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How to Become a 3M Certified Vinyl Installer

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The 3M company offers a line of graphics that includes car wraps, screenprinted and digital film products, and colored film. These products can be used to personalize a product or advertise a service. You might advertise your sponsors on a race car, promote businesses on the side of a bus or mark fleet vehicles with the company name and logo. The company offers certification credentials to those who install vinyl graphics to support their skills with 3M products. Individuals must pass a comprehensive certification exam and apply for the credential with 3M to become certified. Once certified, you can display the 3M certified logo on your cards, website and store.

Choose a 3M Credential

3M offers three credentials for installers. The 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company is for businesses who have been in business for at least three years and who have at least one employee who has passed the 3M installation examination. The 3M Preferred Graphics Installer is for individuals, and the credential applies to all types of graphic installations. For individuals who only want to install graphics on small vehicles, 3M offers the 3M Endorsed Vehicle Graphics Installer credential.

3M Installer Training

Installation training offered by 3M, which is optional, can help installers with little experience prepare for the certification examination. The company offers training throughout the year in several states. Courses cover topics such as vehicle and boat wraps, fleet graphics, and graphic film installation and removal. Training allows students to practice their skills. To prepare for the certification exam, study the 3M technical bulletins and instruction sheets found on the 3M Testing page.

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3M Certification Testing

Installers must take and pass a two-day examination administered through 3M locations is several states. The company also works with authorized testers, such as J3 Industries and Geek Wraps University. The test includes a written portion and installation skills test in vehicle and boat wraps, trailers, floor graphics, smooth walls and textured surfaces. The written test consists of multiple choice, yes and no, and true and false questions. For the skills test, you begin with a score of 100, and points are deducted for errors and mistakes. You must demonstrate perfect installation of film and laminates to a variety of surfaces, such as a rough textured wall, tile floor, the body of a van and a truck door. You must pass both the written and skills test with a score of 80 percent or higher.

Submit a Certification Application

After successfully completing the test, submit an application with 3M to receive your 3M Preferred Graphics Installer credential. Individual installers complete the application on the 3M website and must send proof of liability insurance. Installers must renew their certification annually by completing a written or online test. To apply for the 3M Certified Graphics Installation Company credential, you must submit an application through the United Application Standards Group website. The company must also submit proof of insurance and references, and participate in an on-site interview. At least one company employee must have passed the certification examination, and certification must be renewed each year.

About the Author

Maureen Malone started writing in 2008. She writes articles for business promotion and informational articles on various websites. Malone has a Bachelor of Science in technical management with an emphasis in biology from DeVry University.

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