Do you enjoy working with people and with machinery? Does automotive repair work interest you? You may want to look at becoming an automotive master technician. 

This is the title given to experts in the field of automotive repairs. But what exactly does an automotive master technician do? What qualifications do you need, and is a degree one of them? Keep reading for the answers to these pertinent questions.

All About Automotive Master Technicians

An automotive master technician ranks high in the world of automotive repairs. They have advanced knowledge of automotive issues, as well as the technology and tools for maintenance and repairs. Most automotive master technicians tend to work for private companies. 

What Does an Automotive Master Technician Do? 

An automotive master technician is tasked with overseeing, inspecting, and signing off on automotive repairs done by mechanics, especially trainees. 

If this is the path you choose to pursue, you’ll need good organizational skills, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills.  

Requirements to Become an Automotive Master Technician

Let’s discuss what you’ll need to become an automotive master technician.

An Associate Degree in Automotive Technology

An associate degree in automotive technology is a two-year program requiring a high school diploma. 

Other prerequisites may vary depending on the educational institution. 

This is the most common degree held by 39% of automotive master technicians. However, it is not necessary to have this degree. Many automotive master technicians hold high school diplomas or other degrees. 

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Exams

An auto mechanic can get ASE certified by taking exams relevant to their field of interest and gaining two years of hands-on experience. 

You can take tests under the Automobile and Light Truck Certification (A1-A9) to specialize in a certain area of auto repair. To become an automotive master technician, you’ll need to pass all of the first eight of the following ASE tests: 

  • A1 – Engine Repair
  • A2 – Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
  • A3 – Manual Drivetrain & Axles
  • A4 – Suspension & Steering
  • A5 – Brakes
  • A6 – Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • A7 – Heating & Air Conditioning
  • A8 – Engine Performance
  • A9 – Light Vehicle Diesel Engines (optional)

Each of these tests consists of 40 – 50 multiple-choice questions. 

Updated Certifications

A master automotive technician is required to get certified every five years. On-the-job training and experience help to prepare you for these tests. These tests will get easier as you gain more experience.

Skills Learned Through On-The-Job Training and Degree

The skills learned through on-the-job training or a degree are very similar. However, they both have their advantages. With an automotive technology degree, you’ll obtain knowledge of automotive repairs. You’ll learn the terminology and the mechanical steps that you need to take when servicing vehicles. 

However, there are many benefits to on-the-job training. Your cost of education will be far less, and you will immediately gain experience. 

A qualification, as well as experience, will help you progress to a management position. But, hands-on training alone will equip you for entry-level jobs in this sector.   

Earning Statistics for Automotive Master Technicians

Automotive master technicians earn a median annual salary of $66,289. The entry-level salary is, on average, $40,000 annually. 

There is a large disparity between the average salaries of automotive master technicians when comparing the states. 

The highest paying U.S. state for automotive master technicians is Alaska, followed by New Jersey, with many states having far lower median salaries for this occupation. This is, however, easily explained. 

States that have a higher need for automotive maintenance and repairs have a greater need for automotive master technicians. If you are based in a state that relies heavily on truck transportation, for instance, the need will be greater.

If you appreciate the challenge that automotive repair work offers, know that many vehicles need to be serviced and repaired regularly. However, if you’re looking for a highly lucrative field, consider alternative career paths. 

Do Employers Require Degrees in This Field?

A degree may increase your hiring potential. There are two specialized degree levels that you should consider. 

You can become an automotive technician, and through experience and on-the-job training, work your way up to the automotive master technician position. A minimum of an automotive technology associate degree will make you stand out as a job applicant. 

A bachelor’s degree in automotive technology covers everything that you would learn in an associate degree but is more advanced. It is not strictly necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to become an automotive master technician. 

However, a degree will prepare you for a management position or leadership role in the automotive field. 

If you want to further your job prospects in the automotive sector, consider enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to get hands-on with engines, brakes, and everything in between? 

If you enjoy the mechanics behind auto repair, you might be well-suited to the profession of a master automotive technician. The necessary knowledge can be learned through on-the-job training and hands-on experience. 

However, a degree in automotive technology is a sound investment that will increase your career options and earning potential.