How to become a Master Technician

Media release

March 2014

How to become a Master Technician

Workshop technicians perform a unique job that requires the skills and ability to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on and problem solving ability on a daily basis. And, with vehicles becoming increasingly more complex, workshop technicians, or mechanics as we know them, are expected to be able to operate at more and more complex and technical levels, says Chairman of Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), Les Mc Master.


“Auto workshop owners will have to start shifting their focus from merely retaining customers to offering a multi-skilled expert that can advise on and service vehicles across the board,” he says.  To this end MIWA introduced their Master Technician training programme aimed at up-skilling qualified technicians in the trade three years ago. “We decided to start the Master Technician programme – a programme aligned to the United States Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) standards, because there were so few advanced training opportunities, especially for technicians in the independent workshop sector,” he says.


The training programme, which has thus far produced 55 qualified Master Technicians for the industry, like all MIWA programmes, starts with an assessment. “These assessment programmes look at all the levels of skills needed. We test for detailed levels of theory, application and diagnosis. This way the technicians can find out their areas of strength and weakness and focus their training efforts only where it is needed,” Mc Master explains.


The assessments incorporate psycho-metric tests and are designed to give technicians a true 360 degree understanding of themselves, he adds. “Technicians are not expected to achieve perfect scores and they can rest easy that all assessment scores are kept confidential.” Assessments and training are available for the following 13 separate skill areas.


•          Basic Automotive Service and Maintenance

•          Automatic Transmissions

•          Manual Transmissions

•          Electricity & Electronics

•          HVAC

•          Brakes

•          Engine Repair

•          Engine Performance

•          Suspension & Steering

•          Fuels

•          Emissions & Exhaust

•          Advanced Engine Performance

•          Service Consultant & Parts Specialist


Candidates are given three years in which to complete the training programme although, as the training is self-paced, it is possible to complete the course in less time. Training is provided via CD-ROM and offers full voice-over (material is read aloud), animation, interactivity and in-depth coverage of each topic area. These CD-ROMs are always available for additional review and easy reference.


Once the training part of the programme is completed, one more post-programme assessment is done in order to evaluate and affirm each candidate’s improvement during the course. This is where the benefits of all the hard work can be seen and tested. “We have found that our MIWA Technicians show on average a 22% improvement between pre- and post-programme assessments, this is twice as high as their North American counterparts,” Mc Master says proudly.


Understandably not everyone wants to take on such a big training programme. “There is also an option to enrol in a smaller cluster course concentrating on a specific subject area for those who may not want to do the full programme,” says Mc Master. A technician who successfully completes one of the five available clusters will graduate with a recognised title of either: MIWA Transmission Technician, MIWA Engine Performance Technician, MIWA Automotive Service & Diagnostic Technician, MIWA Brakes, Suspension & Driveline Technician or MIWA Auto Electrician.”