How To Become A Certified Automotive Technician
How to Become a Certified Automotive Technician
Are you ready to accelerate your automotive career? Becoming an automotive technician is the first step on the road to proficiency in the automotive world. And if you're looking for more of a challenge, earning certifications can help you find success along the way.
While there are many different types of certifications an automotive technician can earn, becoming ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified is usually the most desired by mechanics and employers alike. So whether you’re just starting your automotive mechanic journey or you’ve been on the job for a while and are looking for something more, getting an ASE certification is a great next step.
Most auto repair shops place a high demand on their technicians to hold an ASE certification. Though it isn't always mandated, it is still highly recommended that technicians earn it to help advance their careers. Having this certification can also make you look more attractive to potential employers and can help you stand out among other candidates when looking for your next job opportunity.
Different Types of ASE Certification
The scope of work performed by automotive technicians is broad and the types of vehicles they work on are varied, which means there are multiple areas in which a technician can (and should) be certified.
When you decide to get an ASE certification, you’ll need to pick which area you’d like to hold a certification in. It is possible, and encouraged, that you hold a certificate in more than one area. Each certificate requires the technician to take and pass a specific ASE assessment related to that particular field.
Some prospective techs may worry that they need to get all their certifications before they can find a job. But that just isn't the case! In fact, many certifications are earned as part of your continuing education once you've already got some on-the-job experience.
Different ASE certificates are available throughout your career, making it easier for auto technicians to learn and move up as they continue to work in the automotive industry. In order to gain eligibility for the various ASE certifications, candidates must complete a specific amount of required work experience. Once these hours are completed, ASE will issue the specific certification that you've earned.
And between your ongoing work experience and the certifications you gain, you can find that a wealth of new opportunities will present themselves.
Some of the more popular certifications include:
- Repair technician (1, 2, or 3 years)
- Parts specialist (2 years)
- Collision damage estimator (2 years)
- Service consultant (2 years)
- Master technician
- And over 40 more!
Other Automotive Technician Certifications
While ASE certifications are the most widely known and frequently sought-after certifications that an auto technician can hold, there are plenty of others out there that those in the automotive world can work toward.
Manufacturer-specific certifications are another great way to show proficiency in working on a specific brand of car, especially if you plan to work in a dealership, manufacturer, or specialty shop.
Many consumers like to go to brand-specific auto shops to get work done on their car. When they choose such a shop, they feel more confident getting auto technicians that work specifically on their brand of car and can provide the best care.
All major car brands and manufacturers offer certificates of proficiency when working on their vehicles. These manufacturer-specific certifications show employers and customers that they have an exceptional level of understanding when it comes to the brand that they’re certified in.
Those who earn these types of certificates often work at dealerships or brand-specific auto shops and are certified to diagnose problems, follow specific repair procedures, understand the design of the engine and its fuel demands, and work on the vehicle safety systems and electrical parts.
Manufacturer-specific certifications are available to all types of auto mechanics and offer many different levels of proficiency. After earning their initial certificate, technicians can continue to work on specific brand vehicles for many years.
After completing specific amounts of work training, technicians can then continue on to earn master technician certificates based upon their knowledge, experience, and skill level. Setting a goal of becoming a master technician is a great way to focus your career so you can achieve more. Master technician status is the highest level of distinction an auto technician can earn and is highly regarded in the automotive industry.
Does Certification Pay?
In life, knowledge is power. This is also true in the automotive industry. The more you know, the better a technician you will be! Earning an ASE certification or a manufacturer-specific certificate is a great way to demonstrate all you know to current and prospective employers.
These certificates and the knowledge needed to earn them can also help you earn higher wages. On average, the annual salary for an automotive technician is over $44,000, according to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, those who are ASE-certified typically earn more. In fact, the BLS data shows that auto mechanics who earn the top 10% make nearly $72,000 annually. Additional certifications can also lead to additional pay raises as you move up the career ladder.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a certified auto technician, there’s no time like the present to make that happen. Auto techs who hold a certificate can make more money, move up the career ladder faster, and become highly respected by their employers and customers.
So, the next time you’re on the computer, take a moment to research the perfect certification for you. It could be the best career decision you make!
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