Certified auto mechanics demonstrate the highest level of expertise in the automotive industry. This makes them a great choice for consumers who want to ensure that their cars are in top shape and that they are receiving the best care possible.

Mechanics usually complete postsecondary training, such as at a community college, vocational institute or trade school. These programs teach students the fundamentals of automobile repair and maintenance, including transmission systems, engine performance, air conditioning and electrical equipment. They also learn the skills necessary to use tools and diagnostic techniques.

Employers typically prefer to hire technicians who have received a formal education in the field. This includes a high school diploma or its equivalent, and the ability to pass the state’s motor vehicle service technician examination. Some employers may pay for a portion of a student’s ASE preparation classes.

Many automotive specialists go on to earn specialized certifications that allow them to work on specific types of vehicles and their associated systems. This can be done through manufacturer-specific training or independent studies on the company’s vehicle technology.

The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) began certifying technicians in 1972 to provide consumers with the peace of mind that they need when hiring a mechanic. ASE provides a blue star logo that indicates an ASE-certified mechanic.

ASE-certified technicians have at least two years of full-time experience in the motor vehicle service industry and have passed an ASE examination in the specialty area they wish to specialize in. ASE certifications are valid for five years, after which they require recertification.

Most employers require mechanics to hold at least a minimum number of ASE certifications. These certifications range from entry-level to professional and master technician levels.

An ASE-certified mechanic is often more likely to be promoted and receive better wages than an uncertified mechanic. This is because employers recognize that ASE-certified technicians are more knowledgeable and experienced than their uncertified counterparts.

Besides the practical skills of working with cars and their components, many auto mechanics must be able to communicate well with customers. This is important for communicating about problems with a car’s systems and ensuring that their customers have a clear understanding of the issue and what repairs are needed.

In addition, auto mechanics must have a strong attention to detail and an understanding of the latest technologies and advancements in vehicle technology. This is necessary for maintaining a mechanic’s skills and keeping his or her career moving forward.

ASE-certified mechanics often earn more money than uncertified mechanics because they are able to use fewer expensive repair equipment and parts, making them more efficient and effective. Those who stay in the field and have gained enough experience can open their own shops and hire other technicians.