Automotive Master Technician: Education Requirements & Career Info

Sep 19, 2019

Automotive master technicians require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and certifications to see if this is the right career for you.

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Automotive master technicians fix and maintain various kinds of vehicles. This profession usually requires a combination of on-the-job training, formal education, and certification.

Essential Information

Automotive master technicians are responsible for inspecting, maintaining and repairing various gasoline, electric or alternative fuel powered automobiles and trucks. This job typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent, however with the increased complexity of vehicles, many employers prefer candidates to have additional relevant education. The Master Technician credential also requires certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement; employers may prefer those with postsecondary training
Certification National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification in all eight areas is required to earn the Master Technician credential
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -1% for all automotive repair technicians and mechanics
Median Salary (2019)** $49,989 for automotive technicians with ASE Master Technician certification

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Education Requirements

As automotive repair technologies become more complex, the demand for workers with formal education and certification grows. Completing a comprehensive auto repair course in high school is generally the minimum standard for entry-level work; however, due to the sophistication of modern vehicles most employers prefer technicians with vocational school or community college automotive training. For those who pursue a post-secondary education it is advisable to concentrate on general courses in computers, mathematics, physics and chemistry in addition to the core automotive coursework.

Certification

Although not mandatory, certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has become a customary credential for most automotive repair technicians, especially those in large urban areas where competition for jobs is more intense. Certification subjects include heating and air-conditioning systems, electrical systems, engine repair, brake systems, suspension and steering.

To become a Master Automobile Technician requires two years of hands-on work experience with each certification subject as well as passing the required exams in all eight subject areas. In order to stay current and maintain their status, Master Automobile Technicians must be recertified every five years.

Career Overview

Master technicians perform the same duties that all technicians perform, but with the added advantage of certification, which establishes their experience, abilities and commitment to the profession. Since ASE-certified professionals are in high demand, many have greater career and earning potential than those who are not certified.

Valuable Technical and Personal Skills

Master technicians must have an extensive knowledge of various types of automotive vehicles. Since a majority of automotive complaints are due to faulty electronics and computer systems, these technicians must remain current with developing technologies and possess strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. Those with excellent communication and people skills are an asset to employers and customers alike.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median hourly wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics in general was $19.57, or $40,710 annually, in 2018, per the BLS. Reports from PayScale.com indicate that the median salary for automotive technicians that have ASE Master Technician certification was $49,989 as of September 2019. The BLS also reported that job growth in this sector is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028.

Automotive master technicians enjoy working with their hands, are mechanically minded and fascinated by vehicular technology. The path to this position requires experience, advanced training, and professional certification.

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