The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is an organization dedicated to offering automotive certification programs to mechanics.
Obtaining ASE certification is a good way for automotive professionals to demonstrate their professional commitment to education and the best practices within the automotive repair industry.
Here are the steps to become ASE certified, compiled by
Determine your areas of specialization
There are ten Entry-level certifications available through ASE for the automotive mechanic industry. You should decide ahead of your exam and before investing in specialized coursework which one(s) you want to pursue. The choices include:
Heating and air conditioning
Transmission and transaxle
Manual drivetrain and axles
Electrical and electronic systems
Automobile service technology
Maintenance and light repair
Acquire work experience
To become ASE certified, you must have two years of work experience in each area of specialization. This requirement can be completed in an auto shop.
For example, if you want to get certification in brakes and in engine repair, you would need to acquire two years of work experience in each of these fields. That being said, some years of work may span across different specialties. Consult ASE for guidance to confirm you are obtaining the required experience.
Repair technicians are the exception—they may need anywhere from one to three years of experience, depending on which test they would like to take.
Study and register for the ASE test
There are study guides for every ASE certification test. You can also take preparation courses at vocational schools or online for an affordable price.
Once you feel confident in your automotive knowledge, you can register for the exam at the
ASE website. Testing is open four times a year at over 300 U.S. locations. There is an exam fee, which must be paid for each attempt.
You can take the test before you have the required work experience, but if you pass, you won't get your certification until you've completed the proper amount of work experience.
Pass the exam
Roughly 30% of people fail an ASE exam on their first try, so don’t be discouraged if you have to take it more than once. Certification is not designed to be easily acquired, which is why technicians are rewarded by having more job opportunities once they obtain it.
Once you pass, your certification is good for five years. After that, you will have to pass the applicable recertification test(s). Recertification ensures you stay up to date on the latest automotive technology.
Obtaining your ASE certification can be a great way to jumpstart (pun intended) your career because it gives consumers and employers the peace of mind when they are searching for a reputable and knowledgeable mechanic. Getting ASE certified is a great goal for any aspiring mechanic to have.
How many ASE certifications are there?
Beyond just entry-level testing, there are tests for up to 52 ASE certifications, so you can specialize in a wide variety of automotive repair.
How hard is it to get ASE certified?
Nearly 30% of people fail their ASE certification test the first time, so it won't be a walk in the park. But if you put in the work and study hard, you can get ASE certified.