Certificate programs in car audio installation teach students, who can be as young as 16, how to install 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 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.
Car Audio Installation Certification and Training Program
Although some students opt for online training, it is important to have practical experience in car audio installation. Courses in such programs provide 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 decrease by 4% for the years 2014 through 2024 (www.bls.gov). Median annual wages for motor vehicle electronic equipment installers and repairers were $31,360 in 2015.
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.
While students can complete a car audio installation certificate in just one year, it should be cautioned that the number of jobs in this field are expected to decline by 4% over the next decade. Students can improve job prospects and earning potential by obtaining Mobile Electronics Certified Professional designation from the Consumer Electronics Association.