SBE Certification

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fmrfman
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SBE Certification

Post by fmrfman » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:04 pm

Hey guys:

I'm studying for my CBRE test and was wandering what you guys might recommend. I have the cert preview software but it really is not a good way to the learn the material. The recommended reading lists for these tests is beyond extensive and expensive. Recommendations for how to best approach preparing for this test?

Thanks,
Mark

Kelly
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by Kelly » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:19 am

What is the reason you feel the need to get an SBE certification? Here's the reason for my question: If it's required for a job you're applying for, then fair enough. If you think it may give you a leg up on potential employment? I disagree.

Over the years I've known/met folks who call themselves Broadcast Engineers with an SBE-CPBBE, EIEIO, whatever, next to their name that I wouldn't trust to plug in a microphone. Your value to an employer comes from work ethic, knowledge, and experience. Not just some letters you put past your signature.

Okay those of you with SBE certifications, flame on!
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RGORJANCE
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by RGORJANCE » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:14 am

This post triggered a sore spot of mine. In the very early days, I was "grandfathered as a CPBE" by the SBE. To a degree, I felt it was a somewhat "honorary certification", even though it was based on ones long term experience in the industry as a "bcst engr". I think we needed some references to help substantiate the experience and qualifications.

At the time I was an SBE member. Not too many years after this certification was initiated, they (SBE) decided you now have to do a substantial amount of paper work to prove you were still a bcst engineer, provide a lot of detail regarding seminars attended, etc., and pay a fairly hefty fee to them for retaining the above mentioned cert.

At the time, I seem to recall that you had a modest window to research, accumulate and file the info. Co-incidentally with this, I was working many 16 hour days doing a 5 studio build-out, installing a transmitter, moving and changing frequency of a transmitter and trying to plan and document the project. I just was too busy and tired to get the stuff done "to fit their schedule". My cert was pulled. Appealing the SBE decision to terminate was summarily turned down.

So, I withdrew from the organization. Several years later, after cooling off, I went to re-apply for the cert. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to come back in at a much lower level and had to "cert" my way back up and pay a pretty big fee. That made my decision easy and quick. The overall cost, investment of time and cost to go thru the process could not be justified based on the ROI (return on investment).

In spite of the situation, and in my opinion, the certification concept is sound, if however seemingly monetarily driven. And I agree, if the job requires the certification, so be it. Just be sure you are properly compensated for having the cert.

Since the FCC unwisely chose many years ago, to eliminate the need for a full time employed FCC licensed engineer at directional, the profession has suffered a lot, not to mention the degradation of many facilities into poorly maintained trouble spots.

So, for the past, at least 25 years, I have managed to remain in this profession without the certification, and have had many rewarding experiences and made many friends.

Stepping off soap box.

Fossil

PA_TUNE
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by PA_TUNE » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:39 am

Well, okay.

To answer the original question..... The CERT Preview is helpful. The CBRE is an open book test, so having the resources available to you when you take the exam is quite helpful. There are a lot of reference materials on the list, so don't think you can just bring them all along and not study because you won't have nearly enough time to look up the answer of each question. If you're been working in the field for a few years, you will find that this exam isn't bad at all.

I was able to find all of the materials in local university libraries. If you have a College or University nearby that has an engineering department, you may find some of the reference material there on loan.

Good luck. The SBE Cert program isn't perfect, but it's all we have now. First Phone is gone. I'm glad you see the value in it.

fmrfman
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by fmrfman » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:05 pm

No flames coming from me. I appreciate your valuable input!

If I remember correctly a little less than half of the broadcast engineers in the U.S. are SBE certified. The only reason I am pursuing it is because I've noticed a trend of the words "highly desirable" for SBE certs in many job posting over the last 3 or 4 years. I have my tech certs and wanted to upgrade but taking the tech test and using the cert preview for the CBRE test I have to tell you that most of what they cover doesn't seem relevant to what I do on a day to day basis. Honestly these tests don't really prove you have a skill set right?

I spent a huge amount of time looking over job postings (majority out of the radio field) during nearly 3 years of continuous unemployment and the job descriptions and skill set they ask for are just ridiculous. I worked at one outfit where the director of engineering would have to give them some basic requirements and then HR would write a requisition that would ask for the moon and looked like it was written by a legal team. And this organization had a revolving door engineering department. Their current openings have been stagnant for well over a year.

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Re: SBE Certification

Post by ChuckG » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:08 pm

Kelly wrote: EIEIO,
That's an error message, your equipment has bought the farm. :lol:

I agree personally on the certs, I've never been asked if I have them, instead I've had to explain what they are to a generally disinterested GM, who follows up with "Well, can you fix this stuff then?"
But I work in small markets and the flip side is also with merit, with the demise of FCC licensing it's all that's left. Some employers may find it important. If you are running into jobs asking for it, then that question is answered. It's important.

Like PA_Tune, our technical college has a lot of good reference material on hand and much if it's available on line now too. Perhaps you have something similar nearby? Do they make study guides for these exams anymore, or just practice tests?
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by BroadcastDoc » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:35 pm

As someone who is proudly certified, yes, there are people with certifications who are worthless. There are people without them that are worthless too.

However, certification does tell a potential employer that you are serious enough about your career to have gone through the process.

Do you need certification? No.

Should you be certified? Only you can determine that.
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by BroadcastDoc » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:35 pm

As someone who is proudly certified, yes, there are people with certifications who are worthless. There are people without them that are worthless too.

However, certification does tell a potential employer that you are serious enough about your career to have gone through the process.

Do you need certification? No.

Should you be certified? Only you can determine that.
Christopher "Doc" Tarr CSRE, DRB, AMD, CBNE
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by COMMENG » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:14 am

...Since the FCC unwisely chose many years ago, to eliminate the need for a full time employed FCC licensed engineer at directional, the profession has suffered a lot, not to mention the degradation of many facilities into poorly maintained trouble spots.

So, for the past, at least 25 years, I have managed to remain in this profession without the certification, and have had many rewarding experiences and made many friends...

Stepping off soap box.

Fossil
I have to agree as the same thing happened to me earlier in my life.

I think some of the more instructive and informative education came when one had to study for the First Class FCC RT test from the Robert M. Knoll texts.

If the current company you are working for requires you to have letters behind your name then have that company write you a check to cover costs of training.

I have doctorate letters behind my name but I don't think you would want me taking out your appendix. :mrgreen:

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Chris Arnesen
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by Chris Arnesen » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:35 am

As someone who is trying to start a career in broadcast engineering, I've been encouraged by engineers already in the field to get SBE certifications as it is very difficult for someone without career experience already to get into the field.

I succeeded in getting my CRO in February and I'll be testing for the CBNT hopefully this fall. I'm also volunteering at a local LPFM doing whatever I can with the hope that as I apply for positions the certifications catch their eye and the experience at the LPFM demonstrates some sort of competency! :wink:
Sincerely,
Chris Arnesen, CBNT, CRO

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Deep Thought
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by Deep Thought » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:49 am

"The overall cost, investment of time and cost to go thru the process could not be justified based on the ROI (return on investment). "

Same here. Most of what I saw on the test documentation had zero to do with what I do, and I have enough trouble finding the time to get paying work done to keep up with their "continuing education" requirements. HOWEVER, I am not normal, just ask anyone who knows me. :mrgreen:

At this point the SBE certs are a way to screen out the tire kickers but I am not sure they actually prove anything. You're much better off with references and verifiable experience. Unfortunately, there isn't any way to objectively quantify that so we're back to the start again.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Re: SBE Certification

Post by RodeoJack » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:13 pm

As a contractor, my plate is well beyond full. Certs wouldn't affect me, one way or the other. I have noticed a fairly healthy social aspect to SBE membership though, at least here in my area. That's important to some.

As others have noted however, much of this is a matter of what works for you. Some are good book learners, which prepares them for the "hands-on" that comes later. For me, it was the opposite.

Certs or not, the best skill you can have, in my opinion, is knowing where your limits are... and not being embarrassed about calling in someone who knows more about what you might be up against than you do. You'll learn from that as well.

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:51 am

RodeoJack wrote:As a contractor, my plate is well beyond full. Certs wouldn't affect me, one way or the other
Same thing here. Stations come to me because of my reputation based upon nearly 30 years in this market (most of them are not familiar with my about 15 years in engineering before I came here), and I routinely turn down stations with a bad rep and ones not interested in paying for PM. I can imagine, however, that certification might be useful for someone starting out.
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Bill DeFelice
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Re: SBE Certification

Post by Bill DeFelice » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:42 pm

For me, I had been doing engineering for so long the stations I work for know me and my work and the certification wasn't a big deal. I did, however, use SBE certification on the audio and video related tracks for career advancement for my regular 9-to-5 work. Unless there's a compelling need I doubt I'll renew my current certifications as they expire though.
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