Believe it or not obtaining a Mechanic Certification can advance your career as an automotive mechanic. It proves to others you have the knowledge to do specific types of automotive repair. Such repairs as electrical, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, automatic transmission or transaxle, suspension and steering, brakes, and engine performance. Mechanic Certifications increase your value as an employee. Smart shops see the advantage of using your skills and knowledge to present to their consumers who are willing to pay for work performed by a certified mechanic. Don’t believe it, then why have dealerships always charged more since the beginning of time.
Why Get a Mechanic Certification?
No one cares anymore if you have a high school diploma or GED. The value is being trained as a professional in your industry. To make yourself more valuable to employers and help you increase your chances of earning a higher wage you need to get some Mechanic Certifications.
This might include attending a technical college to receive a certificate or an associates degree in auto repair or getting other types of Mechanic Certifications. There are a wide variety of Mechanic Certifications available, with the largest industry standard being given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE.
Specialize in a particular area means you have better efficiency than most along with the skills and knowledge to get the job done right the first time. Smart shop owners value Mechanic Certifications. Let’s say you want to specialize inair conditioning, first off Mobile Air Climate Systems Association (MACS) requires that you receive your 609 Certification. The Clean Air Act of 1990 requires auto mechanics to have this Mechanic Certification for the handling of refrigerants. Properly disposing of refrigerants helps protect people and the environment from harm. Without correctly recovering and recycling refrigerant, dangerous health risks are posed to humans and the global climate. An EPA 609 Certification allows industry professionals to understand and stay compliant with EPA guidelines in handling and disposing of refrigerants. Today’s consumers are looking for this much more than in past years.
Along with MACS Certification there are eight core ASE Mechanic Certifications for working with regular passenger vehicles like cars, SUVs and trucks, and there are a wide variety of other certifications for advanced learning. Other Mechanic Certification options are related to different types of vehicles such as medium-heavy trucks, school buses and transit buses.
ASE Mechanic Certification
For those who want to work on the most common types of vehicles such as cars, trucks and SUVs, the following ASE Mechanic Certifications are available:
- Heating and air conditioning
- Engine repair
- Suspension and steering
- Engine performance
- Automatic transmission/transaxle
- Electrical/electronic systems
- Manual drive train and axles
Mechanics may choose to mix and match the Mechanic Certifications that they feel they is best to focus on for themselves. However, a mechanic who gets all eight Mechanic Certifications can take the test to become an ASE-Certified Master Automobile Technician, which allows for increased pay and career flexibility. The Master Mechanic Certifications shows employers and customers that you have a wide range of knowledge to repair their vehicle right the first time.
Other Mechanic Certifications Available
ASE offers a wide variety of other certifications, as mentioned above. It’s possible to customize a career path through obtaining the ASE Mechanic Certifications that work best for you. Some are a series of Mechanic Certifications for the same type of vehicle, similar to the automobile certifications, which include certifications for transit buses, school buses and medium-heavy trucks. For these vehicle types, you can choose to pursue several different certifications and a master technician option as well.
There are other series of Mechanic Certifications on other topics as well, such as collision repair, truck equipment and auto parts. In addition, the ASE offers Mechanic Certifications for hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles, alternate fuels and more. For all ASE Mechanic Certifications, you will need to meet a certain level of required work experience in the certification area. For instance, if you are working toward a collision damage certification, you will need at least two years of experience working as an automotive collision estimator. This is because work experience is not interchangeable across all ASE certifications.
Other organizations offer Mechanic Certifications as well, although ASE is the organization most associated with them. Mechanics may be particularly interested in certifications offered by various auto manufacturers, which show that you are trained and certified in working on their specific vehicles. For mechanics who work at a dealership or want to specialize in a particular brand, these manufacturer certifications can be valuable.
The Society of Automotive Engineers – The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is one of the most comprehensive online automotive educators. SAE offers thorough educational materials that cover nearly every aspect of automotive technology, and they constantly update their information. Through videos, seminars, and reading material, SAE offers all the training and education necessary for aspiring mechanics that desire to receive Mechanic Certifications. SAE is one of the most respected training programs in the automotive community, training over 4,000 technicians each year.
I-CAR – (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) is a collision repair specialist, with a large array of online courses, ranging from introductory to expert. I-CAR’s online program features a wonderful virtual classroom system that greatly benefits students and helps them achieve Mechanic Certifications. I-CAR has some of the best instructors available and has received positive reviews from nearly all of their students. If you are interested in repair certifications, I-CAR is a great option.
Tesla START – is an intensive training program that provides students across North America with the skills necessary for a successful career at Tesla and beyond. During the program, students develop technical expertise and earn certifications through in-class theory, hands-on labs, and self-paced learning to achieve their desired Mechanic Certifications.
Mechanic Alliance – As an auto mechanic, are you tired of not making what you are worth? Would you like to be compensated and valued to the full extent of your training and skills? We have a Mechanic Certifications program that we build specifically for you.
Getting a Mechanic Certification
Becoming a certified mechanic is just one step in the overall process for becoming a professional mechanic, especially if you want to be a Master Technician. Follow these steps to gain your mechanic certification:
1. Attend a vocational program
Graduating from a mechanic vocational program is not necessarily a requirement for working as a mechanic, but many employers do prefer to hire mechanics with formal training. Additionally, many vocational programs will teach you what you need to know to obtain some ASE Mechanic Certifications, eliminating the need for you to find out on your own what will be on the tests. Many vocational programs for mechanics last between nine months and two years and are available at many institutions like community colleges all over the country.
2. Determine what Mechanic Certifications you want or need
If you already have a job as a mechanic, it can be helpful to discuss certifications with your employer to find out what will be beneficial to your career with them. However, if you don’t have a mechanic job yet or want to move into a certain type of mechanic position in the future, it’s beneficial to find out for yourself what Mechanic Certifications will allow you to do the work that appeals most to you. We believe you should always follow your passion.
4. Take tests for desired certificates
In order to gain certification from the ASE, you will need to pass a test on that topic. The ASE tests are available at testing centers in many locations throughout the U.S. and are taken on a computer. You can register online, but keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee to register. Most ASE Mechanic Certification tests are between 40 and 75 multiple-choice questions. If you want multiple certifications, you may want to space out your tests to be sure you have adequate time to prepare. To help with preparation, the ASE has sample tests available online.
5. Work as a mechanic
It’s possible that you are already working as a mechanic even before taking a Mechanic Certification test, or you may have waited to find a mechanic job until you had taken a few Mechanics Certification tests. Either way, one of the best ways to gain more Mechanic Certifications and advance your career is to get more experience working as a mechanic.
6. Receive certification
If you pass your Mechanic Certification test for an ASE Mechanic Certification and meet the work experience requirements, you get certified. Each type of test has different work experience requirements, so you’ll want to research what is needed to get your Mechanic Certification. You can take the test prior to having enough work experience to be certified, but you won’t get your certification until you meet all requirements for testing and experience.
7. Continue obtaining certifications
Many mechanics obtain Mechanic Certifications throughout their careers depending on what their interests are, who they’re working for and what they are working on. Additionally, once you receive an ASE Mechanic Certification, it is good for five years before you need to take a re-certification test. Thus, even if you only need one certification, you will still need to maintain that certification over the years.
8. Become an ASE-Certified Master Technician
If you want to become an ASE-Certified Master Technician, you will need to complete the eight certifications listed above as well as take a test specifically for the Master Technician certification. Other branches of certification through ASE also offer master technician statuses in a similar way. To maintain your Master Technician status, you will need to keep all your required certifications active by taking any necessary re-certification tests. While this is not a required step, being a Master Technician can offer you a lot of flexibility in your career, as you’ll be certified to complete a wide variety of work.