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Fiber Optic Trainings / Certifications

Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT)

is the FOA certification for general fiber optics applications. CFOTs have appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities in fiber optics that can be applied to almost any job – design, installation, operation – for almost any application – outside plant, premises, manufacturing, etc.

Certified Premises Cabling Technician (CPCT)

is the FOA certification for designers, installers and operators of premises cabling networks. Premises cabling refers to building and campus cabling that is generally customer-owned and used for local area networks of computers, security systems, building management systems and other applications like industrial systems, electrical distribution management systems, etc.

Fiber To The Home/Curb/etc. (FTTx) (CFOS/H)

This course covers training personnel on Fiber To The Home/Premises/Curb (called FTTx). The course can be used to either train installation technicians already familiar with fiber optic installation (and FOA CFOT certified) or can be structured to train other personnel in various support roles, including customer service.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Training Is Required To Take The Exam?

Although most CPCTs/CFOTs obtain their certification by attending an FOA Approved school, no specific training is required to take the exam if you already have experience in the industry. The basic knowledge required may be gained from formal training classes, picked up from experience in the field or from self-study at Fiber U, the FOA free online self-study website. The exam is based on the FOA-written textbooks, The FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cabling or the FOA Online Reference Guide website for those who wish to study for it themselves.


For those wanting a formal course of study, there are many FOA-approved schools that include the FOA CFOT in their programs. To see what is involved in the courses, see  Detailed Curriculum Requirements For FOA-Approved Training Programs. For a guide to self-study for the FOA CPCT exam, go to Fiber U, the FOA free online self-study website.

How Does the Program Relate to Other Associations?

The FOA are often asked how they relate to other organizations like contractor associations, professional societies and other organizations involved in related areas. FOA is a technology-based professional society, focused on the technology which is used in many diverse applications represented by many other organizations. They feel they complement each other quite nicely. In fact many organizations recognize and use their certifications and they work with others to help develop theirs with respect to their specialties.

What Are the Benefits of FOA Certification ?

Like any certification program, the benefits to the members who pass the certification tests are based on the recognition of achieving a level of competence in the fiber optics field. For the end user looking for competent fiber optic personnel, it is the knowledge that this person has demonstrated knowledge and ability in the field and, perhaps even has documented experience. For the vendor of fiber optic products, it offers a technically-qualified pool of employees as well as contractors to recommend to end user customers who need to find installers for their networks. And, of course, surveys show that certifications generally lead to higher pay and faster career advancement.

What Knowledge Is Required?

The basic knowledge required may be gained from formal training classes in FOA approved schools, picked up from experience in the field and/or self-study. for example using FOA’s free web-based training site Fiber U.


For those wanting a training class and wish to know what is included in such a class, here are the FOA’s requirements for training classes. For those wanting a formal course of study, there are many FOA-approved schools that include the FOA CFOT in their programs.


For those with industry experience who want to study for themselves and apply for the FOA exams, the exams are based on the FOA’s own reference materials, the printed FOA textbooks (see below) such as the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics,or the FOA Online Reference Guide  particularly the section Fiber Optics, the Basics, FOA’s extensive selection of YouTube videos, and the FOA Installation Tech Bulletin  for those who wish to use online materials to study for it themselves, including using the study guides available in the FOA’s web-based training site Fiber U.

How Are Applicant's Skills Evaluated?

Students in training classes for FOA Certification will be trained in basic hands-on skills appropriate for the certification and the instructor will evaluate the student’s abilities to learn these skills. Those applying with field experience will submit documentation of their experience and other training plus references which will be evaluated by the FOA staff.

Does A FOA Certification Expire?

FOA certifications do not expire as long as you remain actively working in the industry or with the technology and renew your membership in the FOA annually. Unless you renew it and your FOA membership annually, the FOA assume you are not active in fiber optics and note that status on our database. If the FOA get an inquiry from a potential customer or employer, the FOA will report whether you are certified and whether you are listed as active or inactive in our database.


Active military personnel deployed overseas are not required to renew during that time. The FOA extend active status to all deployed personnel until they have returned stateside.


If your membership has expired, refer to the Renewal Policy to see how you may renew your certification.


If you have any questions regarding your FOA certification, please contact the FOA office directly.


Certification must be renewed annually. Renewal costs are explained on the renewal application or online.

Who Qualifies for the FOA Certifications?

Depending on the certification, qualified applicants may be students in FOA approved training courses or currently active technicians in the fiber optic industry. More on getting started with FOA Certification.