Vehicles are fundamental in our daily lives. Once in a while, they get issues and need a professional to work on them. In the past, people thought that a mechanic is just someone who knows how to use a wrench. Professional auto mechanics goes beyond that. Auto mechanics these days are highly trained individuals with different certifications.
For one to become a great mechanic, one needs to take some mechanic certification programs. Having a vehicle repaired by a certified mechanic puts the client at ease. The skills you get in certifications attract higher salaries, more customers and help you start your own business.
However, most auto mechanics do not know exactly what certification they need to take and how that can help their career grow. In this article, we shall set light on the ASE certifications and other mechanic certifications programs you should consider.
What are the 8 ASE Certifications?
ASE stands for National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. This is a non-profit and independent organization whose task is testing and certifying technicians and mechanics. There are different types of mechanic certifications, but ASE is the standard credential. The certification programs are available in various auto mechanic schools.
Mechanics with this certification are known to have skills and knowledge to service, repair, and diagnose buses, SUVs, light trucks, and other autos effectively. During the testing, a person must be physically present at the ASE testing center. The computer-based test has 40 to 75 multiple choice questions that help in accessing your knowledge.
NIASE has various sample tests online that you can use to revise for your test before you sit for it. These tests will help you to familiarize yourself with the test environment. After registering and paying for the test, you are allocated a date to sit for the test. Once you pass this test, you become an ASE-certified mechanic.
NIASE offers different certifications for every type of vehicle ranging from cars, buses, trucks, and SUVs. ASE has eight core certifications for every car type demonstrating the mechanic’s knowledge of maintenance and repair. In most cases, a mechanics career path begins from light trucks and automobile service centers, and repair shops.
Entry-level mechanics and fresh graduate mechanics begin with the A series exams with the ASE core areas. The A-series exams start from A1 to A8. The A series exams help to identify auto mechanics who can offer basic services in the automobile industry.
ASE also has an A9 certificate concentrating on light vehicle diesel engines. The following is the automotive certifications list by ASE:
A1- Engine Repair
A2- Automatic Transmission or Transaxle
A3- Manual Drive Train and Axles
A4- Suspension and Steering
A6- Electrical or Electronic Systems
A7- Heating and Air Conditioning
A8- Engine Performance
A9- Light Vehicle Diesel Engines
Mechanic Certification Programs
On top of the light truck certification, ASE also offers more than 40 certifications covering every automobile service and repair aspect. The certifications are a great way to show your ability as a proficient and qualified mechanic.
They also show that you have invested your effort and time to become a professional mechanic. This makes your clients have more confidence in you. Here are other types of auto mechanic certifications that you can consider as a mechanic:
Collision Repair & Refinish Certification
This certification provides skills ideal for anyone who wants to start an entry job as a refinishing assistant, auto-body repair, paint shop helper, and auto-shop helper. Some of the skills learned in this program are familiarity with the industry standards and collision repair and refinishing.
The programs certifications for this certificate program are auto body repair, refinishing, or auto body estimating. This program goes for one to two semesters. The subcategories of the program include:
B2: painting and Refinishing
B3: Non-Structural Analysis and Damage Repair
B4: Structural Analysis and Damage Repair
B5: Mechanical and Electrical Components
1. Damage Analysis & Estimating Certification
This certification is also known as AE B6. The tests are meant to test the mechanic’s knowledge of estimation and analysis of auto collision damage. You can go through a guide on the same before you sit for the tests.
The guide offers a step-by-step explanation and detailed illustrations on how to evaluate heavy damage and perform repairs. The topics covered in the certification program are:
Customer relations and sales skills
Parts Identification and Source Determination
Vehicle System Knowledge
Legal and Environmental Practices
2. Automobile Service Consultant Certification
This ASE certification program is taken by professionals who work as service consultants in customer, communications, and internal relations. It is known as the C1 series. This program aims to improve the servicing of vehicles via voluntary testing and certification of automobile service consultants.
To get this certification, you are required to take and pass 50 scored questions. You also need to have at least two years of work experience in a job related to service writing in specific. However, students from Universal Technical Institute can take the tests with only one year of experience. The consultants need to retest again after five years to keep their certification.
The recertification test is half of the first certification test. Some of the areas covered in this program are:
Vehicle Systems Knowledge
Customer and Internal Relations
3. Truck Equipment Certification
Truck Equipment Certification is known as the E series. The program should be taken by mechanics experts in servicing, diagnosis, installation, and repair of truck equipment. The tests offered in this certification program are:
E1: Truck Equipment Installation and Repair
E2: Electrical or Electronic Systems Installations and Repair
E3: Auxiliary Power Systems Installation and Repair
To get an ASE master certification in this program, you must have completed and passed E1 to E3 tests. The truck equipment technicians need to take the test again after five years to retain their certification. The recertification tests take half the time of the initial tests.
4. Alternate Fuels Certification
The Alternate Fuels Certification program is known as the F1 series. The objective is to recognize and identify technicians who can demonstrate skills and knowledge to repair services and diagnose compressed natural gas vehicles. The test has 55 scored questions.
After getting the certification, you have to take the tests again after five years for recertification. The tests should be taken by auto technicians working on compressed natural engines. The content in the program is what is tested in the tests. It includes:
Maintenance and Repair
The leak testing and Repairs
5. Auto Maintenance and Light Repair Certification
This G1 series program is taken by professional mechanics who perform routine maintenance and light repair work. Get the course by searching ‘mechanic certification programs near me and get an institution you can take the test from. The test has 55 scored questions and 10 unscored research questions. After 5 years, you take the test again for recertification.
The questions test the skills and knowledge of the mechanic in light repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning, brakes, steering and suspension, manual drive train and axles, automatic transmissions, and engine systems.
6. Transit Bus Certification
Transit Bus Certification is also known as the H series. The certification is for the expert technicians who handle specific systems on different classes of transit buses. The ASE started the tests to support the United States Department of Transportation and the APTA (American Public Transportation Association).
Though most of the tests are parallel to ASE school bus and medium-heavy truck tests, each test is made to test the knowledge on systems in transit buses specifically. The certification program covers:
H1: Compresses Natural Gas Engines
H2: Diesel Engines
H3: Drive Train
H5: Suspension and steering
H6: Electrical or Electronic Systems
H7: Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
H8: Preventive Maintenance and Inspection
You become a Master Transit Bust Technician after getting ASE certification of H2 or H1 plus H3 to H8. You should go for recertification after every 5 years to retain this ASE certification. The course is offered in various schools in the US. Look for ‘mechanic classes near me to get an institution offering the course in your area.
7. Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification
This certification is known as the L1 series. It is suitable for specialist technicians in emissions-related and sophisticated driveability problems on light-duty trucks, SUVs, and automobiles. For you to be eligible for the regular L1 certification test, one is required to have passed the Automobile Engine Performance Test.
The L1 tests have 50 scored questions. The questions focus on the diagnosis of the computerized power train controls, general power trains, fuel, and air induction systems, ignition systems, I/M test failures, and emission control systems. These tests are quite complex, and you are advised not to register for any other examinations during this time.
Technicians are supposed to take a retest after 5 years for recertification. The length of time taken to do the recertification test is the same as that of the regular test. For you to be allowed to register for recertification, you must have done and passed the regular Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification Test.
8. Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification
Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification is an ASE certification known as the L2 series. It is ideal for technicians working on diagnosing the performance of sophisticated engines in heavy and medium-duty trucks. To get this ASE certification, you have to pass the L2 tests.
The prerequisite of registering for this certification program, you must have done and passed one of the Diesel engine ASE tests and one of the Electrical or Electronic Systems ASE tests. Recertification is done after every five years, and it takes the same length as the initial test.
Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification tests have 75 questions that are focused on the diagnosis of:
Diesel Fuel Systems
Electronic Diesel Engine Controls
General Diesel Engines
Hydraulic Electronic Unit Injector systems
Electric Unit Injector
High-Pressure Common Rail
This certification program is also very complex, and you should not register for other tests when taking the session. For you to do a recertification test, you must have passed the regular test.
9. Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist Certification
This certification program is also called the L3 series. This certification is given to experts in the repair and diagnosis of electric or hybrid vehicles. The program covers the diagnosis of power electronics, drive systems, internal combustion engines, battery systems, and hybrid supporting systems.
To get the certification, you need to take a test to test your knowledge in the skills. To take the test, you need to have passes the Engine Performance (A8) and Automobile Electrical and Electronic Systems (A6) tests.
10. Parts Specialist Certification
P series is a certification program for technicians specializing in the spare parts of various vehicle parts. To get the certification, you need to pass the Parts Specialist Certification test. The program has three tests which include:
P1: Medium-Heavy Truck Parts Specialist
P2- Automobile Parts Specialist
P4: General Motors Parts Consultant
To become ASE certified, you require passing at least one of the P-series tests and having two years of experience for a job related to parts counter work. After 5 years, you are supposed to take a retest for recertification. The recertification tests take half the time taken by initial tests.
11. Shool Bus Certification
The S-series certification program is meant for mechanics that repair, service and diagnose various subsystems of type D, C, B, and A school buses. The National Association of Pupil Transportation requested ASE to begin this course. The certification program covers:
S1: Body Systems and Special Equipment
S2: Diesel Engines
S3: Drive Train
S5: Suspension and Steering
S6: Electrical or Electronic Systems
S7: Air Conditioning Systems and Control
You are recognized as a Master School Bus Technician with an ASE certification if certified in S1 to S6 tests. S7 is not compulsory for certification. Technicians need to retest after every five years to get recertification.
12. Medium-Heavy Truck Certification
Medium-Heavy Truck Certification is also known as the T series. This certification program is meant for auto mechanics that repair, service, and diagnoses various systems of class 4 to class 8 tractors and trucks. The program covers a variety of fields, including:
T1: Gasoline Engines
T2: Diesel Engines
T3: Drive Train
T5: Suspension and Steering
T6: Electrical or Electronic Systems
T7: Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
T8: Preventive Maintenance Inspection
One becomes a Master Medium-Heavy Truck Technician after getting T2 to T8 ASE certifications. Technicians should take another test after 5 years for recertification. These tests take half the time taken by the initial tests.
13. Undercar Specialist Exhaust Systems
The Undercar Specialist Exhaust Systems certification is known as the X1 series. This series of auto mechanic training is designed for mechanics that work on automobile steering, suspension, brakes, and exhaust system. To get the certification, you are required to take a test with 40 scored questions.
The content covered in the tests includes emissions systems diagnosis and repair, installation, fabrication, exhaust system inspection and repair, and exhaust system repair regulations. To enroll in the ASE certification program, you need to have certifications in Automobile Brakes (A5) and Automobile Suspension and Steering (A4).
Apart from the A4 and A5 certifications, you also need to have a 2-year hands-on work experience. After five years, technicians are supposed to retake the tests for them to retain this ASE certification. The recertification tests only take half the time taken by the initial tests.
14. ASE Military Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Certification
This certification program is known as the MIL series. Its objective is to recognize and identify technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose, service, and repair various military wheeled vehicle systems. To get this certification, you must take various tests that include:
MIL2: Diesel Engines
MIL3: Drive Train
MIL5: Suspension Steering and Hydraulics
MIL6: Electrical or Electronic Systems
MIL7: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
MIL8: Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services
To get a Master Military Technician certification, you need to get all ASE certifications from MIL2 to MIL8. You can also be a certified technician in this field if you pass at least one test and have two or more years of experience as a truck or auto technician. You need to do recertification after 5 years to retain your ASE certificate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What Certifications Do I Require To Be a Mechanic?
The certification you need to become a mechanic will depend on the field you are working in and your country. There most recognized certification in the USA is the ASE certification.
Technicians with this certification are known to be highly knowledgeable and skilled in their specific fields. ASE offers different certifications for different types of auto mechanics. Therefore, you need to check the specific certification you should get for your field.
Q. How Do I Become a Qualified Auto Mechanic?
To become a qualified mechanic, you need to go through different steps. First, you need to complete your high school diploma or GED. You can then apply for an auto mechanic course in a higher learning institution in your area or on auto mechanic schools online.
After graduating, look for places where you can work to enhance your skills and gain experience. After attaining 2 years of experience, apply for an ASE certification in your area of work. Mechanics with ASE certification are known to be highly qualified.
Q. What is a Certified Mechanic Called?
ASE certified mechanic is known as Master Technicians. For you to become a master technician, you need to have done and passed the required tests. One is also required to have at least 2 years of experience. However, Students from Universal Technical Institute can get the certification with 1-year experience.
Q. Can I Get a Mechanic Degree Online?
It is possible to have a mechanic degree online. Several auto mechanic universities online offer online programs for people who want to start a career in automotive mechanics. One of the best online institutions offering online auto mechanic programs is Ferris State University.
Q. Is It Hard to Become a Mechanic?
An auto mechanic is a demanding career, but with dedication, you will be successful. The secrets to doing an auto mechanic course are dedication and hard work. You also need to attend a school with highly skilled instructors and well-equipped facilities.
This will make the journey of learning simpler and easier. Though being a mechanic is a little tough, it is also very rewarding. This is especially now when people don’t want to work in blue-collar jobs making the demand for mechanics increase.
Q. What Is a Level 1 Mechanic?
A Level 1 mechanic is a semiskilled sub-journey in the Automotive Mechanic Series. The incumbents perform routine repairs on power transmissions, engine accessories, and engines under close supervision. They can work on trucks, automobiles, and construction equipment to learn to skillfully deal with more complex repair, diagnostic, and testing work. The level 1 mechanics can be given more skilled tasks under close supervision for purposes of training.
Q. Can You Be a Mechanic Without Qualifications?
You can become a mechanic without qualification by going through some structured training. With this training, you will learn the skills of a mechanic, but you cannot become an expert mechanic. With this knowledge, you can work on the basics of a vehicle but not complex tasks.
Most employers, however, will want to employ a qualified mechanic. With qualifications, clients will have more confidence in you, and you will also handle more complex tasks. Qualified mechanics are also paid much better compared to mechanics without qualifications.
Q. How Much Does ASE Certification Cost?
Are you wondering about the auto mechanic school cost? The cost of ASE certification will depend on the type of test you are taking. ASE certification tests cost around $47 per test, and a single registration fee of $34 is paid with every order. L1, L2, and L3 tests cost approximately $90.
Q. How Long Does It Take to Be ASE Certified?
It is not as easy to get an ASE certification as many people think. To get an ASE certification, you are required to have a 2-year work experience in your respective field. The time you take for the test will depend with fast you apply for the tests.
Q. Can I Take ASE Classes Online?
ASE has more than 450 centers in the country. You can register for the ASE mechanic certification online exams, but you cannot take the exams through the internet. One has to avail themselves physically at the test center to do the ASE exams. After 5 years, you are required to apply for a recertification.
Certifications are important for any mechanic who wants to prosper in their career. There are various certifications for mechanics that include student certification, manufacturer certifications, and ASE certifications. Each of these certifications has its advantages.
ASE certifications are the standard certifications recognized in the whole country. The certification shows competency and good prospects of career development. ASE offers different certifications, and thus you need to look for mechanic certification programs that match your area.
After passing the ASE tests, you need to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the industry. The certificates boost your confidence in your area of specialization and help to strengthen your weak areas. Technicians with ASE certification should sit for a retest after five years for recertification.