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What is an ASE Certified Mechanic?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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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.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon1002438 — On Nov 20, 2019

All this ASE certification does is prove someone can read and pass a test. Doesn't mean anything in the real world.

By anon358006 — On Dec 08, 2013

@anon342074: No, no federal laws apply to mechanics except EPA certification for Freon. The only places where mechanics are required to be certified that I know of are Miami Dade and Broward County, Florida and California. Otherwise, it's a crap shoot if they are not certified.

By anon342074 — On Jul 17, 2013

Does anybody know if there are any regulations or laws which authorize you to work on hybrid cars in the USA?

By anon284692 — On Aug 11, 2012

Where do I report a guy doing automobile repairs under false claims that he is a ASE certified mechanic? He cost me 600.00 plus to fix my AC which he destroyed by putting it in wrong and he will not return my calls. I'm not the only one he has cheated. The police won't do anything and small claims is a joke.

By anon281975 — On Jul 26, 2012

I agree with post 1. I was totally taken by spending 960 for a non working car. They said they are ase certified, but at court found out they are not even licensed. I think a web site should be available for consumers to check for these people that are not.

By anon237075 — On Dec 27, 2011

@anon197724: You are misinformed about ase certification. A person is not certified by a book. There are 50-60 specific diagnosis, breakdown and repair questions for each test area. No books allowed.

While I don't know you, I find it hard to believe you were able to fix problems with your car that a shop was unable to. Maybe you should further investigate ase before making false statements. Certification fraud is difficult. Each certified tech is issued a number which you can call to verify.

By anon206496 — On Aug 16, 2011

I just got hired at my job and my boss has displayed an ASE certified sign for years, and I know for a fact I'm the only one there who not only has all eight of them, but I'm the only one there who is certified at all.

By anon197724 — On Jul 18, 2011

anon162274 is completely right. I am not certified and have had to fix many problems that ASE mechanics failed to fix. Problem is they are taught by a book. They fix things by comparing issues on page 69 to solutions on page 86. This doesn't fix your car.

If the manufacturer doesn't know why the problem exists, then there is no solution. You need a mechanic who can look at a problem and step through it until the problem is solved, not just look at a book!

By anon171048 — On Apr 28, 2011

I agree with comment #132128. I would like a website to go to so I can check a person's certification and date for it. Listed by name city and state.

By anon167870 — On Apr 14, 2011

I don't believe that passing one certification test should qualify anybody as a "Certified Technician". They should either pass all of the pertinent tests or not be certified.

By anon162274 — On Mar 22, 2011

I completely disagree! I have worked on vehicles for over 25 years and have had to repair many things from certified mechanics and dealerships! That paper doesn't seem to mean much if you don't care about the work you perform!

By anon132128 — On Dec 05, 2010

I agree completely. There should be a website for a list of ASE certified mechanics followed by the date of their certification. Otherwise this certification is easily copied and know one would be the wiser making this certification pointless. Start backing up the ASE certification or I'll start my own certification business which will have such a system to validate certifications and report fraudulent certifications.

By anon91049 — On Jun 19, 2010

I think this certificate should be monitored better as I have just been ripped off by a fraud displaying your certificate?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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