How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Colorado

Emissions testing is commonplace in most states these days, which is good news if you’re looking for an automotive technician job in a specialized field. Each state has its own rules and regulations for who may administer the testing and repair, and here we will take a look at how to become a smog technician in Colorado.

In Colorado, emissions inspections are required every two years on vehicles eight years or older, dating back to 1982. Vehicles with a model year of 1981 or older are inspected every year. Vehicles which are seven years or older are inspected when they change owners. Emissions testing in Colorado is not required statewide, rather only in Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, and some areas of Adams, Arapahoe, Larimer, and Weld counties.

Requirements to become an emissions inspector

Unlike many other states, Colorado does not require any specific program training for its smog technicians. The state contracts with Air Care Colorado to administer the inspections. Air Care has its own set of rules for those wishing to become an emissions/smog inspector in one of their facilities. In order to work for the company as an inspector you must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Be able to operate a manual transmission
  • Possess a valid Colorado driver’s license
  • Become familiar with automobile components and be able to recognize them
  • Possess excellent customer service skills

Duties of an emissions inspector in the state include:

  • Performing emission inspection functions according to established procedures
  • Inspecting vehicles for safety and exhaust system integrity
  • Directing drivers in and out of the station
  • Collecting inspection fees
  • Entering vehicle information into the computer
  • Providing test results to customers and explaining such as necessary
  • Collecting inspection retest documents from customers
  • Operating exhaust analysis instrumentation, including operating vehicles during the emissions and evaporation tests

Air Care Colorado’s job postings indicate that no experience is required in order to apply for the job of smog inspector.

Smog Repair Technician

When a vehicle fails the Colorado emissions testing process, the owner may choose their own repair facility to have the appropriate work done in order to pass the smog check. If you wish to become an emissions repair tech, you may apply for a job at automotive repair shops which do this kind of work. In this case it’s helpful to have ASE certification in areas relating to emissions systems diagnostics and repair. These may include A6, A8, L1, and X1. Check with the shop you’re applying to in order to see what their specific certification requirements are.

Due to the fact that not all counties in Colorado require emissions testing, your best chance of obtaining a job as an inspector or emissions repair technician is to apply within one of the counties listed above.

Additional Forms and Applications

In the state of Colorado there are no additional applications or forms necessary to become a smog technician. Air care and private repair shops do all of their own screening and hiring.

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.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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