You may remember as a child watching the Jetsons cartoons where everything at home was taken care of by the touch of a button. Granted, we don't fly around in jet-powered cars, take buses to nearby planets, nor do our houses resemble the "high tech" home the Jetsons lived in, but we have certainly come a long way with home technology. Home networks, many of which are wireless, are becoming more and more commonplace. There are also burgeoning technologies that allow you to automate just about everything in your home. Did you forget to turn the stove off before catching your plane? No problem! Just take out the BlackBerry and through a wireless connection at the airport you can turn off the stove. Sounds very "Jetsonian," doesn't it? Well, rest assured that we are moving in that direction.
What does this look into the Jetsons and high-level home technologies have to do with certification? Great question, and CompTIA has provided a certification that does deal with high-tech homes. As you probably know, many homes are wired for networks, entertainment systems, protection systems, and control of utilities. Many new homes are being built with this new functionality, and even owners of older homes are hiring technicians to come in and install home networks, entertainment systems, and so forth as well. CompTIA, in conjunction with companies such as Best Buy, Sears, CompUSA, and a whole host of others involved in home automation, developed the HTI+ certification to qualify personnel interested in the home automation process.
The HTI+ Certification
HTI+ is short for Home Technology Integrator, and you may also be asking, "What exactly is involved with this certification?" It certainly is not like your typical IT certification, but it does have a strong computer-based focus to it. An automated home can include the following features:
- Home Network for File, Print, and Internet Services
- Audio/Video Home Entertainment
- Home Security Systems
- Telecommunications Services
- Home Lighting Control
- HVAC Management (Heating and Air Conditioning)
- Home Irrigation Controls
- Home Access Controls
Where the computer focus, beyond the home network functionality, comes into play is the ability of the HTI+ certified technician to centrally locate all home automation functionality into the home's central computing system. The goal is to allow homeowners to control all home automation services from their home computer system.
Who Is the Typical HTI+ Candidate?
Because this certification is a little different from the typical IT exam, the typical candidate for the HTI+ certification spans several professional areas. Professionals with at least one year of experience in information technology, building trades, electrician work, HVAC installation, audio/video integration, and home security are good candidates for the HTI+ certification. Also, CompTIA recommends that the HTI+ candidate either be both A+ and Network+ certified or have equivalent knowledge. This is not a prerequisite set down by CompTIA, but it is an advisement of the level of IT knowledge you should have in order to pass the HTI+ certification and implement home technology solutions.
What's on the HTI+ Exams?
Like with CompTIA's popular A+ exam, you must pass two different exams to obtain the HTI+ credential. The first exam is Residential Systems (HT0-101) and the second exam is Systems Infrastructure and Integration (HT0-102). You can take these two exams on the same day, or you can complete one and then take the other at a later time.
According to CompTIA's Web site (www.comptia.com), the exams cover a total of three domain areas. The following table breaks down the domains and the exam topics covered in each domain:
Because there are two exams the HTI+ candidate must pass, CompTIA's breakdown of the preceding topics for each exam (as listed on www.comptia.com) is as follows:
|Exam One: Residential Systems (HT0-101)|
|Domain||% of Exam|
|1.0 Computer Networking Fundamentals||25%|
|2.0 Audio/Video Fundamentals||20%|
|3.0 Home Security and Surveillance Systems||10%|
|4.0 Telecommunications Standards||10%|
|5.0 Home Lighting Control||10%|
|6.0 HVAC Management||10%|
|7.0 Water System Controls||10%|
|8.0 Home Access Controls||3%|
|9.0 Misc Automated Home Features||2%|
|Exam Two: Systems Infrastructure and Integration (HT0-102)|
|Domain||% of Exam|
|1.0 Structured Wiring, broken into the following two subcategories:||50%|
|1A. Low voltage (for example, twisted pair, coax, shielded, and fiber)||25%|
|1B. High voltage (nominal 120/240 volt)||25%|
|2.0 Systems Integration - User interface and control processors||50%|
Always remember to stay current with exam objectives and expectations. Often, exam study can consume considerable time, so be sure to always stay current with an exam vendor's objectives list because exam objectives can and do change without much notice. These lists can most likely be found on the vendor's Web site. In the case of HTI+, visit www.comptia.com and look on the Certifications sub page for HTI+.