Becoming an ISA Certified Control Systems Technician® (CCST®) is a mark of career excellence that affirms your commitment to quality and demonstrates your expertise and knowledge of automation and control systems. It provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of your skills as a control systems technician.
Who Are CCSTs?
Working in process automation and manufacturing automation industries around the globe, CCSTs are an elite group of automation and control technicians who have proven they possess an extensive knowledge of automation and control systems. CCSTs calibrate, document, troubleshoot, and repair/replace instrumentation for systems that measure and control level, temperature, pressure, flow, and other process variables. They are skilled in pneumatic, mechanical, and electronic instrumentation. They understand process control loops and process control systems, including computer-based systems.
What is the difference between the CCST program and the NICET Certification?
NICET, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, offers a four-level certification program for instrumentation engineering technologists. The CCST program is designed specifically for the control systems technician, and is more application focused.
There are three levels of certification offered for control systems technicians. All certification levels provide a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation technician’s knowledge of and experience with project start-up, commissioning, loop-check, project organization, planning, and documentation.
Certified Control Systems Technician — Level 1
With a five-year minimum education and experience requirement, earning this certification confirms that you possess vast knowledge of calibration, maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.
Certified Control Systems Technician Specialist — Level 2
With a seven-year minimum education and experience requirement, this certification demonstrates Level one knowledge, as well as some knowledge of administration, supervision, or management.
Certified Control Systems Technician Master — Level 3
This certification demonstrates level one and two knowledge, including an extensive knowledge of administration, supervision, or management, and has a 13-year minimum education, training, and/or experience requirement.
CCST Certification Requirements
To become an ISA CCST, you must meet certain education and work experience requirements, pass an exam, and commit to the ISA Code of Ethics. Learn more about CCST requirements.
CCST Body of Knowledge (BOK)
The CCST BOK defines automation project domains, the tasks within the domains, and the knowledge and skills required to complete the tasks. CCST exams cover four major domains that have been organized based on the findings in a recent CCST job task analysis study. To see a complete explanation of the domains and the percentage of exam questions included from each domain, visit the CCST Body of Knowledge page.
How to Apply
There is no application form for CCST certification. The process involves confirming that you meet the following requirements and then taking an exam.
- Commit to the ISA Code of Conduct; and
- Be fully compliant with the CCST certification criteria, qualifications, and conditions for which you are applying; and
- Acknowledge that you are subject to a random application verification audit, and if audited you agree to provide the supporting documents required documentation proving that proves your qualifications.
Note: by paying the exam fee, you are confirming that you are aware of, have met, and can document that you meet the requirements for the CCST certification for which you are applying.
Click the appropriate button below to add the exam fee to your cart. After you complete your purchase and your payment has successfully processed, you will receive a payment confirmation email. Then, one month before your exam window, you will receive an email with the exam invitation and instructions for scheduling your exam.
About the Exam
You can take any of the CCST exams online from your office or home if the testing area meets the requirements and your computer meets specifications. You can also take the exam at a Scantron test center. The CCST exams are multiple choice and have different time durations and questions.
|Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) — Level 1||150||4 hours|
|Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) Specialist — Level 2||125||3 hours|
|Certified Control Systems Technician (CCST) Master — Level 3||150||4 hours|
How to Prepare
Want help preparing for a CCST exam? We recommend taking the review course for the certification which you are applying. When you enroll in a CCST review course, the application fee is included in the course price. You will automatically receive an exam invitation after you start the course. By paying for the review course, you are confirming that you are aware of, have met and can document the requirements for the certification level for which you are applying. Visit the Prepare for the CCST Exam page to view and select the course format that best suits your needs.
ISA has developed an extensive library of training courses, study guides and reference publications that are built around the technologies and topics covered on the CCST exams. These resources have been developed and reviewed by subject matter experts. Learn how to prepare for a CCST exam.
Reference to Standards and Codes
The aspects of automation covered on the CCST exam reflect the tasks performed in the range of practice settings throughout the United States. Familiarity with the following standards and codes is recommended. Download the Reference to Standards and Codes (PDF).
- ISA Standards
- IEEE Standards
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes and Standards
- National Electrical Code (NEC)
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Standards
- International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standards
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Standards
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Codes and Federal Regulations
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Standards
- US Food and Drug Administration Regulations
- American Petroleum Institute (API) Standards
For International applicants, note that the validation study for the exams was done in the United States, so there may be questions on the exam that reference US standards and codes.