ATC Blog

10 Steps to ASE Certification

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) marks the gold standard for the latest practices and procedures in the automotive industry. Earning and maintaining ASE certification is a goal that many new and practicing technicians strive for in their first years in the industry.

To help our starting technicians gear up to get ASE certified, Automotive Training Center (ATC) made the following guide. Complete these 10 steps and you’ll be well on your way to ASE certification!

1. Understand the Value of ASE Certification

ASE was created in order to be a universal symbol of recognition for the highest quality of professional automotive technician service. Holding an ASE certification is a stepping stone for your automotive career like no other, allowing you to:

  • increase your skills
  • increase your eligibility to employers
  • increase your salary

2. Earn Your Experience

Two years of experience is required to earn ASE certification in a specific field. Once you have a position working as an automotive technician, you can take the test before or after you’ve met this requirement. However, it just won’t go into effect until you’ve put in two years on the job.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to get proof of your earned or current experience signed off by your employer as part of your test registration.

3. Apply Any Applicable Training

Applicable training, including completion of a two-year post-secondary automotive training program, can serve as up to a one-year credit for this experience requirement, meaning you’d only need one year of work out in the field in order to become ASE certified.

4. Decide on a Specialty  

There are numerous areas you can become ASE certified in from automotive parts to advanced engine performance. Still, you do need to be sure that you’re earning experience in an area that’s related to the exam you want to take.

For example, to become ASE certified in Alternative Fuels, you’ll need to be in a position that provides you with experience that can be applied to this field.

5. Register for the Test You Want to Take

Once you’ve determined which test you want to take, head over to ASE’s registration site and get registered. Remember to account for study time. While many tests are offered year-round, you want to make sure the test you want to take will be available within a multi-month window to ensure you have enough time to study. With hundreds of testing centers across the United States, it should be easy to find a test center near you.

6. Study, Study, Study!

Once you’ve registered for a test, it’s time to hit the books. ASE has practice tests you can purchase online for $15 or less. You must score a 90% or above to pass, so it’s encouraged that you invest in a couple of sample tests upfront and increase your chances of passing the first time rather than having to spend the money to register again to retest.

7. Take the Test

Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before your test date so you’re sharp and focused come test time. Bring your test ticket, mailed out to you after registration, as well as your proof of work experience documentation and a photo ID.

Certification tests range in length from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, with up to 65 questions to answer depending on the test. Recertification tests feature half as many questions as the initial certification and have either 30 or 45 minutes of test time.

8. Getting Your Results

If you pass your ASE test, you will be mailed your certification in as soon as two weeks from your test date. If you did not pass, you can take it again, but must wait 30 days before registering again.

9. Consider Going for Your Master Technician Status

The following tests are part of the ASE Automobile/Light Truck Test series:

  • Engine Repair
  • Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
  • Manual Drive Train and Axles
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Brakes
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Engine Performance

Pass all eight of the exams above and you’ll be awarded a Master Technician status—a great path for practicing automotive technicians to pursue and conquer!

10. Re-Test to Keep Your Certifications Relevant

ASE certifications last five years since the date of testing. So, every five years, you’ll need to be re-certified in the subjects and specialties you hold certifications in. You can see the status of your certifications when you create a myASE account.

Learn More About Getting Your ASE Certification

Best of luck from your friends at ATC! 

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