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Auto mechanics, sometimes referred to as auto technicians, are in high demand and can usually secure steady, well-paying positions immediately upon completing schooling. Education is very important to an auto mechanic’s career and directly increases pay-scale. The possibility of learning the trade by working as an aide in a mom-and-pop shop is quickly dwindling. The complexity of current automobile technology demands both full technical education and professional certification. It may be possible to secure a mechanic position in a small, private shop without certification, but a government, dealership, manufacturing plant, or large company will almost surely require it. Education to increase your qualifications as a mechanic can start in high-school, and some shops may consider high-school graduates who have taken many courses in metal work, science, mechanic drawing, and mathematics. Some schools may have Automotive Youth Education Service programs to give prospective high school students a head start on this career. This is not enough education to be a mechanic or gain certification, but it can be an excellent start. Such qualified high school graduates can perform entry-level, light-duty shop work while they complete their formal technical training and work toward the experience requirements of certification. Certification in Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is nationally recognized and is vitally important to an auto mechanic career. Certification requires graduation from a recognized technical school or community college program, two or more years of work in the industry, and the passing of multiple relevant exams. A mechanic can be certified in any one of eight possible service areas.

The eight automotive service areas for certification are:

1. Engine repair

2. automatic transmission

3. Manual drive train and axles

4. Suspension and steering.

5. Brakes

6. Electrical systems

7. Heating and air condition systems

8. Engine performance

The highest qualification for an auto mechanic is to achieve master automobile technician status. This requires certification in all eight service areas at once. Certification for each service area must be renewed every five years. Passing a recertification exam is usually sufficient for renewal. Certification comes with a badge and official certificate. Note that ASE is a private organization started to help distinguish competent technicians from untrained laymen. Certification it is not legally required to work as a mechanic, although nearly all employers require at least some level of ASE certification from their employees. Further details about ASE certification can be obtained on their official website,

The automobile industry is constantly changing and becoming increasingly complex. The introduction of hybrid technology, electric motors, and even fuel cells has dramatically increased the technical and engineering knowledge required of an automotive technician. Although not always required, continuing education should be expected of mechanics that want to stay on top of the industry. Specialization in these high-tech vehicles and their components will make a technician much more valuable, and will become increasingly relevant in today’s industry. As technology continues to grow and change, the best technician will keep themselves prepared to meet these changes.

Auto Mechanic Requirements