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View Full Version : What Does it Take to become a Mac Genius?


pgarrison
11-22-2005, 08:56 PM
I've heard that it's very difficult to become a Mac Genius. Does anyone know what it actually takes to become one? E.g.

What is the average/minimum level of experience/certification of people hired as a Mac Genius? The Apple job listings say "Mac certifications required", but no specifics.

Also, does anyone know anything about the hours and/or pay?

I know that if you're a Mac Genius, you aren't allowed to post in forums like this :( , but maybe someone out there knows someone who is, or has been one in the past, or been offered a job as one.

Thanks!

Twelve Motion
11-22-2005, 10:04 PM
Your not allowed to post in forums?

Talk about infringing on your personal life. I don't ever want to be a mac genius then.

ArcticStones
11-23-2005, 01:23 AM
I know that if you're a Mac Genius, you aren't allowed to post in forums like this :(

Moderators, is this true? I would be very interested in hearing the argument for such a policy, if itís actually the case. Perhaps there is a MacGenius who could give us the straight story. :cool:

Best regards,
ArcticStones

Jay Carr
11-23-2005, 02:45 AM
I'm not a Mac Genius, but if I was going to hazard a guess I'd say that Apple doesn't want to spend money training you only to have you give away information for free.

Also, I've read some very unflattering remarks about these "Mac Geniuses" in a thread titled "Apple Store Experience" ( http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=47630 ). If they really google for their answers...

ArcticStones
11-23-2005, 03:52 AM
I'm not a Mac Genius, but if I was going to hazard a guess I'd say that Apple doesn't want to spend money training you only to have you give away information for free.
You mean like this one, by one of the knowledgeable moderators of this Forum? :

I have been totally unimpressed with the local Apple Store. I go there to purchase things, but always tell the sales person hawking me to leave me the hell alone. I count myself as lucky I actually have a clue about Macs, as one could really get gouged there. AFAIK, the employees are pushed to push their sales for crap like .Mac and iWorks. I don't think they have much choice.. it's the retail equivalent of "Publish or Perish".

Don't get me started on the "Genius Bar". Apparently my definition and Apple's definition of the word "Genius" do not co-incide. At all. Nor are they even close.
I do, however, question who is giving away good information for free. It seems to me that precisely this is the altruistic essence of the MacOSXHints Forum. And itís great! In fact, I have heard that the Forum is the first place Appleís own experts (especially MacGeniuses) search for the answers they lack.

Now doesnít that call for a bit of grateful reciprocity, rather than the aforementioned policy? :rolleyes: Please, someone at Apple, tell us that this isnít true!

With best regards,
ArcticStones

Twelve Motion
11-23-2005, 10:50 AM
What are the odds that someone from your own city will come and get help at the forum you happen to be visiting as a "genius?" I mean honesty. The genius bar should not be a scheme to make money. All apple fixing information should be free, and easy to understand so even a simple user can run his own fixes. That will help the image of "Apple is better than windows because it doesn't crash and get viruses."

fat elvis
11-23-2005, 12:38 PM
Word, that doesn't make too much sense.

If the Apple Geniuses...or is in geniuii :confused: or whatever you call them came in here and schooled us that'd be a great testament to their knowledge.

I think one way to become a true Mac genius is to use one all you can...and look into the history. If you want to get in good with a Mac zealot it's vital to know the roots. Luckily for me my first job was at a Mac repair shop where I got to work on virtually every model Mac ever made.

bedouin
11-23-2005, 12:55 PM
I was phone-interviewed for a Mac Genius position once, though my educational background is completely non-technical, and my work experience isn't particularly filled with tech either. I did write extensively in my application resume about my technical knowledge however, which includes a hefty dose of Mac OS, Linux, and Windows, along with some educational projects that used Apple products (iMovie).

From what I understand, if you apply at your local Apple store the application gets filtered through an Apple hiring agent that could be in Boston, Washington (state), and probably other locations. Basically, if the hiring agent decides you worthy of contacting, that's your first foot in.

I wish I knew somebody who worked there though, who could put a good word in about my technical knowledge from a first-hand account.

pgarrison
11-23-2005, 10:04 PM
Thanks bedouin - the first actually useful information in reply to my question!

saint.duo
11-23-2005, 11:10 PM
I know a few Mac Geniuses, and I know they're not supposed to post to Mac related forums. Why is something that I haven't asked. The ones I know REALLY know their stuff, and know it well. From reading various internet posts about bad experiences, I can tell you that the people I know don't work at any of the stores mentioned, but for their sakes, I won't say where they do work.

Apparently, besides having to have a good technical and customer service background, getting weeded out from who knows how many applicants is one of the hardest parts of getting hired.

If memory serves, Merv Tormel was once interviewing with Apple, and then shortly afterwards, stopped being a moderator here. May be a coincidence, may not.

Zen of Mac
11-25-2005, 11:17 PM
Has anybody seen the <a href="http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/72504/wo/OE19A4YlbGEc3AMZp3W9fxi1g4k/1.0.19.1.0.8.25.7.11.0.3">AppleCare Technician Training</a>pack on sale at the on-line Apple store? The description reads as follows:

AppleCare Technician Training provides all the information you need to prepare for the Apple Service Certification exams for desktop and portable systems. This easy-to-use, self-paced program includes training materials, diagnostic tools, and extensive information from Apple's own technical library. Most important, the Macintosh service training curriculum was developed by the people who know Apple systems best.

If you dig a little deeper through some of the links available on this page you'll find a list of Apple training/certification locations - Austin, Cupertino, Boston, etc.

I guess if somebody where interested in being a Mac Genius or some other kind of Apple technician, this would be a good way to start your career.

thimbuktu
11-26-2005, 06:23 AM
What are the odds that someone from your own city will come and get help at the forum you happen to be visiting as a "genius?" I mean honesty. The genius bar should not be a scheme to make money. All apple fixing information should be free, and easy to understand so even a simple user can run his own fixes. That will help the image of "Apple is better than windows because it doesn't crash and get viruses."

Personally, I think a MacGenius should also be a Mac Evangelist who, like you say, be available to help other Mac users with valuable advice which are not found elsewhere. It does not mean that the MacGenius will be leaking out any commercial secrets which is detrimental to Apple. On the contrary, Apple will benefit from the helpful information provided by the MacGenius to Mac owners and encourage more PC users to switch to Mac.
Einstein's genius would not have benefitted the world if he had just kept his discoveries to himself as a secret. Its because Einstein "Think Different", just as what the MacGenius should be allowed to do.

pgarrison
11-26-2005, 12:36 PM
Thanks, Zen - I'd found their training courses, but not this self-paced course. This is a great tip!

Has anybody seen the <a href="http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/72504/wo/OE19A4YlbGEc3AMZp3W9fxi1g4k/1.0.19.1.0.8.25.7.11.0.3">AppleCare Technician Training</a>pack on sale at the on-line Apple store? The description reads as follows:



If you dig a little deeper through some of the links available on this page you'll find a list of Apple training/certification locations - Austin, Cupertino, Boston, etc.

I guess if somebody where interested in being a Mac Genius or some other kind of Apple technician, this would be a good way to start your career.

tlarkin
11-26-2005, 02:02 PM
to get a job with apple you must apply online at jobs.apple.com and fill out an online application and someone will contact you later on. IMHO, that process is rediculously lame. I tried getting a part time job at the local apple store here in kansas city. I live like 4 blocks or so from the plaza so I could ride my bike down to the apple store and work when I got off my normal job. I went into the store and was trying to talk to a manager to give them my resume, and I was told to go to the website and apply (I was told this by a non manager). So, I went home and applied and posted my web based resume.

Now, I may not have the most impressive resume, but I do think I am easily qualified to work at an apple store, and I wasn't even really trying for a genius position, I was trying for anything part time for extra cash.

On my resume it states that I have over 6 years of actual IT work experience and have 10 years of computer experience. I have a plethora of certifications, including my apple certifications. I now work for a school district and I am the sole warranty facilitator for 53 buildings and over 10,000 computers. We have both PC and Macintosh, with mac being around 7% of the total systems in the district. That means I am the only certified person who is allowed to make warranty claims with HP/Compaq and Apple. I do all of the warranty parts ordering and most of the hardware level repairs myself. I also got stuck with being the laptop guy, because I am one of the only techs who does not mind tearing a laptop completely down.

So, it took them like 3 months to get back to me and they let me know they filled all the positions. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because this other company needs a mac person for onsite work and they want to contract me out from 50~100/hour now which is way more than I would make at the apple store. I am only going to get about 10 to 15 hours per a month because they do not have a large amount of apple clients, but they called me based of a recomendation from one of my old bosses. not to mention 10 to 15 hours a month sounds fine to me for a part time job, that way I will still get lots of free time from working in the school district.

The apple care technician training is not the apple certification either. The Apple Desktop Certified Technician (ACDT) is what I have and it is easily considered a higher skill level certification. The apple care technician is like a power user certification from what it seems I never took it because no job ever wanted me to have it, they just wanted me to have my ACDT cert instead. The one annoying thing about ACDT is you have to renew it every year, so every year I have to take more apple tests to keep it current.

So, to answer your question I do not think it is hard to become a mac genius, infact I see it as more of a sales position over a technical one. I mean the mac genius cannot take your machine apart and they cannot do any kind of warranty work on your machine, they can only suggest things. I believe they can perform upgrades like ram and hard drives as well, but I have not seen them do this. If you really want to work for apple you probably just have to know somebody or be of the "apple" type of person.

CAlvarez
11-26-2005, 04:58 PM
At my local Genius Bar they do take machines apart for minor things right then and there. They'll even work on them WITH me, and let me learn something.

tlarkin
11-26-2005, 05:50 PM
At my local Genius Bar they do take machines apart for minor things right then and there. They'll even work on them WITH me, and let me learn something.

thats cool when I worked in the private sector I had a few clients that I would show stuff. Mostly some sort of graphics or audio person, I got to know a lot of people that way. However, I definately did not do that will all people. If someone looked like they pretty much knew their stuff, I would show them because they caught on quick and it was easy. Some clients of mine in the past didn't even know how to use their systems. I wouldn't show those people, I would tell them to go take a course at the local community college.

saint.duo
11-26-2005, 08:33 PM
Mac Geniuses can and do perform hardware level repairs, just not usually in plain sight.

tlarkin
11-26-2005, 09:33 PM
really?

it must depend on the store then, because when I used to work for an AASP almost all of the apple store customers brought their stuff for repairs to my shop. I was assuming they could not perform any kind of hardware level repair there.

CAlvarez
11-26-2005, 10:13 PM
The stores definitely do in-store work. I know this for a fact. I don't think it's the "Geniuses" doing it necessarily; they seem to have a back room staff that is rarely up front. However, basic things are done right at the bar at my local store. I've walked in with a machine and pulled the dead HD on the spot to swap it out, or asked them for a BT or Wi-fi card and put it in right there with their assistance.

Now, they do know me there and I spend a lot of money in the place, but I get the impression they're pretty flexible and just take situations as they come. I've never heard "we can't do that." Well, heard it once from a noobie, and she was quickly corrected by someone else.

rj89
11-26-2005, 10:46 PM
i went in to my local apple store and they helped me with my wireless card problem (apparently the connector was loose inside the powerbook and they fixed it for free) anywways though they started up from an external hd, checked system profiles, tried another wireless card. they were very helpful and they seemed to know what they were talkin about and fixed my problem.

saint.duo
11-26-2005, 11:14 PM
The geniuses are at least desktop and portable repair certified, and do the work themselves.

The stores definitely do in-store work. I know this for a fact. I don't think it's the "Geniuses" doing it necessarily; they seem to have a back room staff that is rarely up front.

voldenuit
11-29-2005, 03:06 PM
Here's an ars technika blog entry I just came across that states that all employees in Apple retail stores are supposed to shut up online:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2005/8/6/889

The Good Thing being that on the internet nobody knows that you're a dog, so that will only discourage those who're not creative enough to have a digital identity unrelated to their real life.

tlarkin
11-30-2005, 08:41 AM
I worked for an AASP and now I am a self maintainer of apple products for a school district, I have never heard that until now. Funny thing is, this forum is sometimes A LOT better than the actual apple ones for AASP providers.

Which I find ironic since real apple employees cannot post online?