered every day in telecommunications industry and is suited for technicians who have been in the field for at least two years. GCT Level 3 explores design and engineering criteria most often encountered in complex communications systems. It covers more specific in-depth communications theories, troubleshooting skills and mathematics.

“I was pleased to see GCT covered topics that field RF techs encounter daily along with legacy topics such as wireline, PL/DPL and conventional systems,” said Matt Orr, GCT1, GCT2, is a construction manager for MD FiRST Project at Communications Electronics of Maryland who participated in instructor-led GCT 1 and 2 training. He added, “In my mind, this class was crucial to my success in the RF field.”

Orr stated. He added that P25 trunking is sweeping the nation like fire, but there are still many analog conventional systems out there. He said that one of the difficulties he had training a new-hire technician previous to his GCT training was having them grasp repeater talk-around, wireline, tone signaling and voting systems because many new technicians don’t understand antenna gain, which was covered in GCT training.

ETA’s accredited and industry-recognized GCT Levels 1, 2, and 3 certification series is modeled after the general communications industry systems basics and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines. The GCT series is based on DHS’s Communications Technicians (COMT), which details practices and procedures common to radio communications technicians encountered during all-hazards public safety emergency operations.

About ETA - Since 1978, ETA® International has delivered over 250,000 certification examinations. Widely recognized and frequently used in worker job selection, hiring processes, pay increases, and advancements, ETA certifications are often required as companies bid on contracts. ETA’s certifications are personal and travel with the individual, regardless of employment or status change and measure competencies of persons, not products or vendors. All ETA certifications are accredited through the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) and align with the ISO-17024 standard. .

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