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Top 10 Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available to heavy equipment mechanics and discusses the benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for a heavy equipment mechanic in the job market because they demonstrate that a mechanic has the knowledge, skills and expertise to properly diagnose, repair and maintain all types of heavy equipment. Employers want to know that their mechanics are qualified and can handle any problem that may arise with the machinery. Having certifications also gives heavy equipment mechanics an advantage when it comes to finding employment, as employers typically prefer to hire certified professionals over those without certification. Furthermore, certifications can help a heavy equipment mechanic command higher wages and more job opportunities.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Heavy Equipment Mechanics and explain how they can help enhance a heavy equipment mechanic's career.

What are Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certifications?

Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certification is a professional qualification that demonstrates a technician's knowledge and proficiency in the repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting of heavy equipment. It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the skills necessary to perform the essential tasks of a heavy equipment mechanic.

The certification is awarded by an independent third-party organization and requires applicants to pass both written and practical examinations. The tests are designed to assess a candidate's understanding of safety procedures, mechanical principles, electrical systems, hydraulic systems, welding techniques, troubleshooting strategies, and more.

Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certification can be beneficial for those seeking employment in this field as it proves their experience and competence in the area. Certified technicians may be eligible for higher pay or promotions within their current position. Furthermore, employers may prefer candidates with certification as it indicates that they have taken the time to demonstrate their commitment to becoming a skilled technician. Additionally, having such certification can help technicians stand out from other job seekers when applying for new positions or promotions.

Pro Tip: Before considering certification as a heavy equipment mechanic, make sure that your state or local government requires it. Certification may be voluntary in some areas, but having it can open up more job opportunities and help you stand out from other applicants.

Related: What does a Heavy Equipment Mechanic do?

Top 10 Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certifications

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

1. Certified Heavy Equipment Technician (CHET)

Certified Heavy Equipment Technician (CHET) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and skill in the maintenance and repair of heavy equipment. The program is administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

To become certified, technicians must pass an exam that covers topics such as engine systems, electrical systems, brakes, steering and suspension, hydraulics, drivetrain components, and preventive maintenance. The exam consists of 80 questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

To be eligible for the CHET certification program, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the maintenance and repair of heavy equipment. They must also have completed at least 30 hours of approved training related to heavy equipment repair or maintenance within the last five years.

The cost for taking the CHET exam varies depending on where it is taken. Generally speaking, it costs around $100 to take the exam.

2. National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a non-profit organization that provides certification to automotive professionals. ASE certification is designed to validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of automotive technicians and other related professionals. It is widely recognized as the industry standard for measuring the competency of automotive service professionals.

To become certified, individuals must pass a series of tests that cover various aspects of automotive repair and maintenance. The tests are divided into eight areas: engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, and engine performance. To receive ASE certification in any one area requires passing at least one test from each section.

The process of getting ASE certified typically takes about 6-12 months depending on how quickly you can complete the required tests. To get started on your certification path, you will need to register with ASE by filling out an application form online or through mail. You will also need to pay a registration fee which varies depending on the number of tests you plan to take.

Once you have registered with ASE and paid the registration fee you will be able to begin studying for the exams. You can purchase study materials from ASE or from other sources such as books or online courses. Once you feel ready to take the exams you can schedule them through ASE’s website or by calling their customer service line.

The cost of taking the exams varies depending on how many tests you plan to take but generally ranges from $30-$50 per test plus a $36 administration fee per exam session. If you do not pass an exam on your first try there is no additional fee for retaking it as long as it is within two years of your initial attempt.

Once all required exams have been passed successfully an individual will receive their official ASE Certification card along with a certificate suitable for framing that lists all areas in which they are certified in by name. This certification must be renewed every five years by passing at least one exam in each area in which they are certified in order to maintain validity.

3. International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Certification

The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a professional organization that sets standards for automotive engineering, including safety, performance, and environmental impact. SAE certification is a voluntary process that helps automotive engineers demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field. It involves passing an exam to become a Certified Automotive Engineer (CAE).

To get SAE certification, you must first complete an approved training program or have at least two years of experience in the automotive engineering field. Once you meet these requirements, you can register for the exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as vehicle design, materials selection, manufacturing processes, and regulations. It typically takes around three hours to complete the test.

Once you pass the exam, you will receive your CAE certificate from SAE. This certificate is valid for five years and must be renewed every five years with continuing education credits or by taking the exam again.

The cost of getting SAE certification varies depending on the type of training program or course you take to prepare for the exam. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars.

4. American Welding Society (AWS) Certification

American Welding Society (AWS) Certification is a certification program that verifies an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in welding. It is designed to provide employers with assurance that welders have the necessary qualifications to perform their job safely and correctly.

The AWS Certification process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on the type of certification being sought. The process begins by filling out an application form, which must be signed by both the applicant and their employer. Once the application is approved, the applicant will need to pass a written exam as well as a practical test in order to receive their certification.

In order to get AWS Certified, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in welding processes such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). They must also demonstrate knowledge of safety regulations and codes related to welding.

The cost of getting AWS Certified depends on the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars for basic certifications up to several thousand dollars for more advanced certifications. In addition, there may be additional fees associated with taking the written and practical exams.

5. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certification

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is a nonprofit organization that provides industry-recognized credentials to construction workers. It was created in 1996 to help improve the quality of the construction workforce through standardized training and certification programs. NCCER offers more than 70 different certifications, ranging from basic safety to advanced technical skills.

The length of time it takes to get an NCCER certification depends on the type of certification being pursued. Most certifications require completion of a series of courses, which can take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the level of difficulty and the number of courses required.

To get an NCCER certification, individuals must first complete all required courses and assessments associated with their chosen certification program. After completing all coursework, individuals must then pass an exam administered by an authorized NCCER testing center or proctor. Upon successful completion of both coursework and exams, individuals will receive their official NCCER credential.

The cost for obtaining an NCCER certification varies depending on the type of certification being pursued, as well as the institution providing the coursework and/or exams. Generally speaking, most certifications range from $100-$500 USD in total cost.

6. Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) Certification

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise and knowledge of equipment managers. The certification is offered to those who have demonstrated proficiency in the management and operation of heavy equipment, including construction, agricultural, industrial, and other related machinery.

To become certified as an AEMP Professional, applicants must have a minimum of five years’ experience in equipment management or related fields. Applicants must also pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as safety regulations, maintenance practices, inventory control systems, purchasing procedures, and more.

The certification process typically takes 3-5 months to complete. During this time period, applicants must complete the application process and submit all required documents. Once these documents are reviewed and approved by AEMP staff members, applicants may then take the exam at an approved testing center. Upon successful completion of the exam with a passing score of 70%, applicants will receive their AEMP Professional Certification.

The cost for the AEMP Professional Certification is $500 USD plus any applicable taxes or fees. This fee includes access to study materials and resources provided by AEMP as well as access to practice exams prior to taking the official exam.

7. American Petroleum Institute (API) Certification

The American Petroleum Institute (API) Certification is a certification program that verifies the quality of products manufactured for the oil and gas industry. The certification process ensures that products meet the highest standards of safety, reliability, and performance.

To get an API certification, manufacturers must submit their product to an accredited laboratory for testing. This testing includes verifying the product’s design, construction, materials, and performance against established industry standards. If the product passes all tests, it will be certified by API.

The time it takes to get an API certification varies depending on the complexity of the product and how quickly it can be tested. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to receive an API certification.

In order to get an API certification, manufacturers must fill out an application form on the API website and pay a fee. The fee varies depending on the type of product being certified but typically ranges between $500-$1000 USD per product.

Once a product has been certified by API, manufacturers can use this certification as proof that their product meets high industry standards and is safe and reliable for use in oil and gas operations.

8. Caterpillar Technician Certification Program

The Caterpillar Technician Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to recognize and reward the technical expertise of Caterpillar technicians. The program has three levels: Master Technician, Senior Technician, and Technician. Each level requires a specific set of skills and knowledge that must be demonstrated in order to achieve certification.

To become a Master Technician, you must first complete an approved technician training program from an accredited institution such as the Caterpillar University or a technical school. You must then pass the Master Technician Certification Exam with a score of 80% or higher. This exam consists of questions related to engine systems, electrical systems, powertrain systems, hydraulics, fuel systems, and other topics related to Caterpillar equipment.

To become a Senior Technician, you must have at least four years of experience working on Caterpillar equipment and pass the Senior Technician Certification Exam with a score of 80% or higher. This exam covers topics such as engine systems, electrical systems, powertrain systems, hydraulics, fuel systems, and other topics related to Caterpillar equipment.

To become a Technician Level 1 (T1), you must have at least one year of experience working on Caterpillar equipment and pass the T1 Certification Exam with a score of 80% or higher. This exam covers topics such as engine systems, electrical systems, powertrain systems, hydraulics, fuel systems, and other topics related to Caterpillar equipment.

The cost for taking each certification exam varies depending on which level you are attempting to achieve; however it typically ranges from $200-$400 per exam. Additionally there may be additional fees associated with taking the exams such as registration fees or travel expenses if you are taking them at an off-site location.

Overall it can take several months up to two years or more to complete all three levels of certification depending on your prior experience and how quickly you are able to study for and pass each individual certification exam.

9. John Deere Technical Certificate Program

The John Deere Technical Certificate Program is a comprehensive program designed to provide technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose, service, maintain, and repair John Deere equipment. The program consists of three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each level requires completion of specific courses in order to receive certification.

The Basic level is designed for entry-level technicians who have some experience working on John Deere equipment. It includes basic topics such as safety, electrical systems, fuel systems, and engine diagnostics. This level takes approximately one year to complete.

The Intermediate level is designed for experienced technicians who want to expand their knowledge base and learn more advanced topics such as powertrain diagnostics, hydraulics, and electronics. This level takes approximately two years to complete.

The Advanced level is designed for those who are already highly skilled in John Deere equipment repair and maintenance. It covers topics such as advanced diagnostics, troubleshooting techniques, and component rebuilding. This level takes approximately three years to complete.

To get started in the John Deere Technical Certificate Program, you must first register with your local John Deere dealership or an authorized training center near you. Once registered, you can begin taking classes at any time that fits into your schedule. Most classes are offered online or through self-paced study materials so you can work at your own pace from anywhere with an internet connection.

The cost of the program varies depending on the type of courses taken and where they are taken from; however most courses range between $50-$150 per course hour depending on the subject matter being covered.

10. Komatsu Certified Technician Program

Komatsu Certified Technician Program is a certification program designed to recognize and reward technicians who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the maintenance and repair of Komatsu equipment. The program is designed to provide technicians with an industry-recognized credential that will help them stand out from their peers, as well as provide employers with assurance that their technicians are knowledgeable and capable of performing maintenance and repairs on Komatsu equipment.

To become a Komatsu Certified Technician, individuals must complete an online training course and pass an exam. The online course consists of four modules: Introduction to Komatsu Equipment, Maintenance Fundamentals, Troubleshooting & Diagnostics, and Advanced Troubleshooting & Diagnostics. Each module includes interactive activities, videos, quizzes, and assessments to ensure mastery of the material.

Once the training is completed, individuals must take a proctored exam at a local testing center or through an approved online proctoring service. The exam covers topics such as safety practices, preventive maintenance procedures, troubleshooting techniques, component identification/location/functionality/repair/replacement procedures for various components on Komatsu equipment. To successfully pass the exam and earn the certification, individuals must score 80% or higher.

The cost for the Komatsu Certified Technician Program varies depending on whether you choose to take the online course or attend in-person classes at one of our authorized training centers. The cost for the online course is $495 USD; however discounts may be available for groups or those who have purchased multiple courses. If you choose to attend in-person classes at one of our authorized training centers, prices vary depending on location but generally range from $1,000 - $2,000 USD per person (including travel expenses).

Overall it typically takes about 40 hours to complete all four modules in the online course and pass the certification exam; however this can vary depending on individual knowledge levels and learning styles.

Do You Really Need a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your career goals and the industry in which you are seeking work. If you are looking for a career as an equipment mechanic, then having a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certificate would be beneficial. This certificate will show employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform maintenance and repairs on heavy equipment, such as bulldozers and cranes.

Having a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certificate can also increase your chances of employment in the field. Employers are more likely to hire someone with this certification because it shows that they have taken the time to learn all of the necessary skills for working with heavy machinery. It also demonstrates that they have the dedication and commitment needed to be successful in this field.

In addition, having a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certificate can open up opportunities for advancement within the company or organization you work for. Many employers prefer to hire employees with higher credentials, so having this certification may give you an edge over other applicants who do not possess it. Furthermore, if you are looking to move up within your current company or organization, having this certification can make it easier to gain promotions or raises due to your knowledge and experience in this field.

Overall, whether or not you need a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certificate depends on your individual circumstances and career goals. If you want to pursue a career in this field, then obtaining one is likely worth the investment of time and money as it could help increase your chances of gaining employment and advancing within an organization.

Related: Heavy Equipment Mechanic Resume Examples

FAQs About Heavy Equipment Mechanic Certifications

1. What certifications do I need to become a heavy equipment mechanic?

Answer: To become a heavy equipment mechanic, you should be certified in areas such as diesel mechanics, welding, hydraulics and electrical systems. You may also choose to pursue additional certifications in specialized areas of expertise.

2. How long does it take to get certified as a heavy equipment mechanic?

Answer: The amount of time needed to get certified as a heavy equipment mechanic will vary based on the type of certification and the specific course requirements. Generally, it can take anywhere from six months to two years of study and hands-on training to become certified.

3. What is the cost associated with becoming a heavy equipment mechanic?

Answer: The cost associated with becoming a heavy equipment mechanic can vary significantly depending on the type of certification and the level of training required. Generally, costs range from $500-$4,000 for tuition and associated fees for courses or certifications. Additionally, you may need to purchase textbooks or other materials for your coursework.

4. Are there any prerequisites for becoming a heavy equipment mechanic?

Answer: Yes, most programs require applicants to possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent before enrolling in their certification program. Some programs may also require applicants to have prior experience working with machinery or related technology before enrolling in their program.

5. What types of jobs are available for certified heavy equipment mechanics?

Answer: Certified heavy equipment mechanics have the opportunity to work in many different industries including construction, manufacturing, mining and transportation services. They typically perform maintenance and repair duties on various types of machinery such as bulldozers, cranes and backhoes among others.