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Damn! I Drive a Civic
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4,703 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
so did you goto any school to try and get mecp cert. or are you just studying the stuff in the book?

where did you get the book?

i was thinking about going to

installerinstiutue.com

but thats a little too much for a 4 week school...
 

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Well, I got the book from the 2002 CES (I didn't go but I had my dad get one for me when he went). Basically, if you're just wanting the basic intaller certification, all you need to do is study the study guide. Then you are supposed to be able to get the test proctored at your local library...but it may have to be a library in your nearest major city. That's really all there is to it, the study guide is ~$20 and I think the cost of the test is about the same. Also, the basic, bronze level installer certification is the only one you can get without working in the industry for at least 1 year.

There is/was a practice test online with a few questions from each topic covered that I took and the questions were STRAIGHT from the study guide and I'm sure the real test is exactly the same.

As far as the installer institute and other schools go (there's one in Mass. called ritop I think), they are really only necessary for basically if you plan on a career as an installer. You get certified, I think it counts as a vocational degree or something when you pass the courses. It's basically like really short college for installers. And as far as price, it's not too bad if you are going there instead of college...and actually I have an Installer Institute brocure I picked up and the prices seemed really reasonable considering all housing is included.


ANYWAY, so long story short if you want MECP cert. just go to there website and you can order the book from there, and it should also tell you how to go about testing if you're interested in that. Then if you wanted to start a job as an installer, your best bet would be to have pictures of cars you've done as a hobby, like a portfolio and ask around at local shops (although it might be easier to get a job at best buy, cc, etc to start).


Now, I just wanted to be certified for fun...and to prove how much of an enthusiest I am to whoever I eventually try and get a job with. I'm currently in college at Georgia Tech studying Electrical Engineering, hoping to take some acoustics classes sooner or later and eventually when I graduate try and get a job as a design engineer with a company...so I'm keeping the installing as a hobby, but still really want to work in the industry and I've always been math and science inclined so here I am. If you want to go the college route and work as an engineer, you could look into good Mechanical & Electrical Engineering programs. Also Physics is a good major but more broad and not nearly the amount of diverse 'fall-back' options of the engineering majors. Also, there are a growing number of engineering school offering Acoustical Engineering programs.

Crap, sorry this post is so long but I crammed in a metric shit-ton of stuff. If there's anything else you need to know I might be able to help you out.
 

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Damn! I Drive a Civic
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4,703 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i was thinkin of getting into some kind of electrical stuff... just to help out. i want to do installing for a while, until i finnish whatever school i want to do. i think no matter what i want to learn this shit just so i know.

i think im going to community college for real estate...

i dunno im so confused....

btw im still in highschool...
 

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From what it sounds like, at least for now, your main reason for MECP is to be an installer.

Before I got a 'real' job, I was looking around alot and inquiring about what it would take to get a job as an installer, so I'll share the info with you. The main thing people are always concerned with is money, and as far as that goes your average installer doesn't make too much of it. It would most likely be more than you'd make at a typical job you could get at your age...but making a decent living would be another thing.

I was also told, like I said before, that when applying anywhere it is best to have done some work independently and have a portfolio showcasing your talent. Custom fabrication/fiberglass work is a BIG plus because it does take talent to do it right and not everybody has the skills...so if you haven't done much with fiberglass you might want to start practicing...like making kicks for you and your friends, and maybe a custom sub enclosure or two wouldn't hurt anything.

Another thing would be to cater to wherever you may want to work...find out what brands they carry and make sure that if you interview with a shop to show support for their products even if you don't 'like' them. I say this because I notice your attitude toward JL Audio and if you wanted to work at a shop that sells JL (most seem to nowadays) you don't want to go in telling them that a brahma would own a w7 for half the price, even if it may be true:p

Also you will want to go ahead and get that basic MECP certification because, even though it is just a piece of paper, most shops, including the best buys and circuit cities won't even look twice at you if you don't have it. If a place is interested in you, and your portfolio looks good and you have that certification you should be good to go.

One more thing, if you plan on only working part time since you're in school still...you'll probably be more likely to get a job at one of the big chains. They're more used to working with younger people and they also have higher employee turn-around so you'd be more likely to find an opening at a place like that.

Good luck whatever you choose
 

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Damn! I Drive a Civic
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4,703 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
iv tried gettting into best buy, they always give me the number to call but that never works for me, i have been thinkin about going up there and just talking to the manager over the install area.

as of custom car audio places, theres one around here in town, and i talked to the owner for like 2 hours just about everything, and i know my shit about most speakers that they where carrying except xtant. but anyways he told me to go type up a resume and i brought it back in like less than an hour, but he also never got back with me....

how much does the average installer make?
 

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You definitely need to talk to the shop manager directly. He will know if they have any openings, what they're looking for, etc. more than any of the people in charge of hiring sales people.

For the small shop...did your resume include pictures of installs you did? Product knowledge is great, but more important if you wanted to be a salesperson than anything else. You have to show him your work before he'll trust you, and that's a big thing when you're responsible for other people's cars. Since you do know alot about their products...maybe you should start off as a salesperson, they usually make decent money off of commissions anyway...and then once you've worked there for a while maybe you can work on some installs and things like that and work your way into doing installs.

I don't think the 'average' installer makes more than $15/hour...and that's a high figure. Honestly it depends on the location, how many installs you do, and a bunch of other things. More than anything it depends on how the owner/manager decides to run his shop. Maybe you'll get a flat hourly rate, or maybe you'll make bonuses based on your performance.

However, the money you could theoretically save by getting equipment at dealer cost would rock!
 
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