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How Do I Become an ASE Certified Mechanic?

ASE certification requires at least two years of training and two years of hands-on experience.
The ASE offers eight different certifications.
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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2014
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ASE certified mechanics have successfully completed a skills and knowledge examination administered in the United States by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). At least two years of technical training are required to become an ASE certified mechanic. Candidates for this designation must also possess minimum of two years work experience in order to sit for the exam. ASE certification is offered in several different specialties and test-preparation materials are readily available. This certification is valid for five years and can only be renewed by retaking the examination.

In order to become an ASE certified mechanic, you will need a combination of specialized vocational training and relevant work experience. Two years of high school training in automobile repair is usually acceptable for ASE certification. You will need to enroll in a community college or trade school if these classes are not available during high school. Many two-year colleges offer programs specifically designed for ASE certification. As a general rule, the ASE will allow you to substitute two years of high school or college vocational training for one year of work experience.

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A certain amount of practical work experience is also needed to become an ASE certified mechanic. This hands-on experience can be gained by participating in an internship during college or through an entry-level apprenticeship after graduation. Some automobile dealerships offer both internships and apprenticeships to prospective certification candidates. Apprenticeships generally last from two to four years and are designed to prepare you for a comprehensive ASE master certification. These programs typically begin with an entry-level position and gradually progress to more complex duties.

The ASE offers a total of eight different certifications for various mechanical specialties. These specialties include Automatic Transmission/Transaxle, Engine Repair, and Manual Drivetrain/Axle, as well as Electrical Systems and Brakes. Certifications are also awarded for Steering and Suspension, Engine Performance, and Heating and A/C. You may also seek ASE master mechanic certification by passing all of the individual specialty exams. Test preparation materials and registration forms are available from the ASE website.

After you become an ASE certified mechanic, you will need to recertify every five years. In order to be recertified, you must successfully complete each of the examinations for your particular specialty. Failure to take or pass these exams will result in the loss of your ASE certification. The ASE certification is one of the most widely regarded professional designations in the automobile repair industry. Possessing this certificate shows employers and customers that your skills and knowledge are up-to-date with current industry standards and practices.

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