What Is Needed to Obtain a Mechanic's License?


Quick Answer

To become a licensed mechanic, automotive technicians must pass a certification test given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, according to the ASE website. Two years of formal education in auto repair and one or two years of on-the-job training are also required to get a mechanic's license.

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A third of test-takers fail the exams on their first try. To maintain their license, mechanics must re-certify by taking the exam every five years. This ensures mechanics keep pace with developments in automotive technology. A national panel of industry professionals prepare the exams, which are divided into sub-specialties such as automobiles, trucks and collision repair. There are over 40 automotive service exams, according to the ASE website.

To gain employment as a mechanic, a high school education is normally the minimum requirement. However, most employers require formal training and industry certification upon employment due to the increasing sophistication of automotive technology, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The duties of a mechanic include inspecting, maintaining and repairing cars and light trucks. Jobs for automotive technicians and mechanics are expected to increase by 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, and the BLS deems job prospects very good. The median annual wage as of May 2012 was $36,610.

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