Automotive Service Excellence Certification Programs

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers certification exams related to auto service and repair, including auto maintenance and repair, estimating, collision repair and engine machinist. Those who pass multiple exams in one area are eligible for Master status.

Essential Information

Automotive service excellence certification requires passing an exam and meeting specific education and experience requirements. Individuals who want to prepare for certification may enroll in an automotive technology certificate program.

Automotive repair certificate programs can be complete in one year or less and prepare students for entry-level positions at auto repair shops or dealerships. Programs may be general and cover many different systems and parts within a car, or they may be specific to a particular automotive system, such as engines or electrical systems.

  • Some Automotive Service Excellence Program Fields: Exhaust systems, Alternate fuels
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED equivalent

Certificates Covering Automotive Technology

Automotive repair is a hands-on profession that involves elements of diagnostics, electronics, heating and emissions. Certificate programs in automotive technology or related fields prepare graduates for National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams. These programs are often two semesters in length.

Generalist training programs prepare individuals for entry-level positions performing service operations and basic maintenance. Some certificate programs cover specific automotive systems. Coursework teaches students to understand and repair automotive problems in:

  • Air conditioning
  • Brakes
  • Electrical systems
  • Engines
  • Transmissions

Popular Careers

Graduates of certificate programs can find work at automotive repair shops and car dealerships. Possible entry-level titles include auto mechanic, car repair technician, parts specialist, service manager, diesel service technician, and small engine mechanic.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive service technicians and mechanics earned an average annual salary of $39,980, as of May 2014. Workers in this field were projected by the BLS to have an average job growth rate of 9%, from 2012-2022.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

ASE offers more than 40 certifications in collision repair, automobile service and heavy-truck repair, among others. Along with passing at least one of the written ASE certification tests, candidates must have at least two years of relevant work experience. Substitution of up to one year of professional experience is allowed; two years of relevant, formal education counts as one professional year. Applicants who pass multiple tests may be eligible for master technician status. Re-certification is required every five years.

Individuals interested in continuing their studies may consider certificate programs in related fields, like motorcycle repair. Other options include enrollment in associate's or bachelor's degree programs in automotive technology management or automotive engineering technology. Earning a degree may help prepare graduates for management-level positions.

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