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What Does RCDD Certification Do for Your Structured Cabling Business?

by Chris Lee | December 5th, 2016

When it comes to cabling contracting, you already know about many of the requirements of the business. Licenses, taxes, memberships: all these things tie into your overhead as expected expenses. But what about independent certifications? Professional certifications help provide you with additional knowledge and your customers with the reassurance that you have had additional training in specific areas. But how do you know whether a specific certification will help your business? In this post, we'll discuss the RCDD certification and how it can benefit your company.

What Does RCDD Certification Do for Your Communications Business?

One popular certification is from the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BISCI) and applies specifically to the communications business. The Registered Communications Distributor Designer certification approaches the IT side of communications and can have many benefits for your business. Here's what it can do for you:
  • It's a long-lasting credential. As one of the longest-lasting credentials in the IT and communications industries, it's recognizable by many in the industry as it's been in effect since 1984. Unlike other credentials that haven't been around as long or have become defunct, you can rest assured that your certification will still be renewable for years to come.
  • It's becoming a more common requirement for bidding on projects. Larger projects and government buildings often require an RCDD certification to bid on projects as it provides assurance that the individual bidders have the necessary knowledge and experience to finish the job correctly.
  • It serves as an automatic proof of excellence and experience for your customers. Because you've been through the certification process, you've proven that you are able to complete more complex communications and IT jobs. It also shows that you have initiative to pursue more difficult projects and understand how to work through difficult issues on the job site.
  • It provides international recognition of your knowledge and experience. If you've considered projects that require international cooperation or are completed overseas, having an RCDD certification ensures that you're able to work with the different systems that are used in other countries.
  • If you've served in the armed forces, you may be able to get your certification costs covered through the GI Bill. This helps give you an additional leg up in the industry in addition to the discipline and attention to detail you learned during your time serving in our country's military services.
  • The knowledge you gain will be useful in all parts of project development and construction. During initial training, an RCDD certified expert can save money and materials through smart system design. As the project is being constructed, an overseer with RCDD certification can ensure the plans are implemented correctly, saving on potential modifications that would be needed if installed improperly. At the end of the project, the RCDD certified worker can sign off on the quality of the installation, a good selling point if the structure changes hands down the road.

What Does it Take to Get an RCDD Certification?

So what's involved in getting an RCDD certification? Here are some of the qualifications that are required and training that you'll undergo during the certification process:
  • You'll need a combination of three years of communications experience, though up to three of these years can include education or apprenticeship. At least two of the years must be verifiable in direct system design.
  • Though you're not required to follow a specific formal training prior to taking the certification exam, there are some recommendations to do well on the test. This includes pursuing practice test options, considering formal training in preparation for the exam, specific reading material to study and similar areas of concern.
  • Approximately 80% of the questions on the exam come from the Telecommunication Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM) from BISCI, which is updated periodically to cover upcoming technology and new methods that work well in the communications industry. It includes a number of different areas, including distributed antenna systems, IP infrastructure for audio visual equipment, passive optical networks and similar upcoming technology. Knowing this manual front to back can be very helpful in passing the test.
  • Other topics covered in the exam and TDMM include basic electrical and telecommunication theory and techniques, interacting with building safety and structural systems, industry specific material to help with particular circumstances and a range of business development topics that you may not otherwise expect in a technical certification process.
  • But what about the remaining 20% of the exam questions? These questions often come from a range of experience and design topics. You'll want to brush up on current materials and techniques as well as other changes in the industry that are either upcoming or recently added as a best-practices approach to telecommunications projects. These are typically covered in formal training classes.
  • If you're not sure whether you have the breadth of knowledge required for the test, you may want to consider enrolling in a formal educational program for the certification. These courses are available in a wide range of formats from many different facilitators, but typically include a number of workbooks in addition to a few days of classes that can be offered in person, over the internet or other class facilitation type and may include sample or practice tests to help give you confidence prior to taking the test.
  • To maintain your certification, you'll need to go through 45 continuing education hours every three years, with part of the hours spent at at least one BISCI conference during that time period.
The benefits of getting an RCDD certification for your communications business far outweigh the drawbacks and are typically well worth the investment. But what happens after you've received your certification? When you need comprehensive electrical estimation solutions that tie into your back office tasks such as accounting and analytics, Esticom is here for you. Even better, you can try it for free today with no credit card required.
Chris Lee
Chris Lee has an extensive background in preconstruction management as a former specialty contractor and business owner. As the Chief Estimator at Esticom, he’s helped thousands of specialty contractors digitize their preconstruction process to increase revenue and profitability while decreasing unnecessary overhead.

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