How to become ASE Certified

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Mechanic (Photo: @rebekah via Twenty20)
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.

Determine your areas of specialization

There are eight 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. Choices include:
  • Engine repair
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Suspension and steering
  • Transmission and transaxle
  • Engine performance
  • Brakes
  • Manual drivetrain and axles
  • Electrical and electronic systems

Acquire work experience

To become ASE certified, you must have two years of work experience in each area of specialization. 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.

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.

Pass the exam

Roughly 70% of people pass 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.