The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is the organization that handles ASE certification, the national credential held by professional automotive service technicians. ASE certification is the gauge by which an automotive technician’s job skills are measured by employers.
ASE certification is awarded to mechanics and automotive professionals who pass a written or computer-based test demonstrating their job training in an area of automotive excellence. Certified mechanics must re-test every 5 years to maintain their certification, and two years of work experience is required to take the test.
ASE Certification Specialties
Certification for autos and light trucks is the most common form of ASE certification, and is offered in nine specialty areas:
- Engine Repair (A1)
- Automatic Transmission/Transaxle (A2)
- Manual Drive Train and Axles (A3)
- Suspension and Steering (A4)
- Brakes (A5)
- Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6)
- Heating and Air Conditioning (A7)
- Engine Performance (A8)
- Light Vehicle Diesel Engines (A9)
Each area covers the general knowledge and job skills related to that particular area of automotive repair. By becoming certified in the first 8 of these areas, an automotive professional can be certified as a Master Automobile Technician. The ninth area (Light Vehicle Diesel Engines) is not required for Master Automobile Technician status.
Besides the automobile/light truck specialties, the ASE also certifies technicians in service consulting, alternative fuels, heavier trucks, collision repair and other areas.
Benefits of ASE Certification
By being ASE Certified, an automotive technician has proven their ability to perform up to national standards for their area of auto repair. This makes them much more employable than non-certified mechanics, and allows them to earn a higher salary. Becoming certified in more than one area further increases their employability, as well as the potential salary they can earn.
Certified Master Automobile Technicians are the most accomplished, and are usually the highest paid.