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A master automotive technician is a skilled and certified professional who can complete most types of automobile repairs. While auto mechanics may specialize in one or several areas of automotive repair, a master automotive technician typically has taken coursework and passed certification testing in each of the eight recognized specialty areas in the United States. In addition to study, a master level technician generally has hands-on experience and is capable of working for an automotive dealer, in a specialty repair shop, or as an independent garage proprietor.
Standard tools of the trade for a master automotive technician may include wrenches, hoists, and pliers, but as car systems have increased in technical complexity, computers and diagnostic machines have been added to the tool inventory. Each automobile can present a unique diagnostic and repair challenge, and computer integration often is quite complex. Studying automotive technologies as a whole and gaining experience with computer and electronic systems in many makes of cars may continue to become increasingly important.
Master automotive technicians must have passed eight examinations to achieve this title. As outlined by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the eight exam areas of the ASE tests cover engine repair, manual drive train, automatic transmission/transaxle and axles, brakes, suspension and steering, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance and heating and air conditioning. Passing one or some of these tests can lead to ASE certification, but becoming a master automotive technician requires successful completion of all eight sections.
Career openings in automotive repair are generally available and posted with desired qualifications. Brake shops may seek ASE certified brake technicians with experience working with a particular domestic car, for example, while others may be looking to fill general engine repair positions. Often new or less experienced mechanics apprentice in shops while learning the basics of automobile maintenance or upkeep or by specializing in one repair area. Tests for ASE certification can be taken at any time along this career path.
Achieving master automotive technician status can come through hard work in the early years of an individual’s career, or it can be reached over a long period of time. Once certification is earned, however, employability may increase. Whether certification is used for work in all-around auto care and repair or in specialized areas, it is typically desirable for employers comparing the skills and experience of multiple candidates for a position. Master certification does — as its name suggests — attest to mastery of many nationally recognized areas.
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