Automotive Master Mechanic: Education Requirements & Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an automotive master mechanic. Get a quick view of the requirements - including job duties, degree programs and certification - to find out if this is the right career for you.

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A master automotive mechanic works on cars. Most professionals in this field hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent and have received training either on-the-job or via a vocational or college training program.

Essential Information

Automotive mechanics diagnose and repair issues with cars and trucks. Training to become an auto mechanic can begin in high school or by enrolling in a vocational or college training program. Gaining automotive master mechanic status requires extensive testing after completing a training program and acquiring a few years of experience.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary training preferred
Other Requirements Master certification through National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 1% decline ('for 'all automotive service technicians and mechanics)
Average Salary (2018)* $43,730 ('for automotive service technicians and mechanics)

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Automotive Master Mechanics

The first step to becoming an automotive master mechanic is to complete an automotive technician program. This can be in the form of a postsecondary certification program or an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program.

During the training program, students learn the fundamentals of diagnosing and repairing automobiles, such as engines, brakes, transmission, emissions controls, and heating and cooling. Typically, associate's degree programs include additional classes in computers, math, communications and physical science.

Certification

Beyond the degree or certificate received through an educational program, the next step to become an automotive master mechanic requires passing a series of tests provided by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Individuals are tested on seven areas of automotive repair and technology, including collision repair, engines, automobiles and trucks.

Passing the exams gives individuals the master technician status. In addition to taking the series of exams, individuals are required to document two years of hands-on work experience and are required to recertify every five years to keep the master technician status.

Career Information for Automotive Master Mechanics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) individuals who gain master automotive technician status are expected to have excellent opportunities for employment (www.bls.gov). Having ASE master status might also lend the added benefit of acquiring senior or managerial positions within a repair and maintenance shop.

The BLS projects a one percent decline in employment opportunities for all automotive service technicians and mechanics from 2018 to 2028. The BLS indicates that having the ASE certification as well as electronics and computer skills might pose better opportunities.

Salary Information

In May 2018, the BLS reported an average hourly wage of $21.02 for automotive technicians and mechanics, and an average annual salary of $43,730. Hourly wages ranged from roughly $11 to over $32 per hour. In addition to an hourly wage, automotive technicians might receive bonuses or commissions.

According to 2018 BLS data, the top five employers of automotive technicians were auto repair shops, auto dealers, auto parts stores, local governments and gas stations. Auto technicians employed by a local government had an average hourly wage of $25.40, while auto parts stores paid $18.42 an hour.

According to the BLS, job opportunities for all auto technicians and mechanics are expected to decline by about 1% the next decade. Obtaining master mechanic certification could lead to increased job prospects.

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