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How does your shop treat training?

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I've been working at a shop for a year and a half now with no experience. However in the year and a half I've been at the shop as a prepper, I can successfully fully prep a sedan(5 years or newer) by the time the owner and boss (been tinting for 20 years) is installing his first window. I've been told about future money making insensitives when I am a tinter, how he wants me to learn and grow, however it seems like there is never time for me to really practice. We fill our schedule (7-9 vehicles a day with just him and I), he will leave in the middle of the day and will come back when our appointment is in, will leave early at the end of the day leaving me to do odds and ends work around the shop. I don't have any friends who's vehicles need tinting for practice, just curious on what others recommend for practice and training. Should I go ahead and pay for a tint class and tell him I'm taking a week off? Really would like to keep progress going and I believe he'd be surprised by how understanding of the install process I am, I watch videos on laying film every night. Just curious what other shops do for training? Thank you! 

Edited by Shrug
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I guess my biggest question is have you installed any film ?  


You could always buy some film and find a way to practice, if you think you are at that point.  Practicing with product that is supposed to be for income is very tough for an owner.  Ask if there is practice film available, if not, order a roll of decent film from somewhere and practice with that.  


Just my :twocents   :beer  

Edited by Bham
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If you are still prepping and doing odd jobs after a year and a half, in my estimate you are going to remain there unless 'you' do something about it. Prepping is the easiest part of installing film to untinted glass.


When I once owned three shops in Florida, anyone hired on was given the same tasks the seasoned tinters had; prep, cut a pattern, final prep, and install. However, this was only after a day learning to cut pictures in tint using picture frames and a days of side-by-side observation of an entire install by the seasoned person. They were then given easy installs like a pick up truck and encouraged to ask questions as they went.


Heat forming (training) came after handling film patterns to the point of not creasing or wrinkling the film (heat forming could take weeks-months depending on the newbie's ability to grasp the concept). There were newbies that didn't make it past the end of 6 weeks mark, which was our re-evaluation of skills point. Only a select few made it.


Those were different times.

If there are no untinted cars to practice on, consider doing your own car on your own time, over and over again, until you feel comfortable with the evolving skills. Do as previously stated; buy a roll and begin. Tint class will possibly get you to a point of being comfortable with doing a pick up truck (with all (one directional flat glass).


Ask yourself this:


Do you have any artistic strain in you (Not an absolute indicator of grasping the medium aka window film but can go a long way in developing skills quicker)?


Are you good with children or standing in line at Walmart (Patience, patience, patience is key to success here)?


Have you ever installed wallpaper, vinyl decals, or protective sheets for cupboards without wrinkling the product (easy-peasy background experience)?


Are you a perfectionist (Not satisfied until it's absolutely right)?


Do you feel you have a McGyver-like skill set (successfully thinking/working your way through or around a challenge presented to you in any given moment)?


Good luck with it.

Edited by Tintguy1980
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You have to get some skin in the game. Get a roll of film and practice what you've observed. Offer to go in on your own time and risk your own materials in exchange for a few hours of direct instruction.

You may be eager to learn, however it's unreasonable to ask the owner to stop working in order to watch his film fill up a waste basket.

Someone, somewhere has to have a crappy honda or a shop truck that you can work on. Taking a class might give you some knowledge but only practice will give you quality. If the owner is slaying cars, he likely wouldn't want to slow down to carry you to the goal line or redo your work.

When I was an apprentice eons ago I started by installing 1/4glass after I had the car prepped and the invoice written, then heat shrinking rears. I also practiced on any car I could get my hands on in my spare time. The learning curve got much shorter when it was at my own expense. 

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I appreciate all inputs! I do install some quarters depending on how busy the day is (usually he just throws them in before I have a chance). I've tinted my car(15 Fiesta st), wifes(17 Hyundai tuscon), and friends all-track(Boss shrunk the rear due to how hard it is).  

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