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An ASE Certified mechanic is a mechanic who has fulfilled the voluntary requirements for certification by the US National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Mechanics who have ASE certifications are generally viewed as better candidates for employment by companies that hire these workers, such as auto body shops, car dealers, and bus yards. Certification can also be reassuring for individual consumers who want to ensure that their vehicles receive work from competent, highly professional mechanics.
To become ASE certified, a mechanic has to demonstrate at least two years of work experience and pass at least one specialty test. ASE testing is offered twice a year to candidates who are interested in certifying. When a test-taker passes the test, he or she becomes an ASE Certified mechanic, with a requirement to renew every five years. Mechanics can take tests in a wide variety of systems, such as heating/cooling systems, brakes and suspension, or drive train.
Mechanics can also pursue Master Certification. An ASE Certified Master mechanic has taken a series of subject tests to demonstrate competence in an array of vehicle systems. This certification is offered for automotive, collision repair, engine machinist, medium-heavy truck, school bus, transit bus, and truck equipment areas of specialty. Each area includes a number of exams that must be successfully passed by the candidate in order to achieve this status.
Going to an ASE Certified mechanic can ensure that a car gets the service it needs from a technician who has demonstrated commitment to professionalism, continuing education, and proper training. The mechanic backs his or her services with a commitment to ethical practices, which distinguishes mechanics with this certification from those who lack formal certification. Having certification does not necessarily mean that a mechanic will be better or more skilled than one who does not, but it does mean that he or she has met a minimum standard of practice and takes the work seriously.
ASE certifications have been offered since 1972, and it is becoming increasingly standard for mechanics to have them in order to work. Consumers should be aware that, even if only one mechanic in a shop is certified, the shop may display the ASE seal. Consumers can always ask to see the specific certifications held by mechanics in the shop, which will list the names of the certified mechanics and their areas of specialty.