How to Get an EPA License as an Automotive Technician | YourMechanic Advice

How to Get an EPA License as an Automotive Technician

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The requirements for landing automotive technician jobs have changed a lot over the years. As technology continues to improve the kinds of vehicles we can take to the road, mechanics need to keep step with what’s necessary to keep them working. At the same time, as every experienced mechanic knows, another big factor is what the government mandates for these vehicles.

Since 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has been dedicated to keeping our country’s natural surroundings healthy. A big part of their focus is on vehicles – specifically, their carbon emissions – which is why many mechanics are working for an EPA license. Not only will it improve your ability to service customers, but it should also boost your auto mechanic salary.

EPA 609 Certification

The main certification that a lot of mechanics should consider is the EPA 609 certification. You won’t get this from going through a traditional auto mechanic school, though (there are some exceptions).

That being said, if you are interested in auto technician jobs where you’ll be working on air conditioners, you absolutely must have this certification. It is specifically focused on dealing with refrigerants. Repairing leaks, testing for them and topping off an AC system all require using these chemicals.

Fortunately, the job isn’t overly difficult and, unlike a lot of other certification exams, you don’t necessarily have to travel anywhere to take them. It’s an open book test. Once you petition the EPA to take it (simply visit their site), you’ll be sent a test packet that consists of a preparatory manual, the exam itself, an answer sheet and even the envelope you need to return it.

As long as you get 84% correct – which is just 42 out of the 50 questions – you’ll be approved and can start applying for automotive tech jobs that involve working on AC. Again, it’s an open book test and there are only 12 pages to the entire manual, so your chances of passing are very good. You can request the manual in English or Spanish or you can even get it as an audio CD. With a passing score, you’ll receive a confirmation ID for your wallet and a wall certificate.

Finding a Local Instructor

Finally, if you’re worried that the manual won’t provide you with the knowledge you need to do your job – even if you pass the test – you can usually find a local instructor to give you a comprehensive education. The EPA gives them a PowerPoint presentation to use, as well as PT charts and a number of other resources.

The other benefit of seeing a local instructor is that you can take the test online and, thus, get your results immediately. So if you’re in a hurry to land more automotive technician jobs, this would probably be preferable. Official documents confirming your results will actually be mailed to you the following day.

If you want to expand your range as an auto mechanic, getting a license from the EPA to work on air conditioning would be wise, especially if you live in a hot climate. As you can see from the above, taking the necessary exam and passing it couldn’t be easier, yet your certification will result in a better auto mechanic salary.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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