What is a 631A Network Cabling Specialist License? And why is this trade designation important?

March 8, 2022

Communications and low voltage work is currently a voluntary trade in Ontario, meaning you don’t have to have a trade license in order to perform the work.

But did you know that there’s a trade designation for this work that can advance your career and open you up to new opportunities?

It’s true! It’s called the 631A Network Cabling Specialist License – and if you have experience in the trade, you might be able to obtain it.

What is a 631A Network Cabling Specialist License and how can the IBEW help me?

A 631A Network Cabling Specialist License is a designation that is governed by Skilled Trades Ontario (STO), and proves your competencies to meet industry standards.

After completing 4,600 hours of on-the-job training, you can challenge the exam and become a Certified, licensed 631A Network Cabling Specialist. Here’s how the IBEW will help:

  • We will help you with the Trade Equivalency Assessment (the required paperwork to prove your experience in the sector to Skilled Trades Ontario). We will also cover the $265 assessment fee.
  • After you are approved, we will enroll you in our pre-Certification of Qualification (CofQ) course (at no cost).  The course is offered entirely online.
  • We provide you with support throughout the pre-CofQ course to help you achieve your 631A License and advance your career.  We also include all the required materials at no cost (Code book, BICSI Manual, iPad, and Student Manual).
  • When you’re ready to write the exam, the IBEW will cover the $150 testing fee.

Why is this trade designation so important?

It goes without saying, but we have to follow very specific measures within the code regulations and telecommunication standards within our industry.

The 631A NCS License increases the legitimacy of workers on a job site. Because of the complexities within network cabling and communications installations, the 631A NCS License proves that a worker is competent in following building codes and knows how to install cable to every unique system. Achieving this trade designation is of great value to your career, and to ensure your employer can secure more complex work into the future.

The exam would cover areas such as:

  • Codes and Standards
  • Installations
  • Testing
  • Safety
  • Labeling

By achieving your 631A license, through apprenticeship or by challenging the exam, it shows prospective clients that you have successfully passed the industry test based on key competencies to be a qualified tradesperson in this sector.

The 631A Network Cabling Specialist License Can Grow Your Career

More and more employers want licensed 631A specialists.

Unfortunately, in the past most work has been done by workers without formal training and no license to qualify their skills. As technology advances and systems become more complex, clients will pay more for those who have formal training because they need expert and knowledgeable professionals to install their network systems.

More and more employers look to licensed professionals. They don’t want just anybody running cables on their jobsites, they want to know for sure that they’re code and standard-compliant when installed.

The certification can advance your career, provide job security and open you up to more opportunities.

What Kind of a Worker Do You Want to Be?

If you are working as a communications technician and want to take the first steps in completing either an apprenticeship or a Trade Equivalency Assessment, contact us now.

Looking to advance your career as a Network Cabling Specialist? Get the latest updates from IBEW by email and find out how you can take the exam.

Sign up here. 

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