According to Statistica, the auto repair and maintenance industry in the United States increased by around 7.3 percent per year. By 2018, the industry is among the highest contributors to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). It contributed $144.4 billion in one year alone. This high number clearly shows how much the industry has been thriving over the last few years. Thus, it’s also clear why many professionals opt to pursue a career in the auto repair and maintenance industry.
But, like many jobs out there, becoming an expert in auto repair is not an easy path. It, too, has its own set of challenges. The biggest challenge that many auto mechanics face is getting certified. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is responsible for granting ASE Certifications for budding auto mechanics. This is the country’s way of ensuring that all vehicles will be looked after by the most qualified experts only. By doing so, we are ensuring that most, if not all, vehicles on the road are in top shape to avoid any breakdowns and accidents.
If you are among the budding auto mechanics, these are things that you need to know about getting ASE-certified.
Gaining Knowledge and Skills in Auto Repair
Again, much like any job out there, the first step to pursuing a career in auto repair is building our set of knowledge and skills about the work and the industry. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure that. For one, you can consider pursuing formal education for it. Some universities offer bachelor’s degrees specific to auto repair. An example is the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, Ohio. Every year, students of automotive technology supervision graduate from the university with a bachelor of science degree. Apart from that, the university, too, offers associate degrees and diplomas. Plus, these degrees are more niche in auto repair. For instance, you can get an associate of applied science degree for automotive diesel technology. You can also consider getting a diploma in automotive/high-performance technician.
Also read: How to Maintenance for Diesel Engines
If you feel that sitting inside classrooms and getting formal education aren’t the right path for you, it’s alright. You have other options. You can consider becoming a mechanic apprentice instead. This way, you’ll work closely with an experienced auto mechanic. You can shadow them and experience firsthand tasks and projects that auto mechanics pursue.
Accessing Resources for Test Preps
This is the part that, truth be told, irks many budding auto mechanics. Auto repair is a very hands-on field of work. Thus, many would often question why there’s a need for a written test to get certified. Experts in auto repair can argue about this all they want. But, at the end of the day, sitting down for a written exam is part of getting an ASE certification. So, as a budding auto mechanic, the best that you can do for now is to prepare for it. Luckily, there are many resources out there that you can access to help you review.
A great way to prepare is taking practice tests. For instance, you can check out the practice tests offered on Test.com. This website offers a complete test for ASE certification. But you can also try out tests for specific subjects. There are specific tests for engine repair, automatic transmission, and suspension and steering. The National Institute for ASE also offers study guides that you can peruse. Not only does it offer written discussions on the subjects, it, too, offers sample questions that they include in the tests.
Fees and Schedule
Because ASE certification tests are nationally recognized as formal tests, it also comes with certain fees. For those who are taking the test for the first time, such as yourself, you’ll need to shell out $34 for the registration fee. And then, you’ll need to pay a separate fee of $47 per test. But other tests have different prices. For example, the test for Military Tactical Wheeled Vehicles costs $74 each.
The test occurs all year-round. But there are specific dates for registration. Registration cycles occur during the winter, spring, summer, and fall. You can check out the schedule for 2021 on the website of the National Institute for ASE.
Becoming an auto mechanic does require much investment in time, effort, and money. In this way, it’s much like any other job out there. But given how the industry has been doing well in recent years, it’s clear that there really is a bright future in this line of work. Budding auto mechanics such as yourself just need guidance, practice, and investments to get there.