CFOT® : Certified Fiber Optic Technician
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fiber optic techs have been certified by The FOA
through over 200 FOA-Approved training organizations worldwide!
CFOT® - Certified Fiber Optic Technician - is the primary FOA certification for all fiber optic technicians. CFOTs have a broad knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in fiber optics that can be applied to almost any job - design, installation, operation – and for almost any application using fiber optic communications.

: None, online course
Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics recommended for all students to prepare for the classroom courses or direct exam

What To Expect In Training Programs For CFOT Certification
To qualify for CFOT® Certified Fiber Optic Technician certification, a training program will cover at least the following topics:
  • Overview of  fiber optic applications and installations
  • Communications systems utilizing fiber optics
  • Fiber optic components appropriate for fiber optic networks
  • Installation of premises and outside plant fiber optic cable
  • Splicing and termination
  • Testing fiber optic components and cable plants
  • Hands-On Lab Exercises including hands-on splicing, termination and testing

  • Typical Field Experience For Direct CFOT Certification (Work to Cert)
    To qualify for the CFOT certification, at least two years of relevant field experience is  required, including documented experience installing and testing fiber optic networks. Training by employers, manufacturers or vendors of cabling products may be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
    Field experience installing and testing fiber optic networks must include the following:
    • Participation in multiple installation jobs, preferably including premises and OSP installations
    • Experience preparing various cable types
    • Experience with fusion splicing and several termination types
    • Experience testing with visual inspection, VFL, OLTS, OTDR

    What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
    For preparation for the CFOT course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics course.

    CFOT® - Certified Fiber Optic Technician - is the primary FOA certification for all fiber optics applications. CFOTs have appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in fiber optics that can be applied to almost any job - design, installation, operation - for almost any application - outside plant, premises, manufacturing, etc.
    FOA CFOT certification is based on an extensive knowledge of fiber optics technology and application as well as demonstrated skills in appropriate tasks. Most CFOTs work in the industry as contractors or installers. Consultants, network designers, estimators and trainers would also be expected to have such credentials.  CFOTs are also involved with the manufacture of fiber optic components such as cables, patchcords, active devices and communications systems.

    However, the CFOT certification has been structured as a general technology certification, not aligned to any specific job function. It is used by all installers, both outside plant and premises installers, two very different applications, plus component manufacturing technicians, network managers, network designers, etc. A well-prepared fiber optic technician will have a CFOT plus appropriate specialist certifications (CFOS) for the skills needed for the job (OSP, spicing, connectors, testing, design, etc.) and applications (FTTH, OLAN, Wireless, etc.)

    The FOA also offers certification in premises cabling (CPCT,) which also includes copper wiring and wireless.

    The FOA CFOT certification requires a test of the applicant's knowledge of fiber optics in a broad-based exam that covers technology, components, installation and testing and also requires verified skills and/or experience in fiber optics.
      We call these the KSA - knowledge, skills and abilities. KSAs for the CFOT certification.

    The FOA CFOT
    ® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) is  a registered trademark.

    How Does One Qualify for the FOA CFOT?
    FOA CFOT certification means the person with a CFOT has demonstrated extensive basic knowledge of fiber optics and demonstrated skills and abilities in processes used in the industry. These requirements are summarized as KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities). Here are KSAs for the CFOT certification.

    Knowledge is tested in the FOA CFOT exam taken by all applicants.

    Skills can be demonstrated in hands-on lab exercises and verified by instructors giving an FOA-Approved course or for those already working in the industry, verified industry experience.

    Abilities: Fiber optic techs need the ability to perform relevant tasks, evidenced by showing skills in hands-on tasks.
    There are two paths to CFOT certification: 1) training at an FOA-Approved school or 2) experience in the industry and other training or self-study, as preparation for taking the FOA CFOT exam through the FOA Direct Certification Program.

    Anyone who attends a CFOT course at an FOA-Approved school wil be able to take the exam as part of the course. 
    Find an FOA-Approved school

    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. Many companies require FOA certifications or even offer FOA certifications to their personnel through internal training classes.

    What Training Is Required To Take The Exam?
    Most CFOTs obtain their certification by attending an FOA Approved school. If you already have documented experience in the industry, see FOA's Direct Certification Program   The basic knowledge required may be gained from formal training classes, or from self-study using the FOA textbook or at Fiber U, FOA's free online training site.

    For preparation, either to take a training course or using the direct Work To Cert program, you should take the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics course that is preparation for the CFOT exam and get your Certificate of Completion.
    For those just beginning in fiber optics or 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.

    How Is the Certification exam administered?
    For the CFOT certification, there is a certification exam. FOA-Approved Schools offer the CFOT exam at the end of their training classes or allow taking it afterwards.

    Preparing For The CFOT Exam

    If you are planning on taking the CFOT exam, you need to study the materials on which the exam is based. The CFOT exam is a written exam consisting of 100 multiple choice, matching and true false questions. You must answer at least 70 questions correctly to pass.

    The exam is based on the FOA textbook,  the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics, or the FOA Online Reference Guide online,   particularly the section Understanding Fiber Optics, the Basics, and the FOA Installation Tech Bulletin which should be used as references for any classes that aim toward FOA CFOT certification.

    To simplify preparation, you should take the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics course that is preparation for the CFOT exam and get your Certificate of Completion.

    You can also read the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics textbook and answer all the chapter questions.
    FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics
    Installation techniques, standards and codes are important and the CFOT exam will cover these topics. Take the FIber U Basic Skills Lab to prepare.

    Get started on FOA certification:
    Experienced techs may apply directly for FOA  Certification through FOA's Direct Certification Program
    Those getting started in fiber optics should find an FOA-Approved school

    More on FOA certifications 


    The FOA reserves the right to make changes to the certification programs without notice.

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