ASE certification is an important step for qualified automobile repair businesses to show their customers the high level of training their mechanics possess. You may have seen some auto repair shops with a sign that says something to the effect of “ASE certified.” What this means is that the shop’s mechanics have a certain amount of industry experience and have taken tests to prove competence in certain fields. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (commonly known as ASE) offers these tests for certification to individuals who have at least two years of experience in automotive repair. The tests span a large number of industry-specific fields, including preventative maintenance and inspection, engine repair, mechanical and electrical components, and suspension and steering. Once a mechanic passes one of these tests, they become ASE certified in that field.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a pay-to-brag system: ASE is an independent, non-profit organization that’s been around since the early 70s. Their interest lies in providing consumers with a reliable method to identify quality automobile repair shops. In fact, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence came to be only in response to the consumer demand for distinguishing between highly skilled and not-so-skilled automotive technicians. It’s also not easy to pass a test for certification. About 2 out of every 3 mechanics who take an ASE exam will pass on their first try. Once you do pass, though, and if you continue to learn more about your field, you can continue to take more exams in that field’s examination series. If you happen to pass all of the exams in a certain series, you can be granted the status of ASE certified master technician. Less than a quarter of the 375,000 automobile technicians in the US with ASE certification have achieved master status.
ASE certification doesn’t last forever, either. On the contrary, it lasts quite a short period of time. Before 5 years is up, a technician must prepare for and retake certification exams. Recertification is a process that’s in place for very good reason: cars change. That might seem like an obvious statement, but think about how much technology has influenced our vehicles in the past 20 years alone. Technicians have to constantly adapt to an extremely fast-paced industry, where the vehicles they work on grow more complex by the month. If technicians didn’t have to recertify, the ASE certification status would quickly become meaningless as the industry left them behind. Because of ASE’s recertification standards, customers can rest assured that any ASE certified shop they visit will actually know what it’s doing. Imparting trust to customers is one of ASE’s main goals.
So, if you’re apprehensive about finding an auto mechanic that knows what they’re doing, just look for the “ASE Certified” sign. Of course, finding the absolute best mechanic for you all depends on what you and your vehicle really require. But there’s a good chance that anyone with that ASE sign will have the knowledge and experience required to service pretty much any aspect of your vehicle.