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Top 10 Automotive Mechanic Certifications

This article will explore the various certifications available to automotive mechanics, and provide an overview of the benefits of becoming certified.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications for automotive mechanics are important for job market success because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill in a particular area. Having certifications can help a mechanic stand out from their competition, gain the trust of customers, and increase their earning potential. Certifications also show that a mechanic has taken the time to stay up-to-date on the latest information and technologies related to their profession. They show employers that a mechanic is committed to their career and has made an effort to become more knowledgeable in the field.

This article reviews the top certifications for Automotive Mechanics, outlining how they can help to enhance an automotive mechanic's career.

What are Automotive Mechanic Certifications?

Automotive mechanic certification is an important credential for automotive technicians and mechanics that shows they have achieved a certain level of proficiency in their field. It demonstrates to employers and customers that the technician has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively diagnose and repair vehicles.

In order to obtain certification, a technician must pass an examination administered by a nationally recognized organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The exam covers a variety of topics including engine performance, brakes, electrical systems, steering and suspension, heating and air conditioning systems, and more. Passing this exam proves that the technician is knowledgeable in all areas of automotive repair and maintenance.

Having automotive mechanic certification can give technicians an advantage when seeking employment or trying to advance their career. Employers may be more likely to hire certified technicians since they know they have demonstrated their knowledge of automotive service. Additionally, certified technicians are often eligible for higher wages than non-certified technicians due to their specialized expertise. Finally, having certification can help boost customer confidence when bringing their vehicle into a shop for repairs or maintenance since they know the technician working on their vehicle is trained and qualified to do so.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand the requirements for automotive mechanic certification in your state or region before beginning any training. This will ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you and can help you avoid any unexpected delays or costs.

Related: What does an Automotive Mechanic do?

Top 10 Automotive Mechanic Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Automotive Mechanics today.

1. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification is a certification program that provides automotive professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to properly diagnose, service, and repair vehicles. The ASE program was developed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in 1972 to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through the testing and certification of automotive technicians.

To obtain ASE Certification, technicians must pass a series of tests covering various areas of automotive service. Tests are available for different types of vehicles, such as cars, light trucks, medium/heavy duty trucks, school buses, collision repair/refinish, parts specialist, and more. Tests are also available for specific systems like brakes, engines, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning systems, suspension and steering systems, etc.

The time it takes to get ASE Certified depends on how many tests you need to take in order to qualify for certification. Generally speaking it can take anywhere from three months to two years or more depending on how quickly you can study for and pass each test.

In order to get ASE Certified you must first register with ASE. You will then be able to select which tests you would like to take and pay the associated fees. Fees vary depending on which tests you choose but generally range from $30-$50 per test. Once registered you will receive study materials that will help prepare you for the tests. After successfully passing all required tests you will receive your official ASE Certification credentials in the mail within four weeks of completing your exams.

Overall cost for getting ASE Certified can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars up into the thousands depending on how many tests you need to take in order to qualify for certification.

2. Automotive Service Technician Certification (ASTC)

Automotive Service Technician Certification (ASTC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize those who are skilled in the field of automotive service technology. This certification is issued by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The certification is valid for five years and requires recertification every five years to maintain its validity.

To become certified as an Automotive Service Technician, you must pass a series of tests that cover all aspects of automotive service technology. These tests focus on areas such as engine repair, electrical systems, brakes, suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning, and other related topics. You must also have at least two years of hands-on experience in the automotive service industry to be eligible for this certification.

The cost of taking the ASE exams varies depending on the number of tests taken. Generally speaking, it can range from $50-$100 per test. There may also be additional fees associated with taking the exam, such as registration or proctoring fees.

Once you have passed all required exams and met the experience requirements, you will receive your Automotive Service Technician Certification (ASTC). This certificate will serve as proof that you have achieved a certain level of proficiency in automotive service technology and can help you stand out when applying for jobs or promotions in this field.

3. Automotive Parts Specialist Certification (APSC)

The Automotive Parts Specialist Certification (APSC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the automotive parts industry. It is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

To obtain this certification, you must pass an exam that covers a variety of topics related to automotive parts. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within two hours. You must answer at least 70 questions correctly in order to pass the exam.

In order to prepare for the APSC exam, you should first review the ASE Study Guide, which can be purchased from ASE or downloaded online. This guide will provide you with an overview of the topics covered on the exam as well as practice questions and sample tests. Additionally, you may wish to take a preparatory course offered by ASE or an accredited institution.

The cost of taking the APSC exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally, it costs between $60 and $90 USD per attempt. In addition to this fee, there may also be additional fees associated with taking a preparatory course or purchasing study materials.

Once you have passed the APSC exam, your certification will remain valid for five years before needing to be renewed. To renew your certification, you must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education courses during your five-year period and then retake and pass the APSC exam again.

4. Automotive Technician Certification (ATC)

Automotive Technician Certification (ATC) is a professional certification program offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ATC program is designed to recognize technicians who have achieved a certain level of knowledge and skill in automotive repair and service.

To become certified, technicians must pass a series of tests that cover all aspects of automotive repair and maintenance. Tests are available in eight different areas: brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, suspension and steering, manual drive train and axles, and automatic transmissions.

The tests are administered through ASE-certified testing centers throughout the country. It typically takes about two years to complete all eight tests required for certification.

To get certified as an Automotive Technician, you must first register with ASE. Registration costs $36 per year. After registering with ASE, you must then take the appropriate tests at an ASE-certified testing center. The cost of each test varies depending on which test you are taking; however, most tests range from $30-$50 per test.

Once you have passed all eight tests required for certification, you will receive your official Automotive Technician Certification card from ASE. This card is valid for five years before needing to be renewed or retested.

5. Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Certification (AMLRC)

Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Certification (AMLRC) is a certification program that provides technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic maintenance and light repair services on vehicles. The program is designed to teach technicians how to diagnose, service, and repair automotive systems in accordance with industry standards.

The AMLRC program typically takes between one to two years to complete depending on the individual's level of experience. It consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on training in areas such as engine performance, suspension systems, brakes, electrical systems, heating & cooling systems, and more.

To get certified in AMLRC, individuals must first complete an approved training program from an accredited institution or organization. After completing the training program, individuals must then pass an industry-recognized certification exam. Once certified, individuals can demonstrate their knowledge of automotive maintenance and light repair services by displaying their certificate or badge at their place of employment or on their resume.

The cost for AMLRC certification varies depending on the institution or organization offering the course. On average, it costs around $500-$1000 for the entire program including tuition fees and exam fees.

6. Automotive Electrical/Electronic Systems Certification (AESS)

Automotive Electrical/Electronic Systems Certification (AESS) is an industry-recognized certification program that verifies a technician’s knowledge and experience in the field of automotive electrical and electronic systems. The certification is designed to ensure that technicians have the skills necessary to diagnose, maintain, and repair modern automotive electrical/electronic systems.

The AESS certification process typically takes about two months to complete. To become certified, technicians must first pass a written exam covering topics such as electrical theory, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques. After passing the written exam, technicians must then demonstrate their proficiency in a hands-on lab environment. This portion of the certification requires technicians to demonstrate their ability to diagnose and repair various automotive electrical/electronic systems.

To get AESS certified, technicians must register with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Registration requires a fee of $50 per technician per year. Once registered, technicians can then take the written exam at an approved testing center or online through ASE’s website. After passing the written exam, technicians can then take the hands-on lab portion of the certification at one of ASE’s approved training centers. The cost for this portion of the certification varies depending on which training center you choose to attend.

In addition to passing both portions of the AESS certification exam, technicians must also meet certain educational requirements before they can become certified. These requirements vary depending on which type of system they are attempting to become certified in but typically include completing courses in basic electricity and electronics as well as specific courses related to the system they are trying to become certified in.

7. Automotive Engine Performance Certification (AEP)

Automotive Engine Performance Certification (AEP) is a certification program that verifies the performance of automotive engines. It is designed to ensure that engines meet or exceed industry standards for fuel economy, emissions, and power output. The AEP certification process involves testing the engine on a dynamometer, which measures its power output and fuel consumption. The test results are then compared against established standards to determine if the engine meets the requirements for certification.

The AEP certification process typically takes about three days to complete. During this time, the engine will be tested multiple times in order to ensure accuracy of results. The cost of getting an AEP certification varies depending on the type of engine being tested and the complexity of the testing procedure. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars.

In order to get an AEP certification, you must first submit an application form along with all relevant information about your engine and vehicle. This includes make and model, year of manufacture, engine size, and any modifications made to the vehicle or engine since it was manufactured. Once your application has been approved by AEP officials, you will need to schedule a time for testing at an accredited facility near you. After testing is completed, you will receive your certificate in approximately two weeks’ time.

8. Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician Certification (ACRRRT)

The Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician Certification (ACRRRT) is a certification program that is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of technicians who specialize in repairing and refinishing vehicles damaged in collisions. It is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

In order to obtain this certification, you must have at least two years of experience working as an automotive collision repair technician or refinisher, or have completed a post-secondary automotive collision repair program. You must also pass two written exams: one on collision repair and one on refinishing. The tests are administered by ASE-certified proctors at approved testing centers throughout the United States.

It typically takes between four to six weeks to complete the certification process. The cost of the certification depends on where you take your exams, but it generally ranges from $200 to $400. In addition, there may be additional fees for study materials and other related costs.

Once you have successfully passed both exams, you will receive your ACRRRT certificate, which will be valid for five years from the date of issue. After that time, you will need to retake the exams in order to maintain your certification status.

9. Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification (AEPSC)

The Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification (AEPSC) is a certification program that provides automotive technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose, repair, and maintain advanced engine performance systems. This certification is offered through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

To earn this certification, an individual must pass three tests: A1-A8, L1, and X1. The A1-A8 tests cover topics such as engine diagnosis and repair, fuel systems, ignition systems, computerized engine controls, emission control systems, and other related areas. The L1 test covers electrical/electronic systems diagnosis and repair. Finally, the X1 test covers advanced engine performance analysis and diagnosis.

In order to take the AEPSC tests, individuals must first become ASE certified in at least one of the eight specialty areas covered in the A1-A8 tests. Individuals can become ASE certified by completing an accredited training program or by taking a series of exams administered by ASE.

The cost of taking the AEPSC tests varies depending on where you take them. Generally speaking, it costs around $50 per test plus a $36 registration fee for each exam session.

On average it takes about two months to complete all three tests required for AEPSC certification. However, this time frame can vary depending on how quickly an individual can study and prepare for each exam.

10. National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Master Mechanic Certification (NIAE MMCC).

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NIAE) Master Mechanic Certification (MMCC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize automotive technicians who have achieved the highest levels of skill and knowledge in their field. The program is administered by ASE, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the certification and testing of automotive professionals.

In order to become certified as an NIAE MMCC, technicians must pass a series of tests that cover all areas of automotive service and repair. These tests include engine performance, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, suspension and steering, manual drive train and axles, automatic transmission/transaxles, engine repair, heating and air conditioning systems diagnosis and repair. The tests are divided into two parts: written exams and hands-on tests.

The written exams consist of multiple-choice questions about the various systems in an automobile. The hands-on tests require technicians to demonstrate their skills in performing specific tasks related to each system on actual vehicles or simulated test benches.

It typically takes between two to four years for a technician to complete all the requirements for NIAE MMCC certification. During this time they must accumulate at least two years of relevant work experience while also passing all required tests with a score of at least 70%.

To get started on the path towards becoming an NIAE MMCC certified technician, interested individuals should contact ASE directly or visit their website for more information about the program requirements and how to register for the exams.

The cost of taking the tests varies depending on how many exams are taken at once; however it typically ranges from $50-$200 per exam. In addition there may be additional fees associated with registering for exams such as application fees or late registration fees.

Do You Really Need a Automotive Mechanic Certificate?

When it comes to becoming an automotive mechanic, there is no single answer as to whether or not you need a certificate. It depends on the type of work you plan to do and the requirements of your employer.

For some employers, having a certificate may be required in order to be hired. This is especially true for specialized positions like working on high-end exotic cars or certain types of diagnostic equipment. In these cases, having a certificate can give you an edge over other applicants and make you more attractive to potential employers.

On the other hand, many mechanics are able to find jobs without any formal certification. In some cases, employers may prefer experience over education when it comes to hiring new mechanics. If you have plenty of hands-on experience fixing cars and have worked in an automotive shop before, this could be enough for some employers.

Ultimately, it is important to consider your own circumstances when deciding if an automotive mechanic certificate is right for you. If you already have the necessary skills and experience, then it may not be necessary for you to pursue a certification program. However, if you are looking for more specialized work or are just starting out in the field, having a certificate could give you an extra advantage when applying for jobs.

Related: Automotive Mechanic Resume Examples

FAQs About Automotive Mechanic Certifications

1. What is the difference between an automotive mechanic certification and a degree?

Answer: An automotive mechanic certification is a specific credential that demonstrates a technician’s expertise in the field of auto repair. This type of certification is typically earned after completing a short-term course or program, and focuses on one particular area of auto repair. A degree, on the other hand, typically requires more credits and may include general education courses in addition to automotive repair classes.

2. How long does it take to get an automotive mechanic certification?

Answer: The amount of time needed to obtain an automotive mechanic certification will depend on the specific program or course you are enrolled in. Generally speaking, most programs can be completed within 6 months or less.

3. What kind of jobs can I get with an automotive mechanic certification?

Answer: With an automotive mechanic certification, you could qualify for positions such as auto technician, service advisor, parts specialist, and more! Additionally, some employers may require certifications for certain types of repairs or services they offer.

4. Are there any additional requirements for obtaining an automotive mechanic certification?

Answer: Depending on your specific program or course, there may be additional requirements you need to meet in order to earn your certification. This could include passing tests or exams as well as having prior experience in the field of auto repair before enrolling in the program.

5. Are there different levels of automotive mechanic certifications available?

Answer: Yes! Depending on your level of experience and knowledge, there are different levels of certifications available from beginner to advanced levels.