How to Become a Master Mechanic: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a master mechanic. Research the education and career requirements, certification and experience required for starting a career as a master mechanic.

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Do I Want to Be a Master Mechanic?

Master mechanics diagnose mechanical problems in cars, trucks and other types of vehicles. When an owner brings in their vehicle, master mechanics will ask questions about the problems that are occurring and runs tests to determine if anything is wrong. They also perform tune-ups as needed. They are knowledgeable about all the major parts of a car, including the brakes, transmissions, electrical components or computer systems. Working in noisy areas, in uncomfortable positions, with oily parts and tools may be common aspects of the job.

Job Requirements

While only a high diploma is required to work as a master mechanic, enrolling in a post-secondary program may help prospective mechanics pursue certification through the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). In order to earn the master designation, mechanics must pass all eight certification exams. The table below includes the requirements to become a master mechanic as listed with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Common Requirements
Degree Level High school diploma
Certification While not necessary, ASE certification will demonstrate a mechanic's knowledge in the field; licensing is required by the Environmental Protection Agency for individuals handling refrigerants
Experience Employers prefer applicants who have some experience in the field
Key Skills Master mechanics need to have solid customer service skills and the dexterity to repair automotive parts
Technical Skills Master mechanics must be familiar with the computer systems found in cars

Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma

Earning a high school diploma is the minimum requirement to become a master mechanic. While aspiring mechanics can begin gaining automotive repair skills by taking elective courses in shop or electronics classes, some high schools may feature an automotive technology program. Taking courses in mathematics, computers and English may also be beneficial for a future career as a mechanic.

Step 2: Gain Experience

According to the ASE, applicants need to have at least two years of experience working as a mechanic before obtaining certification. New mechanics in the field may need to start in a training position and learn under the supervision of an experienced mechanic. Others may choose to participate in an apprenticeship program, which will combine classroom work with on-the-job training. As new mechanics gain more skills in the field, they will be permitted to perform work on their own.

Success Tip

  • Consider post-secondary training. Certificate and associate's degree programs in automotive technology are also available and may be beneficial for prospective mechanics. These programs will provide additional education and training in the automotive technology field. Graduating from a formal training program may be substituted for some of the required experience.

Step 3: Earn Master Mechanic Certification

In order to earn master certification, mechanics need to pass eight examinations. These examinations cover specialties in engine repair, automatic transmission, manual drive train and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning and engine performance. The exams feature 40-50 multiple choice questions, and each require a separate registration and fee. Certification for each specialty expires after five years, and each exam must be retaken for renewal.

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List of the Top Marine Mechanic Schools in the U.S.

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Botany
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Zoology
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades

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