How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Illinois

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As environmental concerns have grown, smog and emissions testing for vehicles has moved to the forefront of regular vehicle maintenance. In fact, two thirds of states now require some form of testing to make sure vehicles aren’t releasing too many pollutants into the atmosphere. This situation creates a unique opportunity for those in a mechanic career who’d like to find an automotive technician job in a specialized field – either in vehicle testing, or repair of conditions causing inspection failure.

There are several Illinois counties in which emissions testing is required. These include Cook, Dupage, and Lake, in addition to portions of Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair.

The state of Illinois contracts with Applus Technologies, Inc. to administer smog/emissions testing on vehicles. This company provides facilities, equipment, training, and staff, creating an all-encompassing solution to address states’ needs.

How to become an emissions inspector in Illinois

Because the state contracts its testing out to Applus, you will need to apply directly with the company in order to become an inspector. They have certain requirements for applicants, including:

  • Being 18 years or older
  • Having a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Being very reliable
  • Possessing good communication and customer service skills

Applus provides the training necessary to perform the job, and frequently offers positions in a wide variety of geographical locations.

How to become an emissions repair technician

In Illinois, vehicle owners may choose their own repair facility, should their vehicle fail inspection. The state recommends that customers have their repairs made by a Recognized Repair Technician (RRT). They define this as a mechanic who is “a person professionally engaged in vehicle repair, employed by a going concern whose purpose is vehicle repair, or possessing nationally recognized certification for emission related diagnosis and repair”.

What this means for you as an automotive technician is that it’s to your benefit to acquire emissions and exhaust related expertise, such as professional certifications. These may include ASE certification in emissions-related areas such as Engine Performance and Exhaust Systems. Being ASE certified is a great move overall anyway, and will give you more options if you live in a state where there are emissions repair jobs available for auto techs.

Another advantage of being a RRT is that when vehicle owners fail two inspections, they may apply for a waiver. The waiver being granted, however, is contingent upon the repairs having been performed by a RRT. This means that being qualified will attract more business to you and your shop from customers who wish to apply for this waiver if they fail the second test.

And finally, Illinois also provides consumers with a shop report card, which tells them how well the shop has fared with emissions repairs when the vehicles are taken back for retesting. So having as much expertise as possible in the relevant areas will help you build your shop’s reputation.

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.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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