How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Oregon

The state of Oregon does not require state-wide smog checks be performed on vehicles on a regular basis; only the cities of Portland and Medford require emissions testing to be performed on the certain vehicles regularly. Most counties in Oregon require that all vehicles being registered for the first time have an emissions test.

Oregon mechanics seeking an automotive technician job may consider applying for the smog technician’s certification as a great way to enhance a resume and increase opportunities to find mechanic jobs; however, Oregon does not offer a certification for smog technicians.

Smog inspector qualifications

In Oregon, automotive service technicians do not perform smog checks; instead, agents from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) come to repair facilities, fleet garages, and dealerships to perform testing. In most cases, an auto service technician should apply with the state to become an employee of the DEQ in order to perform emissions tests.

The DEQ does recognize certain repair shops in Portland that have the authority to perform repairs on vehicles that have failed a smog check. If a mechanic who is ASE certified works at one of these facilities, they can perform emissions related repairs for vehicles that have failed an emissions tests. They cannot perform the emissions inspections necessary for registration.

Smog technician salary

Becoming a licensed smog technician can help a mechanic build experience in their career and have a well-rounded resume. One of the things that many mechanics wants to know is how a smog technician certification may change or enhance their auto mechanic salary. According to Salary Expert, smog technicians for the DEQ receive an average annual salary of $28,330 in Oregon.

Oregon smog inspection requirements

The following types of vehicles are required to undergo smog checks during the vehicle registration and renewal process:

  • All vehicles newer than 1975 in Portland.

  • All vehicles newer than 20 years old in Medford.

  • All gasoline-powered vehicles in both areas, including cars, trucks, vans, motor homes, buses, and hybrids.

  • All diesel-powered vehicles under 8,500 pounds are included in these requirements, for both areas.

Smog check procedures

The Department of Environmental Quality uses the OBD-II test for all vehicles newer than 1996, as well as a tailpipe emissions test for all vehicles new than model year 1995. These two tests can determine if a vehicle is releasing too much pollution into the atmosphere.

While DEQ representatives and authorized smog check facilities typically perform smog checks, there are some self-service kiosks around the area where smog checks are required. Vehicle owners can perform the smog check themselves at these stations if they prefer, and the garage owner where the kiosk is located may be called upon to assist.

f you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


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