MECP logo top
photo banner left MECP logo middle photo banner right
Powered by CEA MECP logo bottom Get Knowledge! Earn Respect! Take the Test!

Questions? (866) 858-1555
mecp@mecp.com


Frequently Asked Questions
spacer
Q: What does MECP mean?
A: MECP stands for "Mobile Electronics Certified Professional." Prior to 1999, the program was referred to as the "Mobile Electronics Certification Program." MECP is a certification program that was developed in 1991, by several 12-volt industry volunteers, who wanted to bring a higher level of professionalism to mobile electronics installation technician career through a national certification program. MECP is owned and managed by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Since its beginning, MECP has certified over 20,000 industry professionals.

Q: Why would someone get MECP certified?
A: There are many benefits to becoming MECP certified. For starters, certification demonstrates competency of understanding on a wide range of job-related subjects and offers a differentiator from those who have not made the step to "invest" in their careers through education and skill-building. This proves to employers and customers that you have a professional commitment to expanding your knowledge of the job. Exam questions ask you to identify real-world solutions to real-world problems, like eliminating noise and advanced troubleshooting. The highest levels of MECP certification challenge even the most experienced professionals in the business to stay on top of their game.

Q: Is being MECP certified a guarantee of success?
A: CEA believes that certified and experienced individuals are better equipped in the fundamentals than non-certified and/or non-experienced individuals. However, it comes down to the professional commitment of the individual. Certification at the higher levels typically indicates a greater commitment to the career path. Historically, people who get certified have had extensive on-the-job training which directly supports the lessons and learning materials highlighted by the MECP program. The more advanced an installation technician becomes, the more he or she relies upon their understanding of those important fundamentals that are tested through MECP certification. With today's complex vehicle electrical systems and construction techniques, being MECP certified helps you keep pace with technology much better than any other single resource available in the industry.

Q: How do I study for an MECP exam?
A: First you need to determine which level of certification is most appropriate for you. MECP offers study guides specific to each level of certification. This is the best way to begin your path to MECP certification. These are not "How To" books, but they are learning tools that are targeted for effective study for the specific certification they support. In addition to an MECP study guide, you can not discount the importance of on-the-job experiences to drive home some of the concepts and topics contained in MECP testing, especially at the higher levels. Beyond that, manufacturers and distributors offer additional training and there are several industry educational resources listed on the links page if you are new to the industry or have been away from the learning mindset for a while.

Q: What are the levels of certification MECP offers?
A: There are three (3) technician levels and one (1) level for sales professionals offered by the MECP program:
  • Basic Installation Technician
  • Advanced Installation Technician
  • Master Installation Technician
  • Mobile Product Specialist (MPS)
Basic Installation Technician Certification
The MECP Basic Installation Technician Certification is the industry's "apprentice level" certification. This is what many of the industry training schools offer as well as what many MECP-supporting retailers require as a prerequisite for employment. The study guide for this level is the MECP Basic Installation Technician Study Guide. The exam covers basic electronics including Ohm's Law, series and parallel circuits, shop safety, and the basics of the important technologies installation technicians work with everyday including autosound, security, navigation, and wireless communications. The intent of this certification is to demonstrate a candidate's ability to understand the fundamentals required on the job. It is expected that the individual will follow the exam by gaining on-the-job experience and challenge themselves to move on to the next level. This exam contains 150 questions and the certification is valid for two (2) years. At some point during the two-year period, the candidate should consider the Advanced Certification as their next move. This study guide and exam are now also available in Spanish.

   Cost of Basic Installation Technician Study Guide = $33 (CEA Members)/$35 (non-members)
   Cost of Basic Installation Technician Exam = $60/$85*

     *Visit Exam Section for more information about exam pricing.

Advanced Installation Technician Certification
The MECP Advanced Installation Technician Certification was formerly known as the “First Class” level. Installation technicians who hold current First Class certifications will be required to take the Advanced Installation Technician Exam when it comes time to recertify. This level requires a minimum of one (1) year's experience working professionally in the field. So, the certification is much more applicable to technicians who have both foundational knowledge and on-the-job experience.

The MECP Advanced Installation Technician Study Guide is more comprehensive than the MECP Basic Installation Technician Study Guide. This exam and study guide covers a greater depth of electronics and vehicle electrical systems, installation knowledge and technique, mobile audio and video systems, security and remote starters, in vehicle information systems, and troubleshooting installations of all those disciplines. It's the current and relevant exam for individuals with at least one (1) year of on-the-job experience. The study guide is also an excellent resource to have in the install bay as a day to day reference. This exam contains 200 questions and the certification is valid for four (4) years. If you are currently employed in the industry and are working professionally (meeting the experience requirement), this is the target certification for you. It is also necessary to obtain this certification before moving up to Master Installation Technician.

   Cost of Advanced Installation Technician Study Guide = $53 (CEA Members)/$55 (non-members)
   Cost of Advanced Installation Technician Exam = $80/$105 *

     *Visit Exam Section for more information about exam pricing.

Master Installation Technician Certification
The MECP Master Installation Technician Certification is the "best of the best." This certification requires a current Advanced Installation Technician Certification (or "First Class" if it is still valid) and three (3) years of on-the-job experience to take the exam. The MECP Master Installation Technician Study Guide is one of the main helpful resources for preparation on this exam. Several outside reading resources are also recommended for this exam, including the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason; Understanding Automotive Electronics, Sixth Edition by William Ribbens and How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems by Tracy Martin. These reading resources are for experienced technicians and rely upon the participant's on-the-job experiences for comprehension. Of course a working knowledge of the wide variety of modern mobile electronic products and how they install into today's vehicles is also required to do well on this exam.

The MECP Master Installation Technician Exam is a very exclusive credential particularly geared toward the electrical and troubleshooting side of the discipline, including Master-level troubleshooting, audio, electronic components, OEM audio and video integration, security/remote start, wireless communications with modern technologies, and vehicle electrical systems. This exam currently contains 200 questions and the certification is valid for four (4) years. Typically, a specialist retailer who is fortunate enough to have someone with Master Installation Technician credentials on staff enjoys a higher end clientele who can appreciate the expertise and knowledge built upon the fundamentals. MECP Master Installation Technicians are literally the best in the business!

   Click here to see where the Master Installation Techicians are located in the US.

   Cost of Master Installation Technician Study Guide = $73 (CEA Members)/$75 (non-members)
   Cost of Master Installation Technician Exam = $100/$125 *

     *Visit Exam Section for more information about exam pricing.

Mobile Product Specialist (MPS)
The MECP Mobile Product Specialist (MPS) Certification is for sales professionals in the industry. The purpose of this certification is to help sales people and installation technicians see eye-to-eye on many technical issues. This certification is intended to empower the sales people who go beyond the act of "selling boxes" to understand system design, some very basic electrical concepts, technologies in audio, video, security, remote starters, and navigation, as well as identifying what customers are telling them.

The MECP Mobile Product Specialist Study Guide is easy to read and has been praised by many sales professionals as the bridge between the sales floor and the installation bay. It is an effective tool both for studying for the MPS Exam as well as polishing the fundamental knowledge a mobile sales professional should have. This exam contains 150 questions and the certification is valid for 4 years. If you are selling mobile electronics, you know how challenging it can be to keep up with technology, and the MPS certification gives you a credible difference above other people who sell "boxes" without knowing what they do or how they benefit the customer.

   Cost of MPS Study Guide = $33 (CEA Members)/$35 (non-members)
   Cost of MPS Exam = $60/$85 *

     *Visit Exam Section for more information about exam pricing.

Q: What happened to the Bronze, Silver, Gold levels?
A: Over the years as certifications migrated from one name to another, it became a secondary reference to call the installation technician certifications by their levels in a format people would easily understand – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – like the Olympics. While this was a temporary measure, many people have been somewhat confused as to which certifications it applied.

As a result, MECP officially adopted the names to Basic, Advanced, Master and MPS so that everyone could easily understand which certificate level applies to an individual's level of achievement. All references to the Bronze, Silver, Gold levels in MECP books, literature and web content have been (or are being) phased out.

Q: How do I take the MECP exam?
A: MECP exams are easier than ever to take. Since July 2005, MECP no longer offers “paper testing.” All MECP exams are now available exclusively electronically through computer–based testing. This makes it possible to deliver the exams in a wider range of locations that work with your schedule and it allows more instantaneous results so you know right away if you have passed or not.

MECP exams can be taken at over 1,000 Prometric testing centers across North America or at approved proctor test sites. The exams are still supervised, but because they are delivered electronically, results are instantaneous and participants who pass have their certificates in hand much faster than in the past.

Q: Where can I locate a Prometric test center in my State or Province?
A: Participants can link to the testing centers from by visiting the Exams page and then choosing "Register for This Exam or Locate a Test Site". Participants can also find a Prometric test center by going directly to Prometric.com. There the Prometric testing center locator will allow them to "Locate a Testing Center."

Q: What if I do not live or work near a Prometric test center location?
A: MECP exams can also be taken at any one of the MECP-approved industry schools. There are also a number of community colleges throughout the United States that offer courses in mobile and/or automotive electronics that proctor MECP exams. In either case, the participant must contact the school directly to schedule an appointment for testing. Many of these schools are listed on the links page. Most are willing to accommodate you if they have prior notice.

Q: How do I reset my Prometric "Candidate Profile" password?
A: If you've previously setup a Candidate Profile before registering for an MECP exam, visit https://www.register.prometric.com/Login.asp

Q: Who usually pays for the MECP exam?
A: Since the certification stays with you (the individual), you generally pay for the exam yourself. Many employers offer to pay for (or have a program to reimburse) testing fees for a passing score on your MECP exam. This policy will be different with each employer, but the vast majority of employers (large or small) find that the small cost of MECP study guides and exam fees is a small price to pay for keeping the knowledge up to par in their install bays. If you are not sure what your employer's policy is, just ask.

Q: Can I take the MECP exam on my own computer at home, unsupervised?
A: No. The MECP testing process requires an authorized proctor to supervise testing for all test participants. This ensures that everyone has both met the requirements of testing and that the test conditions are the same for all individuals. Every MECP exam is done in a supervised location with only approved proctors.

Q: Are you allowed to use your MECP study guide during the exam?
A: No. During the exam, all you are allowed is a pen or pencil and a few sheets of blank note paper. You are not permitted to bring your study guide, any written notes, or any other unfair advantages that constitute cheating.

Q: Are you allowed to use a calculator during the MECP exam?
A: Yes and No. Yes you are allowed to use a calculator on MECP Advanced and Master exams and one is provided ‘on screen’ during your testing session for those exams. You are not allowed to bring in your own calculator at any time on any exam. This includes calculator apps in mobile phones, tablets and PDA devices. The proctor will ask that you leave those items with them or in a secure locker during the exam period. The MECP Basic and Mobile Product Specialist exams do not allow calculators, however what minor math is contained in those exams is roughly an eighth grade level and does not require a calculator. At the testing site, all participants are provided scratch paper or a dry-erase board to write down formulas, math problems or diagrams as necessary to help with their testing session. These items are returned to the proctor upon departure from the test site.

Q: What happens after the MECP exam is complete?
A: Once the test participant has completed the MECP exam, the participant will be given immediate pass/fail results. This can (and should) be printed if the testing computer is connected to a printer. Please make sure you either print the results page or have the information about the following written down for later use. This information will be necessary to have when you go to create a log in (username and password) for access into the MECP database:
  • Registration Number
  • Testing Date (Month, Day, Year)
  • Site Number


Q: What if someone does not pass their exam?
A: A score of 70 percent or better in each section is required for a passing mark on any of the MECP exams. If a test participant does not pass the exam, he or she can schedule an appointment and test again as soon as the next day, assuming there is an open appointment at the testing facility or the proctor's schedule is open. If the individual fails only one section of the exam, the entire exam must still be taken again. It is not possible to retake only sections of the exam. The participant must pay for the full price of the exam on each re-testing attempt if the individual does not pass on the first try.

Q: If I become certified, when will it expire?
A: The Basic Installation Technician Certification expires after two (2) years. The Mobile Product Specialist, Advanced Installation Technician, and Master Installation Technician Certifications expire after four years. Installation technicians will now be contacted automatically to notify you when your certification is going to expire. If you have any questions about when your certification expires, you can always reference the date on your certificate.

Q: When can I expect my certificate?
A: Provided all of your contact information is accurate, you will receive your certificate by mail within six weeks of completing your exam. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you enter your contact information (i.e., name, mailing address, e-mail address, etc.) correctly when you are registering for the exam. This is the address and information that is used to complete and mail your certificate, so if it is invalid at the time of mailing (for example you are temporarily away from home attending a school or are planning a career move within a few months), you could experience a delay in receiving your certificate.

Please ensure that you double check your contact information entries AND you choose mailing addresses that are semi-permanent so you will receive your certificate on time. Sometimes using a relative's address or your last address that is already forwarded by the USPS are reliable alternatives.

Q: Why are certificates sometimes delayed?
A: The vast majority of individuals who do not receive their certificate within six (6) weeks have entered invalid mailing addresses that are not forwarded. If we do not know where you live (or at least where you can receive mail), we cannot accurately deliver a certificate on time. Checking spelling errors and correct street address are important parts of accurately entering your information as part of the testing process.

The other reason that you may experience a delay is that you have not satisfied a prerequisite required for your certificate. For example, if you took and passed an Advanced Installation Technician Exam, but did not satisfy the one (1) year experience prerequisite, you may not receive the certificate until the prerequisite of experience is validated. Another example might be if you take (and pass) the Master Installation Technician Exam and have validated the three (3) year experience prerequisite, but are not holding a current certification for the Advanced Installation Technician (or have not been previously Master certified), then your Master Installation Technician Certificate would be delayed until you satisfy the prerequisite of the Advanced Installation Technician Certification.

Q: Can I get a duplicate certificate?
A: Yes. Duplicate certificates are only available for active certifications. Certificates will not be issued for expired certifications. To receive a copy of your certificate, please call MECP customer services at (866) 858-1555 or e–mail the request to mecp@MECP.com. Be sure to state your certificate number so the customer services representative can match your record with one in the database and expedite your duplicate certificate.

Q: Does becoming MECP certified get you a pay increase?
A: Often the answer is “Yes!” Many MECP–supporting retailers offer pay increases for achieving at least Basic Installation Technician Certification, however if you have achieved a higher level, say Advanced or Master, you will almost certainly have added value that warrants a pay increase. The final outcome is between the certified professional and the employer. If you believe you are worth a pay increase, be prepared to demonstrate the reasons why to your employer. MECP is not just a piece of paper; it is a professional commitment that tells your employer that you are passionate about doing the best work and achieving consistent results.

Q: Can I take the MECP test in another country not listed here?
A: At this time, MECP exams are available only in the USA and in countries in which MECP has established a program partnership. Through future partnerships, MECP hopes to have partnerships in other countries throughout the world, however the integrity of the certification requires CEA to carefully investigate the long term prospects of each partnership opportunity. Please check this website regularly for any additions to MECP partner programs in other countries.

Q: Can I take an MECP exam if I am on active duty in the US Military?
A: Absolutely! MECP has a special proctoring program in place for our men and women in the US Military on active duty outside the United States. This is especially helpful if, upon return to the US, you will be gaining employment in the civilian world selling or installing mobile electronic equipment.

Military test participants must contact the education center on their base or in their service area to locate a "test proctor." The education centers on military bases have the capacity to accommodate many distance learning scenarios, one of which is an MECP exam. Ask if they could proctor an Internet-based exam for you. If they agree, please have the contact person who will be supervising (proctoring) the exam contact MECP directly at mecp@MECP.com with notice that they are a military proctor and will proctor your exam. They MUST have a military e-mail address; MECP cannot accept personal e-mail accounts (e.g., Hotmail, MSN, AOL, Gmail, Netzero, etc.) because of the inability to verify credentials. MECP will e-mail or fax the proctor the registration information. They will be given proctoring instructions and authorizations. The MECP exam fees can be paid via computer with a valid credit card, just as if you are testing in the US.

Q: How does MECP keep track of so many certifications?
A: MECP has a new electronic database that allows all test participants have a unique MECP certification profile. This is useful for checking to see the status of your certificate and when it expires, for reviewing your scores, and especially for updating your contact and employment information so that MECP continues to be able to provide the industry with accurate information about certification status of MECP certified installation technicians and sales professionals.

In early 2007, MECP did a massive conversion of the data from paper testing days into the current database. Now, whether you have taken a computer based exam or a paper exam, you have a record in this database. It does not matter if your result was a pass or fail, it’s 99% sure you are in there!

Q: How can I access or update my certification profile in the MECP database?
A: You can create and access your certification profile in the MECP database anytime, 24/7, provided you have taken (and passed) an MECP exam in the United States.

Q: Why access or update my certification profile?
A: As MECP collects more updated data on currently certified technicians and product specialists, it will allow companies like Snap–On, Fluke, and other tool providers to offer special accommodation to certain levels of technicians. Other programs include manufacturer co–op funding of your next MECP exam fees or the ability to purchase level specific MECP merchandise. All of this access depends on you having an up to date profile in the database.

Q: What if I have not yet visited the MECP database before?
A: If it is your first time accessing the MECP database, you need to click on the link for "First Time Users" and set up a username and password that reports to a valid e-mail account. You will also need some of the specific information listed below to create your username and password based on where you took your MECP exam.

If you took your MECP Exam at a Prometric Test Center, please follow these instructions:
  • Registry ID - This field will appear but LEAVE IT BLANK. After you create a username and password, your record will be matched to the Registry ID already existing in the database. There is no way for you to know this ahead of time, so just leave that field blank.


  • Registration ID - In this field you will enter the data from the field that says “Registration Number” from your test score report.


  • Testing Date - In this field you must enter the testing date in the numeric format of mm/dd/yyyy. On your test score report this will be the date listed. As an example, it may read as "September 5, 2006", in which case you must enter it as "09/05/2006".


  • Test Center ID - In this field you will enter the data from the field that says "Site Number" from your test score report.

If you took your MECP Exam with a proctor (such as at a school, a library, or with a rep proctor), please follow these instructions:
  • Registry ID - This field will appear but LEAVE IT BLANK. After you create a username and password, your record will be matched to the Registry ID already existing in the database. There is no way for you to know this ahead of time, so just leave that field blank.


  • Registration ID - Locate the field that says “Registration Number” from your test score report. This will be “M30–XXXXXXXX” (M30+8 characters). In the Registration ID field, removing the “M30” and the dash, type in “00” and then the 8 characters, which should be a total of 10 characters. As an example “M30–12345678” would be “0012345678”.


  • Testing Date - In this field you must enter the testing date in the numeric format of mm/dd/yyyy. On your test score report this will be the date listed. As an example, it may read as “September 5, 2006”, in which case you must enter it as “09/05/2006”.


  • Test Center ID - In this field you will enter “99999”.

This information (except “Registry ID”) is all contained on your scoring report that you receive at the end of your MECP testing session, either from a Prometric testing center or when taking a proctored exam and an approved MECP location. This is why it’s so important to print the report or write down the important information.

If you do not have a copy of your exam report, you can obtain a copy from Prometric by calling 800–853–6769 or through their test participant web link form. Be sure to state your name as in your profile, exam level and date, and location of your exam.

Q: What if I took a paper test and never got a score report?
A: It will be necessary for you to contact MECP via e–mail to establish your access to a certification profile since exam score reports were not part of paper testing. If you took a paper test and need to get access to your record, please e–mail mecp@MECP.com with the following information:
  • Your name as it would have appeared on the certificate
  • Your address (at the time of certification)
  • The MECP level at which you were last certified (if you passed)
  • The date the certification was granted – at least month/year (if you passed)
From this data, MECP can work with the I7LP administrators to authenticate your record and provide you with a temporary username and password, which you will change once you access your record for the first time. Since this process takes some time, please allow 7 business days for a final resolution once you contact MECP and receive a confirmation that the request is processing.

Q: How do I access the MECP database once I know all the necessary information?
A: Once you have the necessary information in hand, you can proceed to the MECP database for creation of your unique certification profile. You can continue to visit the database to manage your own certification status and keep us up to date on your contact information, employer, etc.

1. Visit the MECP Database page and log in. Remember to click the "First Time Users" if you have not yet established a username and password.
2. Once logged in, fill in your full name.
3. Click "Find".
4. If you are listed, click on your name.
5. Click "Update Personal Info".
6. Update your personal information/address, etc.
7. Click "Submit".

Please allow 4-6 weeks from the time you last tested for your information to be loaded into the database if you do not find your information or it does not appear current.

Q: How do I receive MECP On The Move e-newsletter?
A: Send an e-mail to mecp@MECP.com requesting MECP e-news or just visit the home page of this website and register there! (view graphic)

Q: How do I share a career success story with MECP?
A: Send an e-mail to mecp@MECP.com with your story about how becoming certified has helped you in your career. MECP regularly uses feedback from certified installation technicians and sales people in trade publications such as Mobile Electronics Magazine, 12 Volt News, and CEA's market research materials. In addition, success stories are chosen for publication in MECP's On the Move e-news. While we can't publish every story, we like to hear about all of the successful MECP installation technicians and sales professionals and you never know if your story will make the pages of a national trade publication or website!

Q: Where can people find more information about MECP?
A: The most current information about the MECP program is available at this website. Individuals can speak to a customer service representative by calling (866) 858-1555, Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm, Eastern Time. The customer service team can handle most inquiries and questions; they can process orders of study guides and other MECP materials, as well as provide general information about the MECP program. The CEA staff and Todd Ramsey of Ramsey Consulting Group, Inc. (MECP Program Manager) are also available to help with more complex inquiries, bulk orders, or strategic partnerships with larger companies, schools, and international partners.

Individuals can send general e-mail inquiries to mecp@MECP.com and they will get routed to the appropriate person or department.


 
spacer

© Copyright 2013 MECP