Car mechanics need your opinion. I finished another round of taking ASE tests. I am currently certified in a grand total of 14 different areas.
I also have 2 more that I let lapse (collision repair and compressed natural gas) because every five years, I have to recertify in each individual area.
It has become a seemingly never-ending circle of recertification and test taking. And this time around, I may not renew all 14. First of all taking the tests costs money.
This last round, taking 4 tests cost me over $100. Recently like many my pay was reduced in order to save jobs. I’m back to making what I did in
1987. The costs of ASE tests remain the same. At my current employer to receive senior technician pay grade, you must have at least six ASE certifications.
The fact that I have gone way past the minimum number causes some friction between me and other technicians that struggle with taking the tests.
I have met many mechanics that were excellent at what they do,
but just didn’t have test taking skills to pass the exams. The technician a, technician b, both or neither format used throughout the tests can be tricky.
In trying to help some fellow technicians pass the exams that refuse to purchase up to date ase study guides, I have found that often, they know the answer to the question! But they spend too much time on each individual question until they talk themselves out of the correct answer.
When I take these tests, I use the stick and move tactic. If I can’t
answer the car question quickly I come back for it after completing that section.
The older I get the harder it is to pass the recertification exams. Automotive technology and the auto repair business are advancing faster than my training sessions.
In fact in the last four years I have been primarily a heavy-duty truck technician. Working on diesel engines and air brakes for long periods of time can make it harder to pass the ASE car certifications for light vehicles.
Why keep taking ASE tests
Now I know you believe that I have the freedom of speech to discuss this topic as I wish, but it’s not true. Expressing my opinion could land me in trouble with the good folks at ASE. Also let me clarify that I have supported ASE and their program for more then 2 decades.
ASE states on their about page that they were originally created in 1972 as a non-profit company. They also state that the company was created so that the automotive consumer would be able to identify qualified mechanics.
This may be a good rule of thumb but as I mentioned above some of the best mechanics I have ever met have trouble taking ASE tests. The auto repair business embraced ASE certifications So that they could hang a sign in their waiting area that would instill a sense of confidence in their customers.
When I took the auto repair tests on November 12, 2009 there was only about 45 mechanics at the test center. There use to be more than 200 mechanics during the spring and fall test sessions.
I don’t know if it’s a sign of the economic times and people don’t have the money to take the tests or if there is something else brewing. Maybe ASE is losing its popularity as people become ad blind to the signs hanging in front of the shops. This is where you come in.
As an automotive technician I would like to know how YOU feel about this subject. If you see a sign that says, we employ ASE certified mechanics are you more likely to trust the auto repair business they work for. Do you even consider the qualifications of the car mechanics that work on your vehicle?
When I ask friends and family this car question their answer is usually, what’s ASE. When I question them further about their experiences with auto repair shops and how they find them, the answers are usually about the same.
If the guy fixes my car good I go back. If he does a bad job or tries to sell me too much I go somewhere else. How do you feel about the subject, should I keep taking ASE tests or just get the minimum to keep my job. Please leave your comments below.