Car Audio Installation Certification and Training Program Info
Community colleges and technical schools offer certificate programs for mobile electronics installers, which also cover installation of video electronics, like vehicle DVD players. Read on to learn about what these training programs teach, employment options and opportunities for professional certification.
Certificate programs in car audio installation teach students, who can be as young as 16, how to install speakers, radios, subwoofers and other audio electronics in automobiles. Most programs include hands-on projects to give students experience in installation techniques. Students learn to use the correct tools and gain an understanding of proper techniques for the installation of audio electronics. Program lengths vary, but about a year is common. After gaining professional experience, graduates may qualify for professional certification.
While it is not required for entering the field, some technical and vocational schools to allow high school students to begin training courses in the last two years of school. Some vocational schools offer related courses that give students a basic understanding of industry tools, techniques and standards. Some of these courses can be taken online.
Although some students opt for online training, it is important to have practical experience. Courses give students with the educational background needed to perform installation tasks, but it is also important that the skills are practiced on actual equipment. Some of hands-on training covers key installation factors such as:
- Circuit board and connector soldering
- Types of video and audio systems
- Alternating and direct current principles
- Custom subwoofer casing design
- Electronics safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of all electrical and electronics installers and repairers are predicted to grow 3% for the years 2010 through 2020 (www.bls.gov). Median annual wages for motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers were $31,340 in 2012.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
The Consumer Electronics Association offers the Mobile Electronics Certified Professional credential at basic, advanced and master levels (www.mecp.com). The basic certification is good for two years and is for those just entering the field. The advanced and master certifications are good for four years, and are for those with at least one year of experience. Study guides and practice questions are available online. These certifications measure an installer's expertise and training.
For those wishing to advance skill levels, one option is to earn an associate's degree in electronics technology. Some programs allow students to specialize in audio and video systems. Along with further training in electronics, these programs broaden a student's range to include security, fire alarm, home entertainment and satellite systems.
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