ISA certification programs offer global recognition

International Society of Automation certifications provide an objective, third-party, unbiased assessment and confirmation of a person's skills, experience, knowledge and proficiency. They give accredited individuals the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and be recognized. Certification is different from licensure such as the Professional Engineer (PE) registration in the United States.


International Society of Automation certifications provide an objective, third-party, unbiased assessment and confirmation of a person's skills, experience, knowledge and proficiency. They give accredited individuals the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and be recognized.

Certification is different from licensure such as the Professional Engineer (PE) registration in the United States. A PE is recognized by most states to practice engineering in a particular discipline including electrical, civil, mechanical, chemical and control. A license typically requires levels of experience, academic background and the passing of an exam to earn this designation. The PE is authorized to prepare, sign and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval. Each country typically has its own licensure program. An ISA certification, however, has global recognition, which is a great feature in today's competitive market.

ISA offers two certification programs: the Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) and the Certified Automation Professional (CAP). ISA also supports a professional engineering license: the Control Systems Engineer (CSE).

The CCST program promotes the professional development of control systems technicians by recognizing and documenting knowledge, experience and education in automation and control, and provides a measurable hiring qualification. The CCST program has been popular with technicians and managers looking for an objective way to measure the skill level of control systems technicians.

The CAP program benefits managers and automation professionals by promoting professional development and recognition for individuals and provides measurable hiring qualifications for managers . The CAP program documents an automation professional's experience, knowledge and education by providing an objective skills assessment.

Both programs require recertification every three years. For employers looking to hire a CAP or CCST, recertification is a great advantage as it ensures a certain level of competency and a commitment to continuing education. Recertification mandates that the CCST or CAP earn a certain number of Professional Development Hours (PDH) to maintain a level of currency in his or her field. PDHs can be earned by attending workshops, seminars, training classes and many more continuing education opportunities related to automation.

The continuing education component of ISA certification should be an attractive aspect to any employer. It helps guarantee that the level of knowledge, skills and experience of their workforce current. Company support for an employee to earn or continue as a CCST or CAP sends a positive message to the worker that professional development is important and should be pursued.

The ISA CST Associate and ISA CAP Associate programs are designed for students desiring to enter an automation related career. It requires students to pass an exam to earn recognition. The ISA CST Associate program demonstrates commitment to a career in automation and control, and shows that educational accomplishments are only the beginning. An ISA CST Associate must have specialized work experience and/or an educational background in instrumentation and control, as well as successfully complete an ISA examination designed to measure a fundamental understanding of knowledge in instrumentation and control.

The ISA CAP Associate program recognizes students graduating from a four-year technical degree program who are interested in working in automation. It recognizes the student's interest and knowledge of automation. Although the CAP Associate program is not a certification program, it provides an additional credential for the graduating student. Students who pass the CAP Associate exam receive one year of "work experience" credit toward the CAP eligibility requirements. CAP applicants who have a four-year technical degree must document five years of experience in automation. The CAP Associate is eligible to take the CAP exam after four years of automation work experience.

ISA also supports a PE license program with the Control Systems Engineering (CSE). It requires an understanding of instrumentation and the automatic control of dynamic processes. The CSE examination is available through 44 state boards of engineering each October. It includes elements of electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering, centered on the technologies needed for feedback and feed forward control of dynamic systems.

CCST and CAP are credentials that could mean continued employment. For the CCST or CAP working in industry, it is critical that they continue to show the company that they are vital to the success of that enterprise. For potential new employees, it is always critical to show ways that you are better prepared than other applicants for the position.

Job competition is intense in today's competitive market. Holding a CCST or CAP certification could be the deciding factor in whether you are hired for that next position.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me