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How Do I Earn Automotive Technician Certification?

Oil changes are a regular task for an automotive technician.
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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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An automotive technician certification is a well-known standard used to verify that an individual has met certain education and training requirements in the field of automotive service. Certification organizations, such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in the U.S., offer certifications for various jurisdictions. Certification requirements may vary by region, but in general you must pass an exam and have at least two years of relevant full-time work experience in the automotive service industry. At the ASE, written tests are conducted in the spring and fall of each year at hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. Once obtained, certification must typically be renewed every five years by means of additional testing.

Some certification boards may offer partial credit of up to one year of the required two years of work experience if candidates complete either two years of relevant high school training in automotive repair or two years of post-high school training from a trade school, community college, or technical institute. Additionally, you may also be able to receive a full credit of the two-year requirement through completion of either a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or an original equipment manufacturer’s co-operative program, which combines formal classroom instruction with hands-on training that results in receiving a two-year associate’s degree.

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Automotive technicians must possess the necessary skills to maintain, inspect, and repair all types of automobiles. Their duties range from performing a simple oil change to major engine repairs. The increased use of integrated electronic and computer systems in modern vehicles requires automotive technicians to have a broad knowledge of how these complex systems work and interact. Technicians must not only be highly proficient in the use of computerized diagnostic shop equipment and digital repair manuals, but also be very skilled in the use of traditional hand tools as well. As automobile technology continues to advance, it becomes increasingly important for automotive technicians to keep their skills up-to-date.

Earning an automotive technician certification from an accredited program can offer you certain advantages in your professional career. First, certification is evidence that you have received specialized training in diagnosing and repairing the highly complex systems used in modern automobiles. Secondly, having an automotive technician certificate can often lead to better job opportunities, and higher wages than other non-certified technicians. Lastly, being certified gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your knowledge and training are up-to-date with current technologies.

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