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A guide to ASE certification

ASE, short for automotive service excellence, is the most recognised and respected certification one can achieve as they begin a career as an automotive service technician. ASE is more than one simple certification. It represents actually a group of them, with various levels of testing and experience requirements. Below is some general ASE information and a basic overview of the certifications and testing.

What is ASE?

What is ASE? ASE certifications are awarded by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a non-profit organisation created in 1972 to provide consumers with a way to distinguish knowledgeable and competent mechanics. To date, about 400,00 certifications have been awarded. A wide variety of certifications There are over 40 certifications to choose from, and all require successful completion of at least one exam and two years of relevant work experience to qualify. In some cases, specialised training can be substituted for work experience, but no certification is for life. All must be retested every five years. Note Any garage or dealership which employs at least one ASE certified automotive service technician can display a certification sticker. Shops with a high level of commitment to the ASE mission are awarded membership in the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program.


Certifications are divided into fourteen different categories. These are:
- Automobile/Light Truck,
- Automobile Service Consultant,
- Collision Repair and Refinishing,
- Alternate Fuels/CNG,
- Engine Machinist,
- Medium/Heavy Truck,
- Truck Equipment,
- School Bus,
- Transit Bus,
- Damage Analysis and Estimating,
- Under Car Specialist,
- Parts Specialist,
- Advanced Engine Performance Specialist, and
- Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist. Further specialisation A Master Technician status can be achieved by passing a specified series of tests, but all statuses must be renewed every five years. If even one test lapses, Master Technician status is suspended until all tests are again current. It doesn't matter how long the status has been suspended, though. Once the original test is passed, the re-certification test is all that is required to renew status.

Testing options

Written tests are held in the spring and fall of each year at about 750 locations nationwide and are administered by ACT, a non-profit educational and vocational testing organisation.
Certain tests can be taken in a computer based testing format at about 200 sites around the country, during five week periods each summer and winter.
Testing is available in both English and Spanish.

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