STCC to offer training in the growing field of fiber optics
Affordable Certified Fiber Optics Technician Courses start in September
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Make a phone call. Check your email. Watch a show on cable TV.
What do these three everyday activities have in common?
Modern telephones, internet and cable television are connected to fiber optic cables, which can ferry much more information than old-fashioned copper wires. Due to the growing demand for optical fibers, the telecommunications industry needs certified fiber optic technicians to install, maintain and repair its vast networks.
To help meet the demand for employees in this growing field, Springfield Technical Community College offers affordable training. The college has been running a Certified Fiber Optics Technician Course for the past several years. The next three-part introductory course takes place Sept. 12, 13 and 14 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Designed for anyone interested in becoming a certified fiber optic technician, the introductory course is a combination of theory (15 percent) and hands-on activities (85 percent). Students will take the certified fiber optic technician test sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association and given and graded the final class day. Students must pass the test to become certified.
You’ll need just a few basic requirements to enroll:
- Basic working knowledge of computers
- Ability to see and identify small items (an optical fiber is only a little thicker than the diameter of a strand of human hair)
- Ability to speak and understand English fluently
Once you have obtained certification, you may be qualified to install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics. Massachusetts is a top-paying state for telecommunications line installers and repairers, with an annual average wage of $74,430 as of May 2015, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
STCC works with Bob Ballard, the owner of BDI Datalynk, a company that trains fiber optic technicians and delivers the classes.
“Nationally, there is a need for skilled fiber optics technicians, and it’s growing,” Ballard said. “Currently, the communications industry employs workers in many different occupations, with over 50 percent employed in either installation, maintenance and repair occupations or office and administrative support occupations.”
STCC also offers more complex courses on Sept. 15 and 16 (Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing & Maintenance) and on Sept. 17 and 18 (Certified Fiber Optics Splicing Specialist Course). Click here to find out how to enroll in any of these courses.
Here are other details about the noncredit introductory Certified Fiber Optics Technician course:
Fee: $700 (includes textbook, study materials, CD, exams and consumables, and one-year membership to the Fiber Optic Association (FOA))
Time of class: September 12, 13, 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Number of hours of instruction: 24 (length may vary depending on the number of students taking the course).
What students learn in the class: The course introduces students to industry standards governing fiber to the desk, fiber to the home and distribution cabling. Students will learn how to identify fiber types, recognize various connectors used in fiber installation, and install, terminate, splice and properly test installed fiber cable to existing standards. The program explored the history and future of fiber optics and fiber optics capabilities and basic testing and troubleshooting.
For more information about the noncredit Fiber Optics Technician Courses offered at STCC, visit http://www.stcc.edu/wd/descriptions/ZTEC-120.asp. To enroll in person, go to STCC Building 16, Room 146 or call 755 4225.
About Springfield Technical Community College
Founded in 1967 and located on 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is a major resource for the economic vitality of western Massachusetts. As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, offers a variety of career programs unequalled in the state. STCC’s highly regarded transfer programs in business, engineering, liberal arts, science and technology continue to provide the most economical option for students pursuing a four-year degree. With an annual enrollment of more than 8,500 day, evening, weekend and online students, STCC is a vibrant campus rich in diversity.
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