We have seen the scenario over and over again in the mobile electronics industry: A twenty-something-year-old guy comes in for a job saying he has experience installing everything … on a friend’s car. The problem is the friend’s car isn’t a S63 AMG or 750Li. On top of that, the work most likely took place in a less-than-professional environment, where the rules of conduct weren’t quite what they’d be at a reputable shop.
For store owners, it has become more difficult to hire young workers for fear of unleashing a green 20-year-old wielding a pair of Snap-On wire cutters on a luxury car. But there is help. The schools that teach the next generation of installers seem to be thriving, and the ones grabbing the most attention are those with curriculums geared toward sophisticated cars. The nitty gritty of electronics might not be as sexy to a youngster as working with fiberglass, but the installers who can perform electrical integration, and do it well, translate to a richer bottom line for the store than the master fabricators. Combine the two skills and you have a highly marketable applicant who can become the star of any team.
The Acoustic Edge Institute (www.acousticedge.com) installation school, with locations in Oklahoma and Texas, prides itself on giving novice installers the tools necessary to take on challenging installations. The four-week program is broken down into four one-week modules, with three of the four dealing with all matters of sophisticated mobile electronics. The first week focuses on installing mobile electronics, while the second targets mobile security. There are probably a lot of people knocking on your door for a job, but few that can wire up a relay in a security system. The last week focuses on preparing the new installer to pass the MECP test, with a back-to-basics analysis of Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Law. This way, the employer will at least know the job candidate can use a meter before they start exploding airbags on a new Porsche. With the complexity of the newest bypass modules, the ability to use test equipment, such as a Fluke Meter or an oscilloscope, is more important than ever, especially if that bypass module needs troubleshooting.