Vehicle owners will always need their vehicles repaired or serviced. Up until the 1970s, many consumers had no way of knowing which technician was qualified to get the job done---enter the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The Definition

ASE was created in 1972 to assist consumers in determining whether a mechanic was competent or not. Through testing and certification, ASE's goal is to improve the services offered by mechanics to consumers. Approximately 400,000 mechanics are ASE certified.

The Process

ASE has more than 40 exams that are offered to prospective candidates. These tests are categorized by automobile, trucks, school bus, engine machinists, parts specialists, alternate fuels technician, collision damage estimators, collision repair and auto service consultants. The candidate must pass at least one test and provide proof of two years of related experience to achieve ASE certification. Upon receiving this certification, the technician is required to retest every five years.


Through the ACT program, ASE candidates are given paper/pencil tests at more than 750 locations around the country. ACT provides testing in math, English, science and reading for college admissions. It includes 215 multiple-choice questions, and the results are accepted by all four-year colleges in America.


Prospective candidates for ASE certification must also undergo computer-based testing. More than 200 locations provide this testing for two five-week periods every year. This test focuses on the candidate's knowledge of job related skills.


ASE certification provides motorists with the benefit of choosing the right professional for the job. Generally, an ASE certified mechanic is skillful in his field, as being ASE certified equips him with the intellectual knowledge he needs to be successful. It's a win-win situation for him and the consumer.


Upon passing all required tests, the mechanic receives her ASE certification and a blue and white badge listing her area of expertise. Employers post the mechanic's credentials in the customer lobby plus a sign displaying ASE certification on the property. ASE's premier Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program is offered to repair and service shops with a high commitment to ASE's mission. This program highlights businesses with a high percentage of ASE-certified technicians. ASE recognizes businesses that are committed to improving their establishment.

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About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.