Skilled Installation Technician Certification

MECP SkilledThe MECP Skilled Installation Technician Certification is the industry’s “standard-level” certification, which many MECP-supporting retailers look for their employees to achieve within their first or second year of employment so they can competently work on modern vehicles and perform most aftermarket product installations. MECP Skilled Installation Technician Certification is available for those who complete the learning content and achieve a passing score on the certification exam in the MECP Skilled level content subscription.  There is no prior industry experience requirement, but the technician must have a current MECP Apprentice Installation Technician certification at the time of the Skilled level certification achievement.

Skilled Level Exam

The Skilled Installation Technician certification exam contains 75 multiple-choice questions. This exam’s Eligibility is unlocked after completing the eight content sections in the Apprentice level content subscription, achieving MECP Apprentice certification, and completing the ten content sections in the Skilled level content subscription. This content and the associated exam is intended for proficient technicians with one year of experience or more (not required).

Job Duties and Skills

The MECP Skilled Installation Technician position involves carefully and correctly installing and configuring entry-to-mid-level difficulty aftermarket electronic products in a wide range of vehicles with minimal supervision. In addition to installation duties, the MECP Skilled level technician position commonly involves troubleshooting, utilizing both experience and specific tools to correct operational problems and installation errors present in existing and new installations. The role also often includes dealing directly with customers before, during, and after the installation in a courteous manner and maintaining a clean, safe, and functional workshop environment.

Skilled Installation Technician duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • All duties and responsibilities listed in the MECP Apprentice Installation Technician Job Description apply to the Skilled Installation Technician
  • Install aftermarket replacements of in-dash audio/video source units (both direct OEM fit replacements with a dash kit and custom-fitted replacements requiring cosmetic or electrical modification).
    • Duties (cosmetically) will typically require at least some degree of customization to fit and function with light cosmetic modifications to the surrounding dash and mounting area where commercially available dash kit and trim panels are not offered. 
    • Duties (electrically) for source unit replacements should focus on retaining the functionality of existing factory-installed electronics and features using wire harnesses, antenna adapters, and other specialty integration devices. Hardwire with custom connections when no alternative to accomplish the task exists commercially.
  • Install and replace OEM speakers with aftermarket speakers, both in OEM factory and custom locations, either a direct replacement or with adapters the technician uses or fabricates. The speaker’s fitment and function should have no leaks, gaps in mounting surfaces, warping of the mounting adaptor, damages due to placement (being kicked, poked, unnecessarily exposed to moisture), etc.  
  • Install aftermarket speakers in locations where no speaker currently resides but where interior panels exist with sufficient space to accommodate a speaker. Cutting the mounting hole(s) for the speaker in the vehicle’s interior panel(s) and sufficiently wiring and mounting the speakers with no leaks, gaps in mounting surfaces, warping of the mounting adaptor, damages due to placement (being kicked, poked, unnecessarily exposed to moisture), etc.  
  • Install communication antennas for AM/FM/HD Radio, GPS, Satellite Radio, Telematic Systems, and other mobile communication devices without compromising the vehicle’s interior or exterior fit and finish. The vehicle’s safe operation must be maintained while also understanding how to maximize effectiveness by selecting proper locations.
  • Install aftermarket keyless entry, security, remote start, and convenience devices to enhance or add vehicle features while maintaining all pre-existing vehicle functionality. The technician will maintain any anti-theft prevention systems, vehicle access, and security features, and emergency communication features through the use of commercially available integration modules and accessories.
  • Install reverse cameras, back up distance sensors, in-vehicle video screens of all types, and OEM video screen integration with driver safety as a priority and in a way that maintains standard vehicle operation and safety features. Screens and monitors should be installed in compliance with all local and federal laws and comply with MECP recommended best practices.
  • Correctly choosing and running wires, cables, and harness assemblies throughout the vehicle (including into the engine compartment, trunk or hatch, and doors) with a competency to execute safe and serviceable methods. Proper evaluation of current capacity, weatherproofing, wire passage through metal, wiring alongside existing vehicle wiring, and where wiring passes near any moving parts. The technician must also understand the difference of non-standard wire size labeling compared to the AWG reference standard, including compensation for adequate current capacity and corrosion resistance.
  • Possess a complete understanding of how to evaluate and test a vehicle charging system (state of health), including the use of commercially available, menu-driven battery condition and load test equipment, DMMs, and Hall-Effect DC current clamps. Effectively test for voltage drops, short circuits, open circuits, AC ripple, charging system current output/capacity, and key-off parasitic current draw in a vehicle electrical system.
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