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Top 10 Mechanic Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications for mechanics, providing readers with information on what certifications are most beneficial for their career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for mechanics in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that mechanics have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job duties. They validate a mechanic’s expertise and provide assurance to employers that a mechanic is qualified to work on vehicles. Certifications also show employers that mechanics are committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and safety practices. In addition, certifications can open doors for career advancement opportunities by demonstrating a higher level of skill and experience than other mechanics without certification.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Mechanics and explains how they can contribute to a mechanic's career, helping them advance their skills and increase their earning potential.

What are Mechanic Certifications?

Mechanic certification is a voluntary program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of automotive technicians. It is designed to help automotive technicians demonstrate their competency in various areas of automobile repair and maintenance, and it provides employers with an objective measure of a technician's qualifications.

By becoming certified, mechanics can prove to employers that they possess the necessary technical expertise to repair vehicles according to industry standards. Employers also recognize the importance of having certified technicians on staff as it helps them maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and ensure quality repairs for their customers. Additionally, having certified technicians on staff can help reduce liability risks by ensuring that all repairs are performed correctly and safely.

For mechanics, certification can provide increased job security, professional recognition, higher wages, and other career benefits. Certification also demonstrates commitment to the profession and provides an opportunity for continual learning through continuing education courses. Furthermore, being certified can open up more job opportunities within the automotive industry as many employers only hire certified technicians.

Pro Tip: Before you pursue mechanic certification, make sure that the certifications you are considering are accepted by the local and state governments in your area. This will ensure that you obtain a valid certification and can practice as a certified mechanic in your chosen location.

Related: What does a Mechanic do?

Top 10 Mechanic Certifications

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

1. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification is a professional certification program for automotive technicians. It is designed to help technicians demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the automotive service and repair industry. The ASE certification program was created by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent, non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals.

To become ASE certified, a technician must pass one or more of the ASE tests. There are currently 40 different tests available, covering eight different areas of expertise: engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and engine performance. Each test consists of between 40-100 multiple-choice questions.

It typically takes about two months to prepare for an ASE test. Preparation materials can be found online or through local automotive schools or training centers. The cost of taking an ASE test varies depending on the number of tests taken at once; however, it typically ranges from $30-$50 per test plus a $36 registration fee.

Once a technician has passed all required tests for a particular area of expertise (for example engine repair), they will receive an official ASE Certification card in the mail within four weeks. This card will be valid for five years from the date it was issued. After five years have passed since certification was granted, technicians must retake any relevant tests in order to maintain their certification status.

2. Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) Certification

Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) Certification is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform basic automotive maintenance and light repair services. This certification is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The MLR Certification program consists of two tests: the ASE Automobile Maintenance & Light Repair Test (A1) and the ASE Automobile Maintenance & Light Repair Test (A2). The A1 test covers topics such as brakes, electrical systems, engine performance, suspension and steering, heating and air conditioning, and preventive maintenance. The A2 test covers topics such as engine repair, automatic transmissions/transaxles, manual drive train/axles, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, brakes, suspension and steering.

It typically takes about three months to complete the MLR Certification program. To get certified you must pass both tests with a score of 70% or higher. You can take the tests at any approved testing center or online through the ASE website.

The cost of taking the tests varies depending on where you take them. In general it costs around $50 per test plus a $36 registration fee for each test.

3. Automotive Parts Specialist (APS) Certification

Automotive Parts Specialist (APS) Certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of automotive parts professionals. The program is administered by the Automotive Parts Specialists Institute (APSI), which is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the automotive parts industry.

The APS Certification Program consists of three levels: Basic, Advanced, and Master. To become certified at any level, applicants must pass a written examination that covers topics such as automotive systems, parts identification and selection, customer service, and inventory management. The Basic certification requires a minimum of one year of experience in the field or successful completion of an approved training program. The Advanced certification requires two years of experience or successful completion of an approved training program. The Master certification requires five years of experience or successful completion of an approved training program.

To apply for APS Certification, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their experience or training program completion. Applicants will also need to pay a fee for each level they are applying for; fees vary depending on the level but typically range from $50-$200 per level. Once all requirements have been met and the application has been accepted, applicants will be scheduled for their written exam. Upon passing the exam, applicants will receive their APS Certification certificate and can begin using it to demonstrate their expertise in the automotive parts industry.

Overall, obtaining APS Certification can take anywhere from one month to several months depending on how quickly you complete your application process and pass your exams.

4. Engine Performance (EP) Certification

Engine Performance (EP) Certification is a process used to measure the performance of an engine. It is most commonly used in the automotive industry to ensure that engines are running at their optimal performance level. The certification process involves testing the engine’s power output, fuel economy, emissions, and other factors.

The EP Certification process typically takes between one and three days depending on the complexity of the engine being tested. During this time, technicians will run various tests on the engine to determine its performance capabilities. This includes checking for any potential problems or issues with the engine’s components, such as worn out parts or faulty wiring.

To get an EP Certification, you will need to contact a certified technician or garage that offers this service. They will be able to provide you with more information about what is required for your particular make and model of vehicle. The cost of getting an EP Certification can vary depending on the type of vehicle and how complex its engine is. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $50-$500 USD depending on the specific requirements of your vehicle.

5. Heavy Duty Truck Technician (HDT) Certification

Heavy Duty Truck Technician (HDT) Certification is a professional designation that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to repair and maintain heavy duty trucks. HDT certification requires successful completion of an accredited training program, as well as passing an exam. Training programs typically take between six months and two years to complete, depending on the level of certification desired.

In order to become certified, applicants must first complete an accredited HDT training program. These programs are offered by technical schools, community colleges, and trade schools across the country. Upon completion of the program, applicants must pass a written exam administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE exam consists of questions related to general automotive knowledge, engine repair and overhauls, brakes, electrical systems, suspension and steering systems, and preventive maintenance procedures.

The cost of obtaining HDT certification varies depending on the type of training program chosen. Most programs range from $2,000 - $10,000 in total tuition costs. Additionally, there is a fee for taking the ASE exam which is around $200 per attempt.

Overall, Heavy Duty Truck Technician (HDT) Certification is a valuable credential that can help truck technicians stand out from their peers in the job market. With proper training and dedication to passing the ASE exam, individuals can gain this important distinction in their field.

6. Automobile Air Conditioning Systems (AACS) Certification

Automobile Air Conditioning Systems (AACS) Certification is a certification program designed to ensure that automotive air conditioning technicians have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly service, repair, and maintain automotive air conditioning systems. The certification is administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent non-profit organization that sets standards for automotive service professionals.

To become certified in AACS, technicians must pass a series of tests that assess their knowledge of the principles and practices of automobile air conditioning systems. The tests cover topics such as system components, refrigerant types and properties, system diagnosis, repair procedures, and safety practices.

The process of becoming certified typically takes between two to three months. To get started, technicians must first register with ASE and pay a $36 registration fee. They then need to purchase the ASE study guide for AACS certification and complete the required coursework before taking the test. The test itself costs $60 per attempt and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes.

Once technicians pass the test they will receive their AACS certification card from ASE which is valid for five years. After five years they will need to retake the test in order to renew their certification.

7. Motorcycle Maintenance and Light Repair (MMLR) Certification

Motorcycle Maintenance and Light Repair (MMLR) Certification is a certification program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely maintain, repair, and service motorcycles. The certification covers topics such as engine maintenance, electrical systems, brakes, tires and wheels, suspension systems, fuel systems, exhaust systems, and more.

The MMLR certification can be obtained through an accredited training program. Most programs require a minimum of 40 hours of instruction in a classroom setting or online. The cost of the program varies depending on the institution offering it. Generally speaking, most programs will cost between $500-$1,000 for the entire course.

In order to obtain the MMLR certification, individuals must pass an exam at the end of their training program. This exam consists of both written and practical components that test the individual’s knowledge and skills related to motorcycle maintenance and light repair. Upon successful completion of the exam, individuals will receive their MMLR certification card which is valid for three years from the date it was issued.

The MMLR certification is beneficial for those looking to pursue a career in motorcycle maintenance or repair as it demonstrates a level of proficiency in these areas that employers look for when hiring technicians. Additionally, having this certification may make individuals more attractive candidates when applying for jobs in this field as they have already demonstrated their knowledge and skills related to motorcycle maintenance and light repair.

8. Diesel Engine Diagnosis and Repair (DEDR) Certification

Diesel Engine Diagnosis and Repair (DEDR) Certification is a certification program offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It is designed to help technicians identify and diagnose problems with diesel engines. The certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as engine performance, fuel systems, electrical systems, emission control systems, and other related topics.

The DEDR certification exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within two hours. To receive the certification, applicants must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher.

To get certified in Diesel Engine Diagnosis and Repair (DEDR), applicants must first register with ASE and pay a fee of $69. After registering, applicants will have access to study materials and practice exams that can help them prepare for the exam. Once registered, applicants can take the exam at any authorized testing center.

The cost of taking the Diesel Engine Diagnosis and Repair (DEDR) Certification Exam is $69. This fee covers both registration and the cost of taking the exam.

In total, it typically takes about three months to complete all steps necessary to become certified in Diesel Engine Diagnosis and Repair (DEDR).

9. Automotive Electrical/Electronic Systems (AEES) Certification

Automotive Electrical/Electronic Systems (AEES) Certification is a certification program offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This certification provides recognition to automotive technicians who have demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of electrical/electronic systems on vehicles. It is designed to give technicians the skills they need to diagnose and repair today's increasingly complex automotive electrical/electronic systems.

The AEES certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as Diagnostic Strategies, Electrical System Theory, Electronic System Theory, and Electrical/Electronic Component Operation. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. In order to take the exam, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements such as having at least two years of experience working with automotive electrical/electronic systems or completing an ASE-recognized training program.

The cost of taking the AEES exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $65-$75 per attempt.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your official ASE certification card in the mail within four weeks. The certification does not expire but must be renewed every five years by taking a refresher course or retaking the exam if necessary.

10. Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician (CRRT) Certification

Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician (CRRT) Certification is a certification program that is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the repair and refinishing of damaged vehicles. This certification is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE CRRT certification requires passing an exam that tests knowledge in the areas of vehicle body repair, paint refinishing, and related technologies.

The ASE CRRT certification process typically takes about three months to complete. It involves completing a coursework or training program, passing an online exam, and submitting proof of experience. The cost for the ASE CRRT certification varies depending on the provider but can range from $200-$400.

In order to receive the ASE CRRT certification, applicants must first complete a coursework or training program approved by ASE. Applicants must also pass an online exam with a score of 70% or higher. Finally, applicants must submit proof of at least two years of experience working as a collision repair technician or refinisher within the past five years.

Once all requirements are met and an application is submitted, it typically takes about three weeks for ASE to review and issue the certificate. Upon successful completion of all requirements, applicants will be awarded an official ASE CRRT Certificate which will be valid for five years from date of issuance.

Do You Really Need a Mechanic Certificate?

When it comes to working on cars, there is no doubt that having a mechanic certificate can be beneficial. However, whether or not you actually need one depends on the type of work you plan to do and the amount of knowledge you already have about cars.

If you are planning to become a certified mechanic, then having a certificate will be required for most employers. This certificate shows that you have been trained in the basics of automotive repair and maintenance, as well as safety protocols. It also shows that you have some basic knowledge of how different systems within a car work together. The more complex the job, the more likely it is that employers will require a certificate.

On the other hand, if your plans involve only minor repairs or tinkering with your own vehicle, then a mechanic certificate may not be necessary. If you already possess some basic knowledge about cars and are confident in your abilities, then there may not be any need for certification. Of course, if you want to make sure that any repairs or modifications are done correctly and safely, then getting certified would certainly be beneficial and could help prevent any costly mistakes in the future.

In conclusion, whether or not you need a mechanic certificate depends largely on what type of work you plan to do and how much knowledge you already have about cars and automotive repair. In most cases getting certified is beneficial but ultimately it is up to each individual to decide if they need one or not.

Related: Mechanic Resume Examples

FAQs About Mechanic Certifications

Q1: What is a Mechanic Certification?

A1: A Mechanic Certification is a credential that demonstrates an individual has the knowledge and skills to service and repair vehicles. The certification is awarded by an accredited institution after successful completion of a set of examinations.

Q2: How do I obtain a Mechanic Certification?

A2: Obtaining a mechanic certification typically requires completing an approved program of study at an accredited institution and passing the required examinations. Some certifications may also require additional experience in the field or other requirements.

Q3: Are there different levels of Mechanic Certifications?

A3: Yes, there are different levels of certifications available depending on the type of vehicle being serviced or repaired. These can range from basic certifications for general automotive repairs to more advanced certifications for specific vehicle makes and models.

Q4: Is a Mechanic Certification required to work as a mechanic?

A4: It depends on where you live and work, as some states and employers may require mechanics to possess certain certifications in order to be employed. Even if it is not mandatory, having a certification can help make you more competitive in the job market.

Q5: Does having a Mechanic Certification guarantee employment?

A5: No, having a certificate does not guarantee employment as many other factors such as experience and qualifications can also play a role in finding employment opportunities. However, having the certification can help demonstrate your knowledge and skills which could make you more attractive to employers.