The state of Arizona does have a state-wide requirement that all motor vehicles pass a vehicle safety inspection; however, Phoenix and Tucson require emissions inspections in order to operate vehicles legally. The Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program is run by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Seeking out the ADEQ to become a certified inspection technician can offer those seeking an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.
Arizona vehicle inspector information
Many technicians want to know how becoming certified to inspect vehicles may affect their auto mechanic salary. We compared the average yearly salary of a smog technician, or emissions inspector, with the average yearly salary of a mobile mechanic, such as our team at YourMechanic:
Phoenix Smog Technician: $23,136 annual auto mechanic salary
Phoenix Mobile Mechanic: $45,000 annual auto mechanic salary
Tucson Smog Technician: $22,064 annual auto mechanic salary
Tucson Mobile Mechanic: $44,778 annual auto mechanic salary
Arizona vehicle inspection requirements
If a vehicle is newer than model year 1967, but older than six years old, and is regularly used for commuting in Phoenix or Tucson, the vehicle will typically have to undergo emissions testing. This includes gasoline-powered vehicles, diesel-powered vehicles, alternative fuel, flex-fuel, and hybrid vehicles.
Emissions inspections are required every one to two years, depending on the vehicle’s year and weight. Light duty vehicles in Phoenix that are newer than 1981 must be tested every two years; vehicles that are older than 1980, or vehicles in the Tucson area, must be tested every year.
Arizona vehicle inspection procedure
The state of Arizona mostly uses the OBD-II system to test for emissions. If a vehicle fails an emissions test due to a faulty component, anyone can perform the repairs. There is no necessary certification to repair smog components in the state of Arizona. There are four types of tests that may be used during the emissions testing process:
IM 147: Used for gasoline-powered vehicles made from 1981 to 1995.
Steady State Loaded or Idle test: Used for heavy-duty gasoline vehicles made from 1967 to 1995.
OBD test: Used for most vehicles, especially those made after 1996.
Diesel-specific testing: Diesel tests involve the use of an opacity meter to check the smoke density from the emissions system.
If 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.