Finding the right automotive technician job for you can mean taking your mechanic career in a specialized direction. Emissions testing has become an integral fixture in the automotive registration process in many states, making it a good choice for auto techs who want to focus on a particular area of diagnosis or repair.

Each state has different protocols and regulations for testing and repair, as well as different requirements for the technicians who perform these tasks. Maryland has statewide emissions testing – this means that all vehicles in the state must pass a smog check every two years.

How to become an emissions inspector in Maryland

There are 18 emissions inspection stations across the state. The state contracts with Envirotest, a subsidiary of Opus Inspection, to provide these facilities as well as the equipment and staff. The company hires and trains their own emissions inspectors, and you can find job postings for current openings on their website.

In order to apply for a position as a smog inspector you must meet certain criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older

  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent (strongly preferred but not mandatory)

  • Possess a valid Maryland driver’s license

  • Have good communications and customer service skills

  • Be able to stand up to 90% of the time on the job

In addition to performing emissions inspections, you may also be required to perform other tasks within the facility.

How to become a master certified emissions technician

Maryland’s MCET program is designed to prepare auto mechanics for the specialized repairs required to bring vehicles into compliance so that they can pass the smog check. This is a voluntary program – you are not required to become a MCET in order to work on emissions-related vehicle issues.

In order to be eligible for Maryland’s MCET certification you must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess ASE certificates in A6 (Electrical Systems), A8 (Engine Performance), and L1 (Advanced Engine Performance)

  • Have five years of full-time experience performing emissions-related repairs on non-diesel vehicles, or have two years of full-time vehicle repair education and four years of the specified work experience

In return, MCETs receive:

  • Free or low-cost training opportunities

  • Technical assistance

  • Access to RepairTrak, which is an online program used to manage VEIP (Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program) data

  • A patch for your shirt or jacket distinguishing you as a MCET

You can apply for MCET status by printing, completing, and submitting the application found on the VEIP website. Certification renewal is based upon the earliest expiration date of your ASE certificates. You must submit your ASE documents by email in order to renew your MCET certification.

Certified emissions repair facilities

Maryland residents who fail a smog check are free to choose any repair facility they like. However, many choose Certified Emissions Repair Facilities (CERF) because these are shops certified by the state of Maryland to specifically address emissions problems. A shop can get the CERF designation by employing at least one MCET, and by having the necessary equipment to repair emissions issues.

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.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Maryland and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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