How Do I Become a Motor Vehicle Inspector?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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A motor vehicle inspector has the job of checking various types of vehicles for damage and mechanical problems that could interfere with their safe operation. To become a motor vehicle inspector, you will typically need at least a high school or General Educational Development® (GED®) diploma, a driver's license, automotive experience, and possibly motor vehicle certification. The level of experience and the specific certifications you will need will likely depend on the jurisdiction in which you plan to work and the company that hires you. In most cases, you will also need a range of important skills to qualify for this job, including mechanical abilities, manual dexterity, and computer skills.

Typically, employers require a minimum amount of education for a person who wants to become a motor vehicle inspector. In most cases, you will need at least a high school diploma or a GED® to qualify for this job. Earning a diploma or certificate from an automotive technology program may also improve your chances of qualifying for this type of job, but it isn't always required. Likewise, an associate's degree in automotive technology may help you compete against other job candidates, but it isn't usually a requirement.


You will likely also need particular types of work experience to become a motor vehicle inspector. Many employers require job candidates to have at least a year of experience repairing motor vehicles to qualify for this job, though some may ask for additional experience as well. Some employers also specify how recent the experience must be to count. For instance, an employer may state that a job candidate's repair experience must have been within the last five years. Often, employers expect job candidates to have experience from working with automotive companies, but some may consider related work study programs suitable as well.

Licenses and certifications are often required when a person wants to become a vehicle inspector. You will typically need a valid driver's license, and some employers will want you to have certification as a vehicle inspector. To earn this type of certification, you will usually have to submit proof of your motor vehicle experience and driver's license, and then pass an exam to demonstrate your knowledge and ability. Some certifying authorities will accept automotive technology schooling in lieu of experience, however.

You will also need a range of skills and abilities to become a motor vehicle inspector. You will typically need mechanical and analytical skills as well as the ability to pay attention to detail and stay organized. Communication skills, manual dexterity, and computer skills are usually required as well. Additionally, you may benefit from developing your reading comprehension and troubleshooting skills in preparation for this career.


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