How to get an ASE Certification
Most people cannot repair their vehicles on their own. If John Smith’s car breaks down on the side of the road, he may check under the hood to see if the culprit is a loose battery cable, but most likely his first instinct will be to call a tow truck. Years ago, many people knew what to look for under the hood of the car when something went amiss; however, quickly improving technology, and a shift of focus away from the do-it-yourself mindset, has led to a greater dependence on auto service professionals. From something as small as an oil change, to larger jobs such as replacing the brakes, car owners now choose to have their vehicles serviced by a trusted mechanic more often than tinkering under the hood themselves.
Because car owners are depending on someone else to perform maintenance on their vehicle, they want to make sure their car is taken care of by the best. With such an expensive investment, car owners do not want to hand their keys to just anyone with an auto shop; they want to know their auto service professional is trustworthy, honest, experienced, and the best that money can buy.
Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a nonprofit group that works to ensure automotive professionals meet industry standards. Professionals can gain ASE certification through training and testing procedures that assess their skills and knowledge. Those who are ASE certified are tested to prove they can repair and service vehicles to the high-quality standard expected of them. Since 1972, the ASE certification has been a mark of excellence among automotive industry employers, employees and customers. More than 325,000 professionals across the country can claim this distinction, which helps them gain the trust of customers and employers.
The ASE certifies individual service professionals who have successfully completed their testing standards. While a certain body shop may have well-respected and certified mechanics working for them, an actual auto shop cannot receive the certification; it is a certification only awarded to specific individuals based on merit. Businesses, of course, can boast about having employees who are certified with this nationally recognized credential, and having employees with the certification certainly helps to draw in business. As a result, candidates with ASE certification often appear far more attractive to employers in need of workers. Employers who are looking to hire can search the database of ASE certified technicians, and customers can also search for a shop near them with certified technicians.
ASE mechanics are the gold standard of mechanics. They have proven their abilities and shown they are more than capable to carry out any number of issues that come along inside their shop. Each individual who is certified through ASE must go through ASE training. These tests are created by a national panel of experienced automotive industry professionals and executives during workshops. This diverse panel includes working technicians, automobile manufacturers, aftermarket manufacturers, and automotive educators.
Auto service professionals must also have at least two years of experience from training or actual work, or they need a two-year degree in automotive repair in conjunction with one year of on-the-job training. Experience alone will not guarantee that certificate seekers will pass the tests. The tests require a lot of hard work and dedication. Only two out of every three test takers will pass on their first try, proving just how committed one needs to be in order to earn the coveted credentials. Under general segments such as automobile, heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair and the like, the exams are broken into over 40 sections to highlight different facets of the job.
At Lincoln Technical Institute, the automotive career program emphasizes the importance of an ASE certification. All Lincoln automotive instructors are required to be ASE certified in the areas they teach, so students learn only from the best in the industry. Learning from certified teachers will allow students to have a better knowledge base when they gain the certification for themselves. Students are also encouraged to sit for their ASE certification course after their required one year on the job. Throughout the program, students will gain knowledge that will improve their chances of success when they take the test for the first time. Students can feel confident they are learning the most accurate and up-to-date information every time they head into the classroom.
Not only will students at Lincoln learn from ASE certified teachers, they will also enroll in programs certified by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NATEF). These programs are peer reviewed by industry leaders and help to improve the quality of automotive technology education. Programs that receive this accreditation are marked as “Master Certification." These courses will better prepare students for the ASE exams. Lincoln wants each student to have the best possible chance at a fulfilling, successful career.
Once an ASE certification is earned, it is important to maintain the same level of dedication and excellence required in earning the certification. To remain an ASE certified automotive professional, individuals must retake the test every five years. Because the auto industry is continually evolving, it is important to stay up to date with the latest techniques and all of the most current knowledge in order to perform the job in the correct manner.
A great automotive professional will be able to keep a customer's car in peak running condition – saving the car owner money in the long run. While it may be tempting for customers who are short on cash to go to any old mechanic, they will be frustrated when they have to return time after time due to poor diagnostics and fleeting repairs. Customers, employers and auto professionals will feel much better about the work that is done when there is an ASE certification backing up the knowledge and experience that goes into every repair, service or check-up.