Optic OJT - On The Job Training Course
- Preparation For Direct FOA Certification For Fiber
Optic OJT Trainees
is the well-known term for "on-the-job training." Workers
learn on the job under the supervision of experienced
co-workers. FOA has been asked many times how its
resources like Fiber U can be used to help employers and
their employees involved in OJT. The interest in OJT has
been so high, especially during the difficult year in
2020, that FOA decided to formalize an OJT program and
create training aids to help employers develop qualified
techs using OJT.
FOA Fiber U OJT-To-Cert program combines
online study at Fiber U with OJT to help new employees
develop into certified technicians in only one
year. Upon completion of this program, the
trainee will be prepared to take the exam for the FOA
CFOT, Certified Fiber Optic Technician, the most widely
recognized fiber optic certification in the industry.
More information on the FOA
to fiber optics who are working in the field, learning
from supervisors and co-workers
wanting to help new employees become trained and
Supervisors needing a more structured OJT program to
help train recent hires
From this self-study program you should learn:
is fiber optics and how is it used in communications
fiber optic networks work
tools and components are used in building fiber optic
are the processes used in fiber optic installation
The hands-on skills needed to successfully install fiber
knowledge to complete the OJT program and pass the FOA
You will be expected to have a position at a company
that involves the installation of fiber optics.
should have completed schooling to at least the 10th
grade level with good reading comprehension and math
should have the permission of you company and agreement
that knowledgeable company employees will help and
need a laptop, tablet or smartphone and Internet access
that you can use to access Fiber U lessons and FOA
Guide pages of reference materials.
should complete the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics online
course (see below) before joining the FOA Fiber U OJT
Program Description The
FOA “OJT-To-Cert” program is designed for fiber optic
novices working at companies who want to provide organized
training for employees who have limited or no experience
in fiber optic installation. The
program combines online lessons here on the FOA’s free
web-based training site Fiber U covering the basic
knowledge of fiber optic installation with a structured
“on-the-job” training program to acquire the necessary
skills for performing the tasks involved in fiber optic
installation focusing on the scope of tasks your company
explain How OJT works and FOA's OJT-To-Cert program, FOA
created a short 10 minute YouTube video that explains
what OJT is, who uses it and how to use Fiber U to
organize and enhance OJT for new employees and
experienced workers too. On
The Job Training For Fiber Optics Using Fiber U
participating in the FOA OJT program should join the FOA
members. There is no cost to the company or
the trainee to participate in this OJT program except for
the cost of Fiber U certificates of completion and FOA
certification when the trainee completes the program.
To Be An FOA OJT Trainee
should have an education level of approximately 10th
grade, with basic math and adequate reading level. They
should have the ability to work independently, follow
directions and be punctual. They must be willing to commit
to the program which requires an extra level of time
commitment on the job, mostly for outside online study.
will need Internet access through a PC, tablet or
smartphone and Internet access at work and/or at home. The
hands-on labs will require use of the company’s equipment
as used on the job or purchase of inexpensive equipment
must complete the Fiber
U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course. and
achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion after
applying for the OJT-To-Cert program. The
FOA OJT-To-Cert program begins after the student
application is accepted by FOA.
OJT Supervisors and Mentors
it is preferable if one supervisor or mentor works with
the trainee during the course of the program, it's likely
that different job assignments will require several. The
OJT supervisors and mentors must be sufficiently
experienced in the type of work the trainee will be
performing to judge the trainee's progress and be willing
to commit working with the trainee for the program.
on the Fiber U OJT to Cert program, the OJT supervisor
should help set the timetable for achieving specific
learning goals and ongoing evaluation targets leading to
the opportunity to take the FOA CFOT online. The Fiber U
Basic Fiber Optics program has 10 lessons and for most
trainees, should take 10-20 hours of study.
Supervisor provides supervision to the trainee in a safe
environment with the necessary tools to perform the Fiber
U Basic Skills Lab “hands-on” assignments outlined in the
OJT to Cert program
arrangements within your company to participate in the
FOA OJT-to-Cert program
your company join FOA as a Corporate Member (no cost
to companies in the program)
FOA applications (below) for each trainee.
the trainee begin with the Fiber U OJT-to-Cert
program and download a Experience Log Spreadsheet
For The FOA OJT-To-Cert Program
and submit your application to the program.
OJT-to-Cert Application (PDF)
Download The FOA Fiber U OJT-to-Cert Experience Log
Use this spreadsheet to track your training and OJT
for FOA certification.
Courses At Fiber U
working on the job, the candidate must complete these
Fiber U online courses and OJT programs.
1 - Fiber
U “Basic Fiber Optics” - The Online
Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online OJT course
potential OJT trainee must first complete the
Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online OJT course.
This course has 10 lessons aligned with the FOA reference
materials. The learning objectives are outlined by the FOA’s
list of KSA’s (knowledge, skills and abilities) that
must be mastered to pass the FOA CFOT certification exam.
There are 10 lessons in the program which will take a
total of 10-20 hours of study and the trainee should be
expected to complete at least one lesson each week. Most
should do be able to Lessons 1 and 2 in the first week,
Lessons 3 and 4 in the second week, Lessons 5 and 6 in the
third week, then the rest one per week.
Lesson 1: Introduction, Overview, Standards, Safety
Lesson 2: Fiber Optic Jargon - The Language of Fiber
Lesson 3: Fiber Optic Communications
Lesson 4: Fiber Optic Transmission Systems and
Lesson 5: Optical Fiber
Lesson 6: Fiber Optic Cables*
Lesson 7: Termination and Splicing*
Lesson 8: Fiber Optic Testing*
Lesson 9: Fiber Optic Network Design
Lesson 10: Fiber Optic Network Installation
OJT supervisor should monitor the trainee's progress. It
is important to make sure the trainee is reviewing and
mastering the material on the agreed upon schedule so
he/she will be ready for the OJT portion of the
course. We suggest you have the trainee save each
completed lesson quizzes (print to PDF or paper) and
submit each one to you as they are completed. The
instructor can assign additional review material to
individual students as needed.
trainee must complete the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics
online course and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of
Completion before applying for the OJT-To-Cert
FOA OJT-To-Cert program begins after the student submits
their Fiber U Certificate of Completion and an application
to FOA and is accepted by FOA.
The supervisor should contact FOA for directions on
taking the Fiber U Certificate of Completion test.
2 – Fiber U Basics Skills Lab - Hands-On Training
U "Basics Skills Lab."
the trainee is working on company projects, they should be
exposed to basic practices of fiber optic installation and
begin developing the skills they need with the supervision
of an experienced installer. To help guide the training in
skills, Fiber U has a program aimed at skills development,
U "Basics Skills Lab."
Fiber U Basics Skills Lab is an online guide to learning
the basic hands-on skills used by fiber optic techs: cable
pulling and prep, splicing, termination and testing. This
online course is very comprehensive so not all hands-on
lessons will apply to every trainee, The appropriate
lessons can be chosen by the supervisor or trainee
as appropriate and when needed to prepare the trainee for
upcoming jobs. There is no schedule on this part of the
lessons; topics can be scheduled to fit the work being
done by the trainee.
1: Introduction, Safety in Working With Fiber Optics
Lesson 2: Fiber Optic Tools and
Equipment NEW: Purchase inexpensive
equipment online and use it for hands-on lessons. Go here.
Lesson 3: Fiber Optic Cables
Lesson 4: Fiber Optic Splicing
Lesson 5: Fiber Optic Termination
Lesson 6: Fiber Optic Testing
these hands-on lessons, there are FOA YouTube Videos and
“Virtual Hands-On” tutorials to give the trainee
step by step instructions on how to use tools and
components - prepare cables, splice, terminate and test
them. For each lesson, the trainee should use company
equipment and components to complete the hands-on
preferred, or if the company wants to start the trainee
with simpler tasks, the Basic Skills Lab has a DIY
program based on inexpensive equipment
available online that provide the basic skills before
beginning to use more professional equipment.
The trainee is expected to complete all the tasks in the
Basic Skills Lab during their OJT year.
completion of the two basic Fiber U courses, while the
trainee is working on the job, they may elect to take
additional Fiber U courses relating to their work. All
Fiber U courses are free and cover topics related to
skills and applications for techs doing fiber optic
will be eligible to take the FOA CFOT Certification exam
online at the completion of both parts of the program:
-The Basics of Fiber online course and the Fiber Optics
Basics Skill Lab
-Submission of the FOA OJT-To-Cert Experience Log
Spreadsheet documenting at least 12 months of projects the
candidate participates in
This information is
provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a
benefit to those interested in teaching, designing,
manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic
communications systems or networks. It is intended to be
used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no
way should be considered to be complete or
comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion
of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a
basis for learning, as a reference and for creating
their own documentation, project specifications, etc.
Those working with fiber optics in the classroom,
laboratory or field should follow all safety rules
carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of
any of this material.