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Medical Marijuana — IBEW and NJATC Release Special Bulletin

Photo of dry medical marijuana buds with shallow DOF

The Electrical Training Alliance, formerly known as the NJATC, is the main training and apprenticeship platform for Union Electricians of the IBEW. Through the law firm of Sherman Dunn, which has served as general counsel for the IBEW for nearly 60 years, a bulletin was released clarifying IBEW and National Training Alliance’s stance on medical marijuana and it’s use by electricians in the Union.

In their statement, the National Training Alliance references their longstanding substance abuse policy which does not protect an applicant or apprentice who tests positive for medical marijuana. This means that any electrical apprentice or applicant who tests positive for marijuana, under any circumstance, would be subject to suspension of duty and required to attend a rehabilitation program before re-entering the workplace. They also state that regardless of any state law, marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level. In their organization, federal law remains in control.

Marijuana is still considered illegal at the Federal level.

The bulletin also refers to the Colorado court case Coats Vs. Dish Case No. 13-SC-394. In this case, the state law provides that an employee cannot be terminated for engaging in any “lawful activities” while off premises. The case interpreted “lawful activities” to include those activities that are lawful under the state law (which deems marijuana lawful), and under federal law (marijuana is still illegal). According to this bulletin, any and all use of marijuana by IBEW apprentices or applicants going through the National Training Alliance is banned, and could lead to users being expelled from the program. To read the full bulletin released by the IBEW and National Training Alliance Click Here.

If you are planning a career in the electrical trades, you should know going in that medical marijuana will not be tolerated as a union member, regardless of the State’s views.

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Michigan is Cracking Down on Real Estate Wannabes


If you’re out there selling real estate without a license, the State of Michigan is coming after you! The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is partnering with Attorney General Bill Schuette to ramp up efforts to hold unlicensed real estate practitioners accountable.

There has been a rise in unlicensed real estate activity

For the past several months, Michigan Realtors ® has been heading up discussions with both LARA and the Attorney General to promote an initiative to deal with this increase.  They are taking a strong stance to keep consumers safe by promoting the Consumer Complaint/Inquiry System making it easy for individuals to file complaints online via a Consumer Complaint Online Form or by calling a Toll Free Consumer Hotline (877-765-8388).

Please be aware when filing a complaint or inquiry that they become public records when submitted to the Attorney General’s office and they may be subject to disclosure to anyone who asks for them.  For complete rules on filing complaints and inquiries, along with a mail-in complaint/inquiry form, CLICK HERE.

For those who would like to get licensed, the Real Estate Training Institute is a great source for taking the State Approved salesperson prelicensure education, as well as broker prelicensure and real estate continued education for real estate professionals who are already licensed.


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Everyone Needs a Plumber!

Portrait plumbing engineer.

Very few people make it through home ownership without calling a plumber at some point.  If you have the stomach for certain aspects of the industry, it can be a lucrative career to pursue. In May of 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the national average salary for plumbers was between $50,000 and $51,000. The annual mean wage in Michigan ranges between $50,240 and $58,790.

Regardless of your ability, Michigan plumbers must be licensed as either a Journey plumber, Master plumber, or registered Apprentice. Plus, a licensed master plumber must be in charge and responsible for the job.  All Plumbers must be licensed even if they are working for a licensed plumbing contractor.

The first step in starting a career as a plumber is to secure a job as a plumbing apprentice under a licensed master plumber. You must also register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You need to be at least 18 years old, submit the plumbing apprentice registration within 30 days of employment and pay the $15.00 fee.

You must be pre-approved by LARA before becoming a
Michigan Journey or Master Plumber

After 3 years of experience as a registered plumbing apprentice under the supervision of a licensed authorized master plumber, you are eligible to apply for your license and take the journeyman examination. The exam is taken through PSI Examination Services and it is not easy.  You might consider taking a journeyman plumber exam preparation course to increase your odds of passing on the first try.

Getting a Master Plumber license is a bit trickier in that 4,000 hours of experience as a Michigan journeyman plumber is required, but these hours must be as a journeyman plumber over a period of not less than 2 years immediately preceding the date of the application. After this requirement is met, you are then eligible to apply for your license and take the master plumber license exam.

Link to LARA for Plumbers:,4601,7-154-10575_17409-42835–,00.html

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7 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Online CE with US!

Woman working in home office hand on keyboard close up

Your inbox is filled with online schools claiming to provide the best education. We understand it is difficult to know who to choose. Certified Training Institute makes it easy for you to make the right choice.

Fast, Easy, and Affordable

We realize not everyone learns the same way. That’s why we created a variety of courses in video, text or narrated formats, allowing you to choose the courses that best suit your learning style. Our user friendly system guides you through every step. We keep our courses priced competitively to help our students stretch their business dollars.

Interesting Topics

We offer a variety of topics to choose from like ADA Standards, Weatherization, Safety, Drones, Personal Safety, and many more.

Take Your Courses Anytime from Anywhere

Courses are available immediately from any computer or mobile device. You can take your course from your home, office, the park or even in your pickup truck.

We Store Your Records at No Charge

Lose your certificate? Not a problem! You always have access to your course results, including the date they were completed, and the ability to reprint your certificates.

Student Support

Every member of our excellent staff is ready and willing to make your learning experience the very best it can be. We welcome your call at 1-800-727-7104 and promptly reply to emails sent to

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Have You Ever Been Burned On a Contract?

File Folders for contracts and company

The instructors at Builders License Training Institute (BLTI) have heard many stories of contractors being taken advantage of because they didn’t have the right information on a contract or in some instances no contract at all. This story has been told many times here at BLTI. A client needs work done on his house, and hired a local guy to do a $40,000.00 job. The client repeatedly promised, saying that he would cut a check as soon as the job was complete. On the final day of the project, the client refused to pay for two reasons, 1: No written contract, and 2: No contractor’s license.

Builders License Training Institute has created a course to help contractors avoid situations like the story above. This 6-hour online video course explains the principles of contract law and the important elements of a home building and remodeling contract. The difference between the various contracts used in residential construction are also described. Requirements and types of insurance are covered, as well as the details of Workers Compensation.

Tell us your story!

Have you had an experience where, you were taken advantage of because of faulty contracts or the lack of a signed contract? What did you do in that situation? Were you able to do anything at all? Maybe you have a story where a contract has saved you and your work from an unhappy client. Tell us your story!

Builders License Training Institute would like you to post it on our Facebook page. Each person who shares a story will automatically be entered in to win our 6-hour Contracts, Liabilities, and Risk Management course. A drawing will be held on August 8th, 2016.

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Drone Signals Are Being Jammed for Safety Purposes

Drone with target on it with a firefighting chopper behind

On July 13th, 2016 Utah approved a legislation that will allow authorities to disable drones that fly too close to firefighting operations. Recently drones have become a hindrance to firefighters while fighting forest and wild fires in the state of Utah. Five drone flights forced a firefighting aircraft to ground because they interfered with the airspace. Drones flying over industrial area

“Sen. Evan Vickers, of Cedar City, said that while the bill does allow firefighters or law enforcement to shoot and disable a drone, he doubts they’d do so because the unmanned aircraft fly so high and it would be difficult to do. Instead, fire officials or law enforcement officers are expected to use technology that jams signals to crash drones.” (

On June 22nd, 2016 the FAA released that they will now incorporate small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), otherwise known as ‘drones’ for commercial use. The FAA will now require people to pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test as an FAA approved testing facility.

It is still unclear if the person(s) manning the drone in Utah was flying for commercial or personal use. Even if you are not looking to fly your drone commercially it is still important to know airspace regulations. The extra knowledge could keep you out of trouble and keep the skies safe for others. You’ll need to understand different types of airspace classifications and how to operate in them -there is a difference. Weather also plays a major factor in how and where you can operate safely. Federal Aviation Regulations that govern the airspace must be adhered to as well. It’s common sense blended with an understanding of Controlled Airspace, Weather, Regulations and best practices. It’s not as simple as plug and fly.

Certified Training Institute offers 6 courses on the Command Certification exam prep:

greg_macmaster_head_shotEach of our courses are taught by instructor Greg MacMaster, who is a Certified Drone/UAV Pilot.

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Certified Training Institute Is Now a Certified WBE and WOSB!

Flying lady +CTI Logo

The National Woman Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) has officially presented Certified Training Institute with the Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and the Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certifications.

Upper body shot of CEO Teri Franics

We are excited to have received these two certifications for our business. Owner and CEO, Teri Francis founded the company in 1999. She has worked tirelessly over the past 17 years to stay on the cutting edge of professional training. Originating in the construction training industry, Certified Training Institute has grown to include full curriculum for Contractors, Architects, Electricians, Real Estate Professionals Plumbers, as well as Drone Pilots.

Certified Training Institute was required to undergo a thorough certification process with the NWBOC. Students and Associates have the guarantee that Certified Training Institute is highly regulated, and the peace
of mind that we are in good standing.

We are an experienced company committed to building the best courses and products in the industry, for all of our students, instructors and partners.

Cheers to the Certified Training Institute for becoming certified as a Woman Owned Small Business and a Woman Business Enterprise!


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Approved Commercial Drone Training Now Available!

Man Flying a Drone Over an Onions Field

If you’ve been waiting for the day when you are able operate a drone without having to acquire a pilot’s license, your day is about to become a reality! The FAA has just released how they will incorporate small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), otherwise known as ‘drones’ for commercial use. In the past, you had to file a request for an exemption and have at least a private pilot’s license in order to operate a sUAS. For some, this has taken over a year to become approved. Now, all you’ll have to do is pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test at an FAA approved testing facility. The FAA will begin scheduling the tests around August 21, 2016, here is a complete list of Airmen Knowledge Testing Centers.

You’ll be sharing the airspace with millions of aviators, so knowing what the airspace rules are when operating will help keep you out of trouble and keep the skies safe for others. You’ll need to Pilsen, Czech Republic - March 17, 2015: Drone quadrocopter Dji Phantom 2 with didital camera GoPro HERO4 Black edition. New tool for aerial photo and video.understand different types of airspace classifications and how to operate in them -there is a difference. Weather will play a major factor in how and where you operate safely. Federal Aviation Regulations that govern the airspace need to be adhered to as well. It’s common sense blended with an understanding of Controlled Airspace, Weather, Regulations and best practices. It’s not as simple as plug and fly.

Here’s a summary of the new rules:

and the 600+ page document that details everything:


Don’t be overwhelmed, Certified Training Institute (CTI) has a fantastic online course that will not only help you to be a safe operator, but prepare you to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge exam so you can become a commercial drone pilot. Once you take the course, you’ll see a very similar format that was just proposed by the FAA. That’s because it was modeled after the CTI sUAS course which became available in early April 2016 and submitted to the FAA sUAS division for recommendation. There’s even 2 sample FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test Banks to help prepare you to pass the actual FAA test.

greg_macmaster_head_shotMy name is Greg MacMaster, and I’m an instructor, who has accumulated over 2000 flights and 400 hours of flight operations in real estate and the construction industry. My course will take you through the pros and cons of operating a drone in your industry and then takes you to the next level to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test.

So, to summarize; the FAA will be gearing up for millions of new willing sUAS pilots ready to take the test and become commercially certified starting August 21st, 2016. Will you be ready?

Get a jump on your competition and sign up for Commercial Drone Pilot Training today!

Keep up to date with all the latest in sUAS/Drone news, online courses, and technology by subscribing to our newsletter. Simply select the categories you want to receive updates in and enter in your email!

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We’ll Make Sure You Never Let Your License Lapse

Group of multiracial construction workers

As contractors and busy professionals, little things like remembering to renew your license can sometimes just slip by. It’s not that you meant to let it lapse, it’s just that no one reminded you when it was due. WELL NOT ANY MORE. Certified Training Institute has built a brand new feature that reminds licensees of their renewal 90 days, 30 days, and two weeks before the expiration date. Whether you are a contractor, real estate agent, electrician, architect, or any other licensed professional, we won’t let your renewal pass you by.

Let us do your paperwork

iStock_89981431_SMALL-compressorIf you need your continuing education reported to the state, we do it for you. We have a close relationship to most state governments and licensing agencies. If a training provider is allowed to do the reporting, then we do it for you. We also keep your certificates and documents organized and accessible to you anytime at no extra cost. If you ever need to track down your certificate or proof of education completion, you’ll find it in your student account, free of charge.

How do we do it?

When you register with any of our schools we provide a space to list the licenses you hold and any other pertinent information. That information is iStock_54223266_SMALL-compressorentered into an automated reminder system that
will notify you well before the license expires, and tells you exactly what you need to know to renew. We also keep all of your course completions and certificates in our own secure database that you can access anytime from just about anywhere, even from your phone or tablet.

Why do we do it?

We truly care about our clients and students. You’re not just a number when you work with us, you are our main priority. When you call our office, you get a real live iStock_54373496_SMALL-compressorperson working right here in the U.S. ready to help you no matter what the question. Certified Training Institute and all of its industry specific divisions have one major goal: Give our students the tools to succeed, the knowledge to grow in their career, and the confidence to keep moving forward. All at a price that a working man or woman can afford. Our Goal is Your Success!

Real Estate Training Institute Logo 6-10-15




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Why Everyone Should Have A Home Security System

Home under video surveillance camera

Home Security Systems have come a long way. They are no longer just for protecting valuables and deterring crime. The smart security systems of today give homeowners the ability to monitor anything from swimming pools to baby rooms, as well as keeping tabs on children and pets. Here are several great uses for security systems that you might not have considered.

Construction progress — Wondering how the job is coming along on the pole barn that is going up while you’re at work? Wonder no more! Place the cameras at the activity site and check in Smart home automation controlled with tablet and appany time. The remote access security cameras allow you to monitor things from anywhere.

Gas and Fire Notifications – Receive notifications if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms go off while you’re away. Some systems even allow you to set it up so the authorities are instantly notified right along with you.

Lower your bills – You’re headed off on a weekend trip and forgot to turn your thermostat down. Not a problem. The Wi-Fi systems can link to your thermostat, lights and even your garage door. You’ll have easy access from your phone to make for a stress free vacation.

Allowing Entry – You waited three weeks for cable TV and now your work has unexpectedly called you in. When the cable company gets to your door, confirm who they are with your noise and motion activated camera and then remotely unlock the door.

Self defense class demonstrationThe smart systems of today offer more peace of mind than ever before and the technology is getting more efficient every day. You can spend just a couple of hundred dollars for box store smart cameras that you clip to your windowsill. You can also hire a company to install a professional system, some companies even allow you to pay a monthly monitoring fee.

Peace of mind is very important to everyone’s quality of life. Feeling safe is a large aspect of that peace. We at Certified Training Institute feel it is important for everyone to feel safe, whether in your home or in the workplace. That is why we now offer Personal Safety and Self Defense Online education.

Course instructor Preston L. Taylor “PT” is a police officer with over 20+ years of experience, and is extremely knowledgeable in the realm of personal protection and self-defense. You will also learn to be aware of your surroundings and potential dangers.