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Top 10 Relay Technician Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the most popular and sought-after relay technician certifications available today.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are extremely important for a relay technician in the job market. Certifications demonstrate to employers that the technician has acquired a certain level of knowledge and experience in their field. They also show that the technician is committed to staying up-to-date on industry practices and technologies. This can give hiring managers confidence that the technician has the skills necessary to be successful in their role. Additionally, certifications can open doors to higher-level positions or promotions, as they often come with added responsibilities and opportunities for advancement.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Relay Technicians and explain how they can help to advance a relay technician's career.

What are Relay Technician Certifications?

Relay Technician Certification is a program designed to provide certification for those who design, install, maintain, and operate protective relay systems. It is intended to validate the knowledge and skills of relay technicians in order to ensure that they are knowledgeable and competent in their field. This certification program can help improve the safety and reliability of electrical systems by ensuring that relay technicians have the appropriate knowledge and skill-set to properly design, install, maintain and operate protective relays. Relay Technician Certification also helps employers to ensure that their employees are qualified to work with these sensitive systems and that they are following industry accepted standards. This can help reduce risk of injury or damage due to improper installation or operation of protective relays. Ultimately, this certification program helps protect people, property, and the environment from electrical system failures.

Pro Tip: When considering a relay technician certification, make sure to research the company or organization offering the certificate. Ask for references and read up on the reviews of their program to ensure you are getting quality instruction and materials for your certification.

Related: What does a Relay Technician do?

Top 10 Relay Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Relay Technicians today.

1. National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Certified Relay Technician

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Certified Relay Technician program is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and skill in the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of protective relaying systems. This certification is designed for technicians who are responsible for installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting electrical power systems. It is intended to ensure that these technicians have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively install and maintain protective relaying systems.

To become a NECA Certified Relay Technician, applicants must first complete an approved training course from an accredited institution or organization. The course must include topics such as basic electricity, relay fundamentals, electrical safety, testing procedures, system protection principles, relay coordination principles, and other related topics. After completing the training course, applicants must then pass a written exam administered by NECA.

The cost of the NECA Certified Relay Technician program varies depending on the institution or organization providing the training course. Generally speaking, however, it can range anywhere from $500-$1,000 USD. The length of time it takes to become certified depends on how quickly one completes their training course and passes their exam; typically it takes between 1-2 months to complete all requirements for certification.

2. International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Relay Technician

The International Society of Automation (ISA) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to properly install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair protective relays. The certification program is open to anyone who has two years of experience in the field of protective relaying.

To become an ISA Certified Relay Technician, applicants must pass a written exam that covers topics such as relay principles and operation, relay testing and calibration, installation and maintenance of protective relays, and troubleshooting techniques. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours. A passing score on the exam is 70 percent or higher.

In order to take the exam, applicants must first register with ISA and pay an examination fee. The cost for the exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of ISA. For members, the cost is $150 USD; for non-members it is $200 USD. Once registered and paid for the exam, applicants will receive an authorization code from ISA which can be used to schedule their examination at a Pearson VUE testing center near them.

Once you have passed your examination, you will receive your ISA Certified Relay Technician certificate in the mail within 8 weeks. The certificate is valid for 5 years after which time you will need to retake the examination in order to renew your certification status.

3. Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified Relay Technician

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program designed to help relay technicians demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the field. This certification is offered through the CSIA, an international organization that provides education, resources, and support for control system integrators.

To become a CSIA Certified Relay Technician, applicants must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of relays, including installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as electrical safety, relay operation and testing procedures. Applicants must also have at least two years of experience working with relays in order to qualify.

The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and is administered by a proctor at a designated testing center. The cost of the exam is $400 USD per person.

Once applicants have passed the exam, they will be issued a certificate from the CSIA that recognizes them as a Certified Relay Technician. This certification is valid for five years and can be renewed by taking another exam or completing additional training courses related to relays.

4. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Certified Relay Technician

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Certified Relay Technician program is a certification program designed to ensure that technicians are qualified to maintain, install, repair, and troubleshoot protective relays used in the electrical power industry. It is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates a technician's knowledge and skills in the field of relay technology.

To become an IEEE Certified Relay Technician, individuals must pass a written exam administered by the IEEE Certification Program. The exam covers topics such as relay theory and principles, operation of protective relays, installation and maintenance of protective relays, fault analysis and testing of protective relays, and safety issues related to protective relays.

The exam typically takes about three hours to complete. Candidates must also have at least two years of experience working with protective relays or other related equipment in order to be eligible for the certification.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on the country or region where it is taken. In the United States, it costs $250 USD per attempt. There may also be additional fees associated with registering for the exam or obtaining study materials that can add up to several hundred dollars more.

5. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Certified Relay Technician

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program that provides recognition to those who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the installation, maintenance, and repair of relays used in the electrical power industry. This certification program is administered by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

To become an ANSI Certified Relay Technician, individuals must first complete an approved relay technician training course. The courses vary in length depending on the type of relays being worked on, but typically range from two days to one week. After completing the course, individuals must pass a written exam and demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on testing.

Once these requirements are met, individuals can submit their application for certification to NECA. The cost for the application is $150 and includes the examination fee. Once approved, applicants will receive their certificate which is valid for five years before needing to be renewed.

In addition to passing the examination and demonstrating their knowledge through hands-on testing, applicants must also show proof of experience working with relays or related equipment in order to be eligible for certification. This experience must include at least two years of full-time work as a relay technician or equivalent experience in a related field such as electrical engineering or instrumentation technology.

Overall, becoming an ANSI Certified Relay Technician requires completing an approved training course and passing both a written exam and hands-on test as well as providing proof of experience working with relays or related equipment. The cost for applying for this certification is $150 which includes the examination fee.

6. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Certified Relay Technician

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Certified Relay Technician Program is a comprehensive certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain, test, and troubleshoot protective relays. This program is intended for technicians who work in the power industry and have experience with protective relays.

The EPRI Certified Relay Technician Program consists of two levels: Level I and Level II. The Level I certification is designed for those who are just starting out in the field of protective relaying, while the Level II certification is intended for more experienced technicians.

To obtain the EPRI Certified Relay Technician certification, applicants must complete a written exam that covers topics such as relay theory, testing procedures, maintenance requirements, troubleshooting techniques, and safety considerations. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and can be taken at any authorized testing center.

The cost of taking the EPRI Certified Relay Technician exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it can range from $150 to $200 per exam.

7. North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Certified Relay Technician

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program for electric power system protection technicians. It is designed to ensure that personnel performing protective relay testing, maintenance, and commissioning are qualified to do so. The certification provides assurance that the technician has the necessary technical knowledge and experience to safely and effectively perform their duties.

In order to obtain the NERC Certified Relay Technician certification, an individual must first complete a minimum of 80 hours of classroom training in protective relaying principles and practices. After completing the classroom training, individuals must then pass a written exam administered by NERC. Once these requirements have been met, individuals can apply for their certification which will be valid for three years.

The cost of obtaining the NERC Certified Relay Technician certification varies depending on the provider offering the training course. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,500-$2,000 USD to cover both the classroom training and exam fees.

In addition to completing the required coursework and passing the exam, individuals must also demonstrate a minimum of two years of practical experience in protective relaying before they can become certified as a NERC Certified Relay Technician. This experience should include tasks such as setting up relays and performing tests on them as well as troubleshooting any issues with them.

Overall, becoming a NERC Certified Relay Technician requires dedication and commitment but can ultimately provide individuals with valuable skills that could lead to career advancement opportunities in electrical power systems protection.

8. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Certified Relay Technician

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program designed to train and certify technicians in the installation, maintenance, testing, and repair of electrical relays. It is a globally recognized qualification that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and expertise in the use of electrical relays.

To become an IEC Certified Relay Technician, one must complete a training course that covers topics such as relay fundamentals, relay types, relay testing techniques, and troubleshooting methods. The course typically takes between two to four weeks to complete depending on the provider. Upon successful completion of the training course, individuals must pass an examination in order to be certified.

The cost of becoming an IEC Certified Relay Technician varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000-$2,500 USD for the entire process which includes the training course and exam fees.

9. Underwriters Laboratories Incorporated (UL) Certified Relay Technician

Underwriters Laboratories Incorporated (UL) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program that allows technicians to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the installation, maintenance, testing, and troubleshooting of relays. This certification is designed to ensure that technicians understand the principles of electrical protection and are capable of performing the necessary tasks safely and effectively.

The UL Certified Relay Technician program consists of two parts: an online assessment and a hands-on practical exam. The online assessment tests a technician's knowledge of relay theory, terminology, and application. The practical exam requires the technician to demonstrate their ability to install, maintain, test, and troubleshoot relays in a laboratory setting.

To become certified as a UL Certified Relay Technician, applicants must first successfully complete the online assessment with a score of 80% or higher. After passing the online assessment, applicants must then register for and pass the practical exam at one of UL’s authorized training centers. The cost for both parts of the certification process is $1,000 USD. Depending on an individual’s prior experience and knowledge base it can take anywhere from 1-3 months to complete both parts of the certification process.

10. National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Certified Relay Technician

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Certified Relay Technician is a certification program that provides education and training in the installation, maintenance, and repair of fire alarm systems. This certification is designed to provide technicians with the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and effectively install, maintain, and repair fire alarm systems.

To become a NFPA Certified Relay Technician, an individual must complete a minimum of 40 hours of approved training from an accredited institution or organization. The coursework typically covers topics such as system design, installation techniques, troubleshooting methods, maintenance procedures, and safety protocols. Upon successful completion of the training program, individuals must pass a written exam administered by the NFPA.

The cost for the NFPA Certified Relay Technician program varies depending on the institution or organization offering it. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $500 to $1,000 USD per person for the entire course.

In addition to completing the required training and passing the written exam, applicants must also submit proof of their work experience in fire alarm systems installation or maintenance. Applicants must have at least two years of verifiable experience working with fire alarm systems before they can be considered for certification.

Once all requirements are met and approved by the NFPA Certification Board, applicants will receive their official NFPA Certified Relay Technician certificate. This certificate is valid for three years from date of issuance and must be renewed every three years in order to remain active.

Do You Really Need a Relay Technician Certificate?

When considering a career in the field of electronics, it is important to understand the value of obtaining a Relay Technician Certificate. The certificate is recognized by employers as proof of an individual's ability to safely and accurately complete relay tests and repairs on electrical equipment. It also demonstrates that the individual has the necessary knowledge, skills, and understanding to work safely with high voltage equipment.

The Relay Technician Certificate is highly sought after by employers, as it provides assurance that potential employees have the necessary qualifications and experience to handle complex relay systems. The course covers topics such as safety protocols, communication techniques, fault analysis, testing methods, and troubleshooting techniques. In addition to this knowledge base, individuals must demonstrate their ability to use technical instruments such as oscilloscopes and multimeters in order to successfully complete their tasks.

Without a Relay Technician Certificate, job seekers may find it difficult to secure employment in this field. Although many companies may accept applicants without certification if they possess relevant experience or education, having a certificate can give them an edge over other candidates due to its recognition of expertise in the area. Furthermore, obtaining certification can open more doors for individuals looking for higher-level positions within the industry or those interested in advancing their careers further down the line.

In conclusion, while having a Relay Technician Certificate is not strictly necessary for those looking to enter into this profession, it can be beneficial in terms of gaining recognition from employers and increasing one's chances of securing a job. For those who are serious about pursuing a career path in electronics engineering or related fields, getting certified is strongly recommended.

Related: Relay Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Relay Technician Certifications

1. What are the requirements for becoming a certified relay technician?

Answer: Generally, there are no specific educational requirements to become a certified relay technician. However, it is recommended that applicants have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as knowledge of electrical theory and experience working with relays. Certification requires completion of an approved training program and passing an exam offered by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET).

2. How long does it take to become a certified relay technician?

Answer: The amount of time required to become a certified relay technician varies depending on the individual's experience level and prior knowledge. Generally, it can take up to one year or more to complete the necessary training and pass the certification exam.

3. How much does it cost to become a certified relay technician?

Answer: The cost of becoming a certified relay technician depends on the type of training program chosen and any associated fees. Generally, costs range from $500-$1000 or more depending on the program chosen.

4. Is continuing education required after becoming a certified relay technician?

Answer: Yes, most certification programs require that technicians maintain their credentials through continuing education courses or periodic recertification exams.

5. What types of jobs can I get with my certification?

Answer: Certified relay technicians can work in various industries such as power generation, transmission & distribution, oil & gas production, industrial automation & control systems, etc., typically performing tasks such as testing & troubleshooting relays and other protective devices in order to ensure safe operation of equipment and systems.