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ETCP-Certified...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jongaduet, May 11, 2009.

  1. jongaduet

    jongaduet Member

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    So does being ETCP certified basically let you officially say "I know what I'm doing" ?

    It seems like "certified" is always a good thing to be, but I'm not sure if anyone in my town would care if I was certified much less know what it meant.

    What are the benefits? Should I do it? I'm trying to figure out how to spin it to get my boss to pay for it...if I decide to do it.

    Anyways, any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    spanks alot
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    From ETCP - Calls For Action - ETCP Information Gathering, Current Calls For Action, Previous Survey Results :
    The best reason of all may be that you'll get to join CB members [user]abbyt[/user], [user]STEVETERRY[/user], JohnHuntington, [user]derekleffew[/user], dbthetd (Theatre Rigging and Recognized Trainer), and (new CB member) Marko66. :)

    And you get a couple of sheets of stickers:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  3. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    Your boss should pay for it because it will reduce his liability, qualify his staff, and it's an important continuing education experience to study for and pass the exam. No matter where you started, you will know more when you study for and pass the exam.

    It will differentiate you from other "self-declared" experts--there is not much arguing with an ETCP certification. In short, it will make you more marketable.

    You should do it! What if you don't always work in Columbia? I realize it's a well-known hotbed of theatre activity ;), but in LA, NYC, Chicago, Vegas--an ETCP certification can help!


    ST
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  4. abbyt

    abbyt Member

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    I agree with what Steve said, and am not sure I could have said it much better myself. *waving* to Steve from nearby Greenway Station...

    In my own world of install sales, field service, and the occasional production work (mostly corporate), my certification has helped me and seems to increasingly do so, as time goes on and more people gain an understanding of just what the certification means. From install specs that require an ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician to be in charge of the lighting system install project, to working in various venues around the country who recognize the certification and automatically grant me a certain amount of automatic acceptance (that I am knowledgeable in my craft), I've been exceedingly glad that I took the test and decided to become certified. I understand some insurance companies recognize this commitment to safe practices and are inclined to give discounts on premiums.

    I can't say that I've seen it necessarily gain me any more respect than I might not otherwise have had (but then again, I'm not totally sure about that) but I do know that, being a female and sometimes dealing with the hurdles that come with that, I get many less arguments when I point out something unsafe or "wrong", or offer valid alternate safe ways of doing something.

    My employer paid for me to take the test. My company policy is that they will pay for it (pass or fail, and retakes one fails) as long as one doesn't leave the company within a certain number of years (then the company expects to be reimbursed for the test fees). We are also an ETCP Certified Employer, so our goal, in hiring anyone, is that they will work towards the goal of ultimately becoming certified, once they're experienced and knowledgeable enough to do so.

    I give it a big *thumbs up* and recommend to anyone, if they are able to get certified, then they should pursue doing so.

    Was any of this info useful? Let us know how it turns out!

    -Abby Tutorow
     
  5. genericcomment

    genericcomment Member

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    So being in college I should take ETCP in consideration for later? Sounds like something that could get my foot in the door.
     
  6. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Most likely you won't be able to take it until you are a few years out of school unless you are a returning student. You need so many points and a degree that is theatre related is only worth a fraction of the total needed to be able to sit for the exam.
     
  7. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    This is purely an academic question, since I doubt I'll have enough points to sit for the exam any time soon, but would Electrical Engineering be an applicable degree? I'm not working in theater right now, but I have a significant interest in it. And I like having letters behind my name. :)
     
  8. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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  9. church

    church Active Member

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    It is interesting to see the debate on this certification - which is a U.S. based qualification particularly with tours that cross borders.

    Here in Canada the situation varies in details from Province to Province but the situation is the same in principle. Each Province has Apprenticeship Acts that identify the scope of work that can only be performed by a licenced Journeyperson or apprentice. These acts cover different types of Electricians which restrict electrical installation work to only licenced Electricians and Apprentices. Applies to theatres. Once something is installed then in some instances maintenance of some equipment can be performed by qualified persons - employer deems who is qualified. These acts also apply to Millwrighting which covers rigging.

    Each Province also has an Engineers Act or Engineers and Geologists act which restricts all engineering design work including evaluating and supervising to only those individuals licenced in each Province. Some work is exempt i.e. house design where all of the design is covered by the wood allowable tables in the the provincial building codes similar for some steel work. But after that you need an engineer.

    The ETCP certifications provide a useful way of an employer identifying the "competent person" for work that is not covered by the various Provincial Acts. The challange as always is knowing where the limits are and when to bring in the appropriate persons. All of these have a role to play and all can and do work together.

    If you are doing an undergraduate level engineering degree you should decide what type of work you want to do if you want to do engineering work then get your engineers licence this should be your priority. If not then pursue the certification needed for the work you want to do.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    As Steve said, it does not matter what your degree is in if its not theatre technology. I have also met a few electrical engineers that I would not let wire a plug. Now, if you are a Journeyman or Master licensed electrician, that will give you some points fast.
     
  11. epimetheus

    epimetheus Well-Known Member

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    Touche...

    I've met quite a few of those myself, and luckily, I'm not one. Theater Tech is more of a hobby for my inquisitive mind anyway. In reality I just like all the blinky lights. I tried getting into the industry professionaly when I graduated college, unsuccessfully however. Of course I was unaware of CB then. Now I've been working in the Power Engineering industry long enough that I don't think I'm going anywhere. I'll take the PE exam in a few months anyway.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Just a few general thoughts. ETCP is new. While it may seem unnecessary at this point. It would be very wise for all of us to consider in our long range goals. There are MANY advantages to employers to only hire ETCP certified people. Give it time. Give employers time to figure out why ETCP is good for them. You can easily see that 5 or 10 years from now it will become more and more difficult for people who are not ETCP certified to get a job over those who are. That said, it may take you 5 years out of college to accumulate all the points you need to take the exam.

    To the old pro out there thinking, "I've done this for 20 years I don't need any stinking certification"... you might want to rethink that. Look 5 years down the road when all the new kids coming out of college now have their certification and you don't. You will find yourself in a position where over and over you have to prove that you know what you are doing while the kids just show their certificate. Once employers find out the benefits of hiring ETCP certified people, it could become increasingly difficult for you to get a job. So yeah you don't need the certificate yet, but that could easily change over the next 5-10 years as certification becomes more accepted and common. It would be extremely unwise to gamble your future employment on the current demand for something so new. Look into it more carefully and I think you'll see why I believe it's going to become more and more important in the future.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  13. jongaduet

    jongaduet Member

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    yeah, after some thought is definitely seems like something good to go for. I just saw the eligibility requirements and they are a bit scary. I mean I've been doing lights basically for 40 hours a week for 2 years now ideally giving me 40 (plenty of) points, but I'm a little uneasy about how they may "verify" this...

    It would be awesome to go journeyman...
     
  14. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    Well said!

    ST
     
  15. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Being a designer and not an electrician I am saving my money for a USA membership.

    But I have found that my (all be it old) union card gets me just as much respect and it took me a lot longer to get. *lol*

    Mike
     
  16. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I'm an IATSE member with a traveling card (for you that don't deal with IA that means I can work most anywhere given the right reasons) and I will still take the ETCP test later this year. Having an IATSE card is a good thing in many places but in too many others it means that you worked an over hire call and didn't get thrown off the call so they accepted you as a local member. ETCP is at very least a nation wide basis as to what to expect from people with this certification.

    Take it from a road guy, when you come into a local you know nothing about you expect the worst from all of your local crew, but at the same time my company hires only certified local riggers. I have never second guessed my riggers, my other locals.... yah not so much
     
  17. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    Question for the ETCP Certified members

    I have decided that my summer project will be studying to hopefully take the ETCP test in the fall (I think USITT is in Vegas this fall and does the test). I would prefer those who went through the process to answer the following questions for me:

    1) How did you actually study for the exam? What resources did you use (specific books, dvds, websites, etc)?

    2) What was required of you to "prove" your points? I have a BFA in Design/Tech, and have been freelancing for 5+ years. But I've never had a permanent "position" on a show or with a company. Are my Excel "make sure the paychecks match the hours" files, with company contact info, enough to prove my points?

    3) Any other helpful information/tips/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  18. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Re: Question for the ETCP Certified members

    Above post moved here from its own thread.

    ETCP Candidate Information/Electrical.
    I strongly believe this is not a test you can/should "cram" for. I purposefully did not study very much, so that I would have an convenient excuse if I failed. Luckily I didn't need the excuse, finished the test in much less than the time allotted, and found it easier than I had expected. Go over the Examination Content listed in the Candidate Handbook. Make sure you understand each and every category. The number of questions identifies the relative importance of the topic. Identify your strengths, and more importantly, your shortcomings. If you've never worked with film/TV lighting, peruse Harry C. Box's Set Lighting Technician's Handbook. If you've never worked with arena rigging, Harry Donovan's Entertainment Rigging (a surprise to many: there are, a few, rigging questions on the Electrician Exam!). NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is a must. Even Steve Shelley's A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting is useful. I may have forgotten some, the bibliography on the website is exhaustive. ESTA Foundation Electrical Bibliography.

    That's essentially what I did. While the committee wants to verify that you have the requisite experience, it is not their goal to grill you over the coals to prove your worthiness. If additional information is needed, Meredith will let you know.

    As odd as it may seem, I found the psychological advice on test taking useful. Referring to my answer to #1 above, you either know the material or you don't. Stay calm and relaxed. Don't tell anyone you're taking the test until after you've passed.

    Oh, and you needn't need to wait for USITT or LDI. (BTW, this year's LDI is in Orlando, 11/19-22/09; USITT is in Kansas City, March, 2010.) The test is available on computer at any time at over 170 H&R block locations. Personally, I found taking the test in confidence, on a computer, less stressful than had I taken a "pencil and paper" exam at a conference. And I had my results within minutes of completion.

    Good luck, and congratulations on making the commitment.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  19. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Re: Question for the ETCP Certified members

    I personally can't wait to take the ETCP exam, I know however I have at least a few years before I'm even eligible to take the exam but it is definitely something I want to do as soon as possible. I believe I have around 17 points already as I will have my official B.A. in Technical Theatre in 7 days (I graduate on the 23rd of this month) which is 7 Points isn't it? I also have 2 summers worth of 40 hour weeks at Martha's Vineyard Performing Arts Center, which is about 6 months worth of professional hours for a total of about 960 hours. I also have probably 100 hours in other theatres such as The Zeiterion, Island Moving Company, and Trinity Repertory Company.
     
  20. ngoik

    ngoik Member

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    Im looking to get my Rigging certification. It said on the ETCP website that you need at least 30 points to take the test, and you get points by doing a certain amount of rigging work.

    any tips on how to go about getting these hours? I found a staging company near by that does rigging and was wondering wether i should contact them?

    -Nat
     

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