What is an ASE Certification and Why is it Important?

If you’ve ever been inside of a mechanic shop before you may have notified a blue and white sign on the wall indicating that the service technician or mechanic is ASE certified. An ASE certification, which stands for Automotive Service Excellence, shows that the technician or mechanic has been accredited for having a high quality of training, knowledge, and experience. There are several organizations that offer varying forms of this certification, but the ASE is the most widely recognized and respected. 

What is the ASE and what are the requirements?

An ASE Certification sticker on the window of a service center | National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
An ASE Certification sticker on the window of a service center | National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

The Automotive Service Excellence itself is an organization created by the National Institute for Automative Service Excellence, which is focused on providing technicians and mechanics with the highest level of training to ensure that consumers are well taken care of, which is especially important to the vast majority of consumers who only have a base-level understand of a car’s complex mechanical and internal components. 

To complete the examinations and receive an ASE certification, the technician must meet certain requirements. This includes:

  • Completion of at least one certification exam with a passing grade
  • Two years of relevant work experience

What are the categories of the ASE certification?

It is possible for a technician to specialize in just one area of the ASE certification. Technicians that are certified in all eight of the available auto/light truck areas are considered master technicians. These eight categories are:

  • Brakes
  • Electrical / electronic systems
  • Engine performance
  • Suspension and steering
  • Engine repair
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Automotive transmission / transaxle
  • Manual drive train and axles

How to get ASE certified?

Most ASE certification courses can be taken through technical schools and programs around the country, and exams are typically offered two times each year. The certification itself is completely voluntary, but it is a highly recommended accreditation as many employers view the ASE certification in high regard. Like many other certifications, the ASE exam takes an extensive amount of studying that usually goes with hands-on experience to ensure technicians have a thorough understanding of each subject. 

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence also works hand-in-hand with the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, NATEF, to evaluate automotive training programs for certification purposes. 

What are the ASE specialization areas?

The ASE certification tests cover more than just what applies to auto/light truck, which itself holds eight total categories of specializations to be mastered. This is the most common type of automotive technician as they are qualified to work in your every-day mechanic shop, lube shop, or tire place. There are also many other specialized areas as well, each with their own set of tests that must be passed.

  • Automobile / light truck
  • Automobile service consultan
  • Medium / heavy truck
  • Truck equipment technician
  • School bus
  • Collision repair
  • Engine machinist
  • Alternative fuels
  • Parts specialist (automobile)
  • Parts specialist (truck)
  • Automobile advanced engine performance
  • Medium / heavy vehicle electronic diesel engine diagnosis
  • Undercar specialist

Altogether the ASE certifications work to form a way to accredit technicians and mechanics in a way that is easy for employers to track, technicians to advance, and consumers to understand. If you are interested in other forms of automotive work, there are certification programs for things such as automotive detailing as well, as explained by MotorBiscuit.  

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