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  1. #1
    Master of Arts bigben's Avatar
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    training for very new installation tech.

    My 19 years old nephew want to get in the game and become an installation tech for vinyl (car wrap, mural, windows, etc.). We live to far appart so I could hire him and give him a training. I've suggested to find a position in is area, but without experience no one will take him even as an apprentice.

    If he goes to a formation like 3M or Avery even if he never touched a squeegee before, does he will be a ''professional'' install tech at the end of the training? I understand there is an experience level to add to this, but does he will be have the knowledge to install vinyl by himself without supervision after the training and gain experience? If not, what are your suggestions?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Premium Subscriber HDvinyl's Avatar
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    Youtube has a plethora of training videos.
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  3. #3
    Premium Subscriber DKgrafix's Avatar
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    Tell him to get a membership here Videos | Wrap Institute
    And he can get great training here Learn How to Wrap a Car with Vinyl Wrap Classes | Avery Dennison | Graphics

    Justin does a great job of explaining things.

    Good luck
    Dennis

    Design, Embroidery, Screen printing, Sublimation, Vinyl
    Follow us www.instagram.com/DKgrafixLimited

  4. #4
    Master of Arts bigben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDvinyl View Post
    Youtube has a plethora of training videos.
    I understand this. But he can't go get a job by saying he watched a bunch of video on youtube. I think video would be more complimentary to an onsite training. Plus, with onsite training, someone will tell him if his technique is wrong or not. It would also be a faster learning curve with an onsite training.

    I'm just wondering how good he could be after the training and if he would be autonomous.

  5. #5
    Premium Subscriber HDvinyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigben View Post
    I understand this. But he can't go get a job by saying he watched a bunch of video on youtube.
    It's not rocket science. Send him some material and a squeegee to practice after watching 20 videos.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDvinyl View Post
    It's not rocket science. Send him some material and a squeegee to practice after watching 20 videos.
    No, it's not rocket science, but proper technique and understanding is key to whether a wrap fails in 3 months or lasts for 5 years. Making it sound so simple just hurts the industry and produces bad installers, because it's not as simple as watching Youtube videos and practicing in your garage (unless by practicing you mean doing complete wraps on a dozen+ cars). When we're looking for installers we don't hire people who have "watched Youtube videos and practiced in their garage", which we get plenty of people who apply saying basically the same thing.


    I don't know of any classes that are so in-depth that he would be able to wrap a car properly start to finish right off the bat, but it might get his foot in the door at a shop that is willing to train him until he can do it solo.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDvinyl View Post
    Send him some material and a squeegee to practice after watching 20 videos.
    I would suggest something along these lines. Maybe send him some scraps and tools to begin with, to set his baseline then he (and you) can track his time/technique as he improves. From there spend a few months learning as much as he can from videos then sign up for any training with 3M/Avery.

    If he were anywhere near Winnipeg I'd offer to train him for you.... but I'm assuming he's in Quebec. :)

    Pat

  8. #8
    Premium Subscriber HDvinyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtremeXccessories View Post
    but it might get his foot in the door at a shop that is willing to train him until he can do it solo.
    Isn't that what he's aiming for?

    Youtube and lots of practice, he can walk in and prove he's worthy of a job.
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  9. #9
    Master of Arts bigben's Avatar
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    I understand your point of watching video and this is how I've learned how to install vinyl at the begining. He apply to few shop in is area, but without experience they would not hire him.

    But my question is about the quality and/or in-depth of the training given by company like 3M and Avery. Does it will give him all the knowledge to be autonomous and gain experience from there?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigben View Post
    But my question is about the quality and/or in-depth of the training given by company like 3M and Avery. Does it will give him all the knowledge to be autonomous and gain experience from there?
    Not without previous experience and/or training.

    They would have to offer an university length course in order to achieve this in one step, and you still can't train or teach experience.

  11. #11
    Bachelor of Arts WB's Avatar
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    best place to start id to get a job at a shop. it take years to develop the skills to become a competent installer. Courses are good and will help but they are just another tool in the belt. If he wanted to become a electrician or mechanic you can't just take a course and be a licensed tech it takes years.
    Best place to start is to get a job and get some time under his belt.

  12. #12
    PhD Baz's Avatar
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    If he can't get hired then another option would be for him to wrap his own car. Maybe not all of it but at least the hood and other parts.
    I'm sure his uncle could help him out with some material to use.

    Then he should start getting some jobs and get the material from you.

    We all have to start somewhere and like all of us, our first vehicle jobs were small productions for low end customers and far from perfect.

  13. #13
    Master of Arts bigben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WB View Post
    best place to start id to get a job at a shop. it take years to develop the skills to become a competent installer. Courses are good and will help but they are just another tool in the belt. If he wanted to become a electrician or mechanic you can't just take a course and be a licensed tech it takes years.
    Best place to start is to get a job and get some time under his belt.
    This is the problem. No one want to hire him in is area because he don't have experience. This is why I'm wondering if the training by 3M/Avery would give him all the basic to get a job.

  14. #14
    Premium Subscriber Gino's Avatar
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    Why don't you have him move in with you and instead of paying him, you give him room and board ?? Make a commitment of 6 months and he learns all about vinyl, weeding, some software and application of all sorts in your shop. After that, once he has some basic knowledge under his belt, then one of those weekend wrap courses will do him a lotta good. Who knows, maybe he'll end up working for you and help you make more money.............


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  15. #15
    College Freshman Johnny Best's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigben View Post
    This is the problem. No one want to hire him in is area because he don't have experience. This is why I'm wondering if the training by 3M/Avery would give him all the basic to get a job.
    I think it would be a step in the right direction for starting out. Getting 3M certfied would get him in the front door quicker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Best View Post
    I think it would be a step in the right direction for starting out. Getting 3M certfied would get him in the front door quicker.
    I have sent 3 employees on the 3M certified training. If they do not have any experience you will be setting him up failure and will be wasting your money. These courses a very hands on and you need some previous experience in applying vinyl.
    I feel your pain bigben....how do you get a job a with no experience and how do you get a experience when no one will hire you.
    Most installers I know started out at a sign shop applying vinyl to flat sheet signs and worked their way up the ladder. He may just have to start at the bottom rung and climb his way up at a local sign shop.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    I have sent 3 employees on the 3M certified training. If they do not have any experience you will be setting him up failure and will be wasting your money. These courses a very hands on and you need some previous experience in applying vinyl.
    I feel your pain bigben....how do you get a job a with no experience and how do you get a experience when no one will hire you.
    Most installers I know started out at a sign shop applying vinyl to flat sheet signs and worked their way up the ladder. He may just have to start at the bottom rung and climb his way up at a local sign shop.
    I agree.

    It's a bit of a catch 22, but sending someone with zero hands on experience to an expensive wrap course would be like sending a high school student to medical school without having taken any biology or intro to university courses.

  18. #18
    Master of Arts bigben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    I have sent 3 employees on the 3M certified training. If they do not have any experience you will be setting him up failure and will be wasting your money. These courses a very hands on and you need some previous experience in applying vinyl.
    I feel your pain bigben....how do you get a job a with no experience and how do you get a experience when no one will hire you.
    Most installers I know started out at a sign shop applying vinyl to flat sheet signs and worked their way up the ladder. He may just have to start at the bottom rung and climb his way up at a local sign shop.
    Quote Originally Posted by RJPW View Post
    I agree.

    It's a bit of a catch 22, but sending someone with zero hands on experience to an expensive wrap course would be like sending a high school student to medical school without having taken any biology or intro to university courses.
    Good, that is the information I was looking for. Thank you.

  19. #19
    Premium Subscriber ThatGuy's Avatar
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    Maybe he can find a local shop and offer to help for free, just to learn.

  20. #20
    College Freshman Johnny Best's Avatar
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    On the 3M certification classes brochure it states "It’s not necessary, but it’s recommended." to have experience in the field. If he did do the training it could not hurt, but bringing him in with you or getting a job in a sign shop would be the better idea to start out, things don't always work out smoothly in life. And I do not think a decent Med School would accept a high school kid without first taking a test to see if they are qualified, I am also sure 3M has a test they give and advice before taking classes from them also. If there is a will there will be a way for him to get into the field. Every one of us has been there when we started out not knowing anything about the trade. Except OldPaint, who was born with a brush in his hand and weaned on turps and OneShot.

  21. #21
    Premium Subscriber Gino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Best View Post
    On the 3M certification classes brochure it states "It’s not necessary, but it’s recommended." to have experience in the field. If he did do the training it could not hurt, but bringing him in with you or getting a job in a sign shop would be the better idea to start out, things don't always work out smoothly in life. And I do not think a decent Med School would accept a high school kid without first taking a test to see if they are qualified, I am also sure 3M has a test they give and advice before taking classes from them also. If there is a will there will be a way for him to get into the field. Every one of us has been there when we started out not knowing anything about the trade. Except OldPaint, who was born with a brush in his hand and weaned on turps and OneShot.

    And don't forget the Green Speedos


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigben View Post
    Good, that is the information I was looking for. Thank you.
    I Took the beginner 3M course to become car wrap certified. It was a few hours of explaining all the products... whats good for what, and then a few hours of everyone practicing wrapping a complete car. I wrapped about 50-100 boxes before the course... so I knew 99% of what they told me. I think it's a decent course for a beginner, but honestly... Hands on experience is better. Take the money that the course would cost, and cut up a couple blank panels, tell him to practice. Wrapping a mirror is different than wrapping a straight door, as is putting window perf on the back / sides.

    If he REALLY wants to learn, thats the best way. I didn't need someone by me telling me I'm doing it wrong... If I see a wrinkle, or the text becomes warped, I know I did it wrong, and I'll fix it / figure out a diff way to do it. Youtube is great... Theres tons of videos. The good thing about wrapping is everyone has their own style - There isn't just 1 "Correct" way.... Sure, theres certain things you need to know like don't vinyl over rubber, don't cut into the car with your blade... etc. But most of what he needs to know will be in every single wrapping video, the technique is something he has to get down for himself.

    When I was first learning I loved it. The day after my first electrical box (Most are really flat and easy...) I grabbed a hard hat and tried to wrap that. As much of a failure as that was, it was fun... and it taught me a lot about how to do round objects. Since then... I've wrapped 100's of random objects, just to learn how to do the curves "better". I can confidently wrap most things I try... The speed is an issue on some stuff, I'm probably 1/2 as fast as my co-worker who's been doing this for 20 years... But it's still fun. I've been doing it for a year... not 8 hours a day, or even 1 hour a day... but I've wrapped maybe a couple full cars, 2 busses, 50-100 electrical boxes... and I still consider myself a beginner. Everytime I go out, I learn something new.... Thats what your nephew needs, the practice. He can learn the basics from youtube, and the rest he figures out by watching others either in a shop, or on youtube, and adapts it to his own way.


    TLDR; The course can help a bit, but i found it more geared towards teaching you what materials and stuff. The best way, as others have mentioned...send him a box of scraps, they dont need to be big... Just enough to practice on mirrors, helmets, a small side panel/fender... Anything. Have him come visit for the weekend, teach him the basics.... and send him home with a box of scraps, thats all he needs. Wrapping also isn't for everyone, he may find he hates it after he tries it.

  23. #23
    Bachelor of Arts TammieH's Avatar
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    If you really want to help him, have him move in with you for a few months, train him as much as you can. You can pay him minimum wage, to help pay for his food and whatever else he needs. Also if he could get certified by 3M at the same time.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TammieH View Post
    If you really want to help him, have him move in with you for a few months, train him as much as you can. You can pay him minimum wage, to help pay for his food and whatever else he needs. Also if he could get certified by 3M at the same time.
    This just reminded me of something.

    Ben - there may be grants or opportunities through your provincial government for this type of thing, which would help with the costs of training someone. (whether it's on your dime or sending him to a course)

    I just took a business course with our provincial government last week and the amount of funding (low interest, guaranteed, or even non-repayable) is surprising. There a lot of options out there that may be worth considering.

    I know one of things that we're looking at is the summer student program - you basically only pay half the student's wages and the government subsidizes/pays the rest.

    I have no idea if this applies in Quebec but it sure seems like Manitoba is committed to helping the small business owners/entrepreneurs with all sorts of training to grow.

    Just a thought!

  25. #25
    Master of Arts TXFB.INS's Avatar
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    the relocation is a good idea.

    another option is send him all of your scrap vinyl and then have him wrap whatever he can his hands on.


    then when he goes to another shop, have him do an example of his wrapping skills infront of them.

    we usually hand new people a hard hat and tell them to wrap it.

  26. #26
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    have him buy enough wrap material to color change his car, have him come visit for a weekend, wrap car (you instruct, he does) teach him to weed & mask, done.

  27. #27
    College Freshman printhog's Avatar
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    To be a professional requires hands on time. He needs an apprenticeship in a production shop. But that is hard to find.

    Wrapping is just part of the trade. And it's a fad. In some markets it's already dying out.

    To do a young person justice, he should be directed to learn the entire trade so that he can grow into it.

    He could offer to work as an intern with a large sign shop. Gets paid zippo during training. But he gets hands on experience.

    I would never hire or sub to an installer that doesn't have at least 3 years of work experience. Even if they were 3M certified.

    But I do take interns for a year at a time. Usually they have college graphics or CAD/cam background.

    There's lots of training videos, but supervised byvinyl in hand is best. To get a lot of vinyl experience he should look to Las Vegas and get a trading spot wrapping casinos. There are several firms that specialize in that. Hard work but lots of vinyl time.

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  28. #28
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    You say that "Wrapping is a fad and that in some markets it's already dying out", where do you get this info from? Is it personal experience, are there hard number to back this up somewhere? What type of markets are you talking about? Are you talking about full wraps, partial wraps, etc... please explain.

  29. #29
    College Freshman printhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKwrapguy View Post
    You say that "Wrapping is a fad and that in some markets it's already dying out", where do you get this info from? Is it personal experience, are there hard number to back this up somewhere? What type of markets are you talking about? Are you talking about full wraps, partial wraps, etc... please explain.
    In northern California the trend in business is moving away from wraps and into long term cut vinyl. My suppliers are seeing that, I'm seeing that, national buyers are doing that, and my local ad club is seeing that.

    My fleet clients are opting for cut vinyl after their third generation of wraps. Mostly the novelty wears off. This is also because the lifespan of 5 years isnt as appealing as 7 to 10 for cut work.

    Design has an effect on that too. We see so many poorly designed and cluttered wraps. Mostly due to newbies and car customizers- heck even tire shops - buying wrap systems.

    While good design still works, these other entrants have lowered prices and design standards that have devalued the product so there isn't any budget to cover effective professional design.

    That doesn't mean it will die. But its following the model that vinyl cut did when plotters went from $30,000+ to under $2000, and when digital print went from a million dollar investment to under $50k...

    Folks were jumping into vinyl. It was the rage. Then it was digital printing. Then wraps. Next up will be interactive digital displays. Samsung already is working on truck sides that can be changed digitally.




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    Interesting, incite. While I agree that the lower cost of entering the market has had issues with quality, pricing and service, I think that I would disagree that the wraps are a 'fad'. I do agree with you that we'll see a 'comeback' of sorts with cut vinyl due to it's lifespan and market changing but this will probably follow most up and down trends. However on the point of this tread I think that Big Ben's nephew, if he's serious about getting into the industry should maybe try to find a shop where he would be able to learn multiple disciplines of the industry not just wraps. Also maybe try his hand at learning some design software as well.

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