What Is An ASE Certification? (Meaning And How To Acquire)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

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Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications are valuable credentials that show a mechanic's knowledge and skills in various areas of automotive repair and maintenance. Many roles in the transportation sector employ ASE certified personnel. If you are inclined to pursue an ASE certification, it is helpful to understand what it is, why it is important and the steps you can take to obtain it. In this article, we examine what the meaning of ASE certification is and why it is important, explore the requirements for the certification exam and discuss how to become an ASE master technician and how to recertify your certifications.

What Is The ASE Certification Meaning?

An ASE certification, meaning Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a certification programme for automotive professionals that validates their knowledge and abilities in auto repair and maintenance. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence establishes the quality standards for this certification. Established in 1972, this international non-profit organisation functions with the goal of improving the quality of vehicle repair services by putting specialists to the test. This certification requires technicians to have a broad understanding of auto repairs and maintenance.

Most sectors of the transportation industry employ ASE certified personnel. Obtaining the certificate demonstrates to clients and companies that a professional is qualified to operate mechanical and electrical components in a vehicle. Those interested in pursuing the certification can specialise in particular components, such as brakes, engines or suspension systems, which can help them stand out to potential employers. Individuals can also choose to specialise in specific vehicles or equipment, such as buses and trucks, to further their education as automotive technicians.

Related: 30 Automotive Interview Questions (And Sample Answers)

Why Is An ASE Certification Important?

ASE certification is a global and unbiased approach to assessing aspiring technicians because ASE is an independent autonomous organisation. Here are a few reasons ‌ASE certifications can be important:

Improves customer or client satisfaction

Receiving an ASE certification can help you attract new customers and clients by demonstrating that you have the essential skills and knowledge to undertake vehicle maintenance. Customers may feel more at peace and may be inclined to trust a service provider who they know is qualified and knowledgeable in vehicle repair. Shops that have at least one person with an ASE accreditation can use the term ‘ASE certified' to inform clients about their qualifications.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure and Tips For Improvement

Provides more employment opportunities

Having an ASE certification can help car mechanics find new job opportunities. Candidates who hold this certification can provide verifiable proof to employers that they have the knowledge and skills to efficiently inspect and repair automobiles. This can be especially beneficial for professionals with specialisations in specific components and niche services. For example, auto technicians who have received certifications in servicing commercial buses may find employment opportunities with organisations that operate in the domain of public transport.

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Demonstrates dedication

Obtaining an ASE accreditation is often a challenging objective that requires several years of professional experience and clearing various tests, depending on the chosen specialisation. Car repair businesses and garages may not require technicians to be ASE certified to fulfil the requirements of their job role. But individuals can use the certificate to exhibit a commitment to their profession and their dedication towards becoming experts in their field.

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Helps pursue higher education

Individuals can apply their ASE certification exam training and expertise towards earning a diploma or bachelor's degree in a related profession. Courses such as automotive repair and automotive technology are available to pursue at several universities and vocational schools. A formal academic qualification can help you advance in your career as an automobile expert while also increasing the visibility of your resume to potential employers.

Related: What Is Vocational Education? (With Definition And Types)

How To Become ASE Certified

Follow these steps to pursue an ASE certification:

1. Gain relevant experience

Before obtaining the certification, you can gain ‌experience in auto service and repair through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships can provide you with hands-on experience while also teaching you valuable technical skills. Most apprenticeships are paid opportunities and you may receive a portion of a regular professional's full wages while you pursue one. You may require at least two years of experience on average and the number of years required also varies based on the speciality. For example, most general repair technician tests require two years of experience, but the advanced ASE examinations demand at least three.

Related: What Is Relevant Experience? (With Examples And Tips)

2. Choose a specialisation

It is critical for individuals to choose a specialisation before taking any of the ASE certification exams. Individuals can choose from a variety of test series, including light autos and truck equipment, and several foci within each series, such as electrical system installation and engine performance. Mechanics can test in a variety of certification series and foci, based on their primary interests.

Individuals can also benefit from picking a speciality based on their previous job experience. This can allow them to continue learning and improving technical skills that they may apply at their current job. For example, if an auto mechanic is pursuing an apprenticeship at a shop that services diesel engines, the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification may be helpful for advancing their career in that particular speciality.

Related: Diesel Mechanic Job Description (Key Skills And Duties)

3. Pass the ASE certification exams

Passing the certification examinations is the last step towards earning an ASE accreditation. You may incur a registration fee in addition to a predetermined charge per exam. Technicians typically receive essential study materials and practice tests to help prepare for the exams after they register. Individuals who are preparing for the exam can speak with their trainers or apprenticeship mentors to help comprehend the various themes of the examination. You can visit a nearby testing centre to take proctored exams. Following the exam, you may receive the results through email within a short amount of time.

Related: How To List Certifications On A Resume (With Examples)

Becoming An ASE Master Technician

When you complete certifications in some mandatory testing areas, you may become eligible for the title of Master Technician. To qualify, you may be required to pass a series of tests besides documenting two years of appropriate practical job experience. To keep a Master Technician title, professionals may retake evaluations to renew their credentials. If you lose your Master Technician status because one or more certificates have expired, you can regain them by taking and passing the recertification tests. The tests to acquire master technician status in each domain are as follows:

  • Automobile: A1 – A8

  • Collision Repair: B2 – B5

  • Medium-Heavy Truck: T2 – T8

  • School Bus: S1 – S6

  • Transit Bus: H1 or H2 and H3 – H8

  • Truck Equipment: E1 – E3

Those who have certification in any combination of tests 2 through 7 in the Medium-Heavy Truck, Transit Bus or School Bus test series also have the opportunity to earn Master Medium-Heavy Vehicle Technician Status. Requirements include:

  • Diesel Engines: Pass one or more tests in H2, S2 or T2

  • Drive Train: Pass one or more tests in H3. S3 or T3

  • Brakes: Pass one or more tests in H4, S4 or T4

  • Suspension & Steering: Pass one or more tests in H5, S5 or T5

  • Electrical/Electronic Systems: Pass one or more tests in H6, S6 or T6

  • Heating, Ventilation & A/C: Pass one or more tests in H7, S7 or T7

How To Recertify ASE Certifications?

ASE certification holders are obliged to recertify every five years. If one of the required qualifications expires while they are still a Master Technician, they may lose their advanced credential. Even after a certification expires, individuals can reclaim it by passing the ASE recertification exams. They may take the recertification test after passing the first ASE exam, regardless of how long it has been since it expired.

ASE provides a platform to make the renewal process simple. You can maintain your ASE certificates using your PC, tablet or mobile device, without having to go to a test centre every time you renew a credential. Every month, you may receive one question per certification area through the myASE renewal app. You are free to view and answer the questions whenever it is most convenient for you, as long as you do so within the time limit.

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