A master mechanic is a person who is thoroughly and exceptionally skilled in automotive work. An automotive repair shop with a master mechanic will typically state that it is a "one-stop shop" for whichever service your vehicle may require.
To become a master mechanic, you must receive a good amount of hands-on training and work experience before you earn your ASE certification. Master mechanics will work on cars, trucks, RVs, buses, and other types of motor vehicles. Master mechanics are qualified to repair virtually any component of a vehicle, including the body and electrical system.
Typical Day for a Master Mechanic
The duties of a master mechanic vary from day to day. You may spend your entire day repairing a vehicle if it's damaged significantly, or the required work is complex enough. Other days, you may spend your work day breezing through a number of quick fixes.
That being said, master mechanics perform the following tasks on a regular basis:
- Repair defective parts on automobiles, including these systems: steering, ignition, suspension, electrical, transmission (manual and automatic), exhaust, engine, braking, fuel supply, cooling, and gasoline
- Repair or replace individual parts such as the rods, plugs, valves, and pistons
- Replace various devices in vehicles such as pumps, carburetors, generators, and starters
- Rewire loose, broken, or damaged wires in the electrical system
- Repair, replace, and adjust brakes
- Install, replace, and repair various accessories such as a stereo or radio, mirrors, and windshield wipers
- Reconstruct individual parts such as cylinder blocks or crankshafts
- Examine vehicles for damages and discuss necessary repairs with customers
- Perform minor tasks such as replacing or adjusting headlights, replacing tires and aligning the wheels, or changing the oil filter
How to Become a Master Mechanic
Master mechanics must complete vigorous training to develop the skills needed to repair cars, trucks, buses, and RVs. To obtain ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) master status, you must pass a series of exams and have at least 2 years of relevant hands-on experience. You will need to be re-certified every 5 years.
After taking the initial set of exams and earning their certification, master mechanics will only need to complete the recertification exams, not the initial one. Recertification exams are typically half as long, and the exam fees usually cap at $117.00
You can become a master mechanic by passing the tests in a series:
- Exams A1 – A8: topics about general automobile repair and knowledge
- Exams B2 – B5: topics about collision repair
- Exams T2 – T8: topics about heavy truck repair
- Exams S1 – S6: topics about school bus repair
- Exams H1 or H2, plus H3 – H8: topics about transit bus repair
- Exams E1 – E3: topics about truck equipment
ASE also offers a master medium-heavy vehicle certification for master mechanics who want to specialize in diesel engines and medium-heavy automobiles.
The More You Know...
Master mechanics are the best in their field: they are experienced with the most complicated repair work and have knowledge that is unmatched. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, mechanics made an average salary of $49,690, and the top 10 percent made $75,360.
If you've always enjoyed working with all things automotive and are looking to challenge yourself, start your training today! After you finish school, prepare to take your ASE exams. Becoming a master mechanic is within your reach!