Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications are helpful credentials that demonstrate a mechanic's skills and expertise in different areas of automotive repair and maintenance. If you're hoping to pursue an ASE certification, it can be helpful to understand why it's important and the steps you need to take to obtain it. In this article, we discuss what an ASE certification is, why it's beneficial and a list of steps you need to accomplish to pursue the certification exam.
What is an ASE certification meaning?
ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence, which is a certification offered to automotive technicians that demonstrates their expertise and skills in automotive repair and maintenance. Achieving the credential shows customers and employers that an individual is qualified to work on any mechanical or electrical components found in the specified vehicle.
Those who wish to pursue the certification can choose a specialty they would like to focus on, such as brakes, engines or suspension, which can help them attract potential employers. Individuals can also focus on certain vehicles or equipment, such as busses and trucks, which can allow them to continue developing as an automotive technician.
Read more: Learn About Being an Automotive Technician
Why is an ASE certification important?
Here are a few reasons why ASE certifications can be important:
Improves customer satisfaction
Receiving an ASE certification can help attract new clientele because it shows the individuals working in the garage or automotive shop have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform vehicle maintenance. Leaving their car with someone they know is qualified and knowledgeable in vehicle repair can help customers feel a sense of ease and trust. Shops that have at least one employee with an ASE credential can advertise their business as ASE certified, notifying customers of their qualifications.
Increases employment opportunities
Holding an Automotive Service Excellence certification can help increase new job opportunities for auto mechanics. Candidates with an ASE credential can show employers they have the skills and the expertise to effectively examine and repair vehicles. It can be especially helpful for individuals who have an ASE certification in a certain specialty or field, because it can allow them to explore employment opportunities in unique job markets. For example, auto mechanics who receive a certification servicing school or commercial buses might be more desirable to businesses that service those vehicles often.
Receiving an ASE credential is not an easy feat because it requires a few years of work experience along with the completion of several exams, depending on the chosen specialty. Not all automotive shops and garages require technicians to become ASE certified to perform their primary duties. Acquiring the credential can help individuals demonstrate their dedication to the career and their desire to become experts in the field.
Pursue higher education
Some colleges and institutions can give individuals the ability to put their training and experience with the ASE certification exams toward an associate or bachelor's degree, often in a related field, such as automotive repair or technology. This degree can help you continue to develop as an automotive professional, and help your resume become more noticeable to employers. If you're hoping to use your ASE certification toward credits for an undergraduate program, it can be helpful to contact different schools and see which programs might allow the transfer.
What are the requirements for an ASE certification?
Here is a list of the requirements necessary to pursue an ASE certification:
1. Gain relevant experience
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence requires that individuals gain relevant experience in auto service and repair before pursuing the certification. Though on average, individuals require at least two years of experience, the number of years can vary depending on which specialization they're interested in. For example, a majority of the general repair technician exams require two years of experience, however the advanced exams require at least three.
There are several options individuals can pursue to receive automotive experience, including entry-level technician positions, as well as automotive apprenticeships. Apprenticeships can allow individuals to gain hands-on experience while learning impressive technical skills for their career. Many apprenticeships offer individuals part of the position's full salary as they train and develop.
2. Choose a specialization
Before taking any of the ASE certification exams, it can be important for individuals to decide on a specialization. There are many test series that individuals can choose from, such as light automobiles and truck equipment, as well as different focuses in each series, such as electrical systems installation and engine performance. Auto mechanics can pick multiple certification series and focuses to test in, depending on their major interests.
When choosing a specialization, it can be beneficial for individuals to choose their focus based on their previous work experience. This can allow them to continue developing and gaining technical skills they can use in their current place of employment. For example, if an auto mechanic is pursuing an apprenticeship at a shop that services diesel engines, it might be beneficial for them to pursue the Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification.
3. Pass the ASE certification exams
The final requirement to receiving an ASE credential is to pass the certification exams. The tests often require a registration fee on top of a fee per test taken. Once they register, technicians receive the necessary study materials and practice tests to help them prepare for the exams. When preparing for the exam, it can also be helpful for individuals to talk with their trainers or apprenticeship mentors to help them understand and study the different test subjects.
Individuals will then travel to a local testing center where the exams are proctored. After the exam, they often receive their scores by email after a short period of time. Once they pass and receive their certification, mechanics might be required to renew their credential by retaking some certification exams every couple of years depending on their occupation and place of residence.
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