What It Takes to Get an ASE Student Certification

If you work in a service position within the automotive industry or as a technician, you need to consider obtaining an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. If you want to pursue a career in the automotive industry, you can enroll in ASE programs where you will earn the ASE student certification. Students from the ASE programs can take the ASE student certification examination without prior experience in the job market. However, it is mandatory to have work experience, which means that even after taking the exam, you won't earn it until you meet work experience requirements.

Automotive technicians should know what the ASE certification exam is all about before signing up and taking it. They should be adequately prepared to pass the examination. Students apply to pass the ASE student certification test, but should also obtain the necessary experience based on the ASE certification they focus to obtain. This article highlights what the ASE student certification is all about, the requirements and types of certifications, and vital tips for you to get started.

What Is an ASE Student Certification?

The certification provides evidence that automotive students have completed their Automobile Services studies. Each credential of the certification shows specific mastery in important areas of the automobile service and repair specializations. It is associated with several careers, including first-line supervisors, compliance officers, repairers, and installers within the automotive industry. 

In addition, other experts, including technicians, specialists, and certain mechanics in the automotive industry--like those dealing with buses, trucks, and diesel engines--are required to have ASE certification.

Starting from ASE student certification, which is valid for two years, those who graduate with an automotive career and technical education will go to potential employers with a basic set of credentials that show the knowledge they have acquired in the automotive training programs. From there, the graduates engage with a continuous process from the auto maintenance and light repair (G1), which requires one year of work experience and a familiarity with Journeyman-level regular ASE certification, which needs two years of working experience.

Diesel engine, gasoline engine, and light hybrid-electric vehicle repair are the top ASE categories. They all take three years of work experience for you to qualify and earn. This career track allows automotive professionals to show their growing skills and knowledge as they advance their career in the automotive industry.

This means that the ASE student certification is the basic certification for all automotive technicians and service professionals. It is designed to evaluate and certify students approaching the culmination of the automotive training in specific areas like automobiles, refinishing, trucks, as well as repairing collisions. ASE came up with the ASE student certification exams in partnership with several organizations – SkillsUSA, NATEF, and AYES.

The testing program's independent assessment provides learners, instructors, as well as administrators with a nationally portable and stackable credential that effectively measures outcomes and accountability. For you to build an automotive career, for example becoming a service professional, ASE student certification is where you should begin.


There are three test categories: automobiles, repairs & refinishing, and truck services and repairs.


  • Automobile services and the accompanying technologies - AS
  • Repairing engines – ER
  • Automating the transmission or transaxle - AT
  • Suspension systems and steering – SS
  • Manual driving steering and axles – MD
  • Braking systems – BR
  • Maintenance of various automobiles along with light repairs – MR
  • HVAC systems, including heating and air conditioning – AC
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems of automobiles – EE
  • Ensuring that the automobile engine is optimally performing – EP 

Repairs and Refinishing:

  • Checking, detecting, and repairing issues with the mechanical and electrical systems – ME
  • Analyzing the vehicle structures and repairing any damages – SR
  • Painting the vehicles and completing the refinishing – PR
  • Analysis of the vehicles and repairing any general damages – NS


  • Checking and repairing the braking systems – TB
  • Checking, analyzing, establishing, and repairing any damages with the electrical and electronic vehicle systems – TE
  • Working with diesel engines   DE
  • Optimizing the performance of suspension and steering systems – TS

Requirements & Types of Certification

Getting the ASE student certification means that technicians should pass the ASE student certification exam and the applicable automobile experience. The work experience, however, differs from one certification to another, and so candidates should check with the organization to accurately delineate what experience is needed. However, the main experience areas include:


mechanic tools

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Technicians who primarily deal with repairs are typically needed to have an experience of between one and three years contingent on the examination. For the G1 examination, you only need a year of working experience. For a candidate to get certification for vehicle Parts Specialist, you need two years of hands-on experience as parts counterman, which is a managerial role and requires 2 years of experience along with passing the P1, P2, and P4 examinations.

Collision Damage

two cars collided each other

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Professionals who estimate collision damages take examinations for certification but should have at least two years of work experience working as service consultants or service managers along with passing the C1 examination. Note that ASE verifies whether you have amassed the required work experience. You need to provide accurate details since when they find that you lied, the body can decide not to certify you or even strip you of the previous certifications.

Tips for Getting Started

Getting Experience

mechanic workers with a helmet

Image by : ​MarkoLovric​​​

You should first secure a position as a service employee or technician in the automotive industry. This is because you need at least a 2-year experience working in the industry. However, the two-year experience requirement can be waived once you have completed a 2-year co-op program or 3-4 years of an apprenticeship program.

You should prove this experience by providing the automotive school sign off form. There are also ASE programs in which you will need to pass tests as you take them in school and get an ASE student certification. Once you finish schooling or the two-year experience requirements, ASE awards you with the full ASE certification.

You also need to specialize by taking responding tests for the specialty area. Therefore, you should decide what you like working on or what you are best at. The 2-year experience will help you in deciding which specialty area is most convenient for you. You should then select a specific certification in the Automobile, Collision Repair and Refinish, and M/H Truck categories.

Getting Certified

You need to choose a certification test from the available examinations. There are over 40 tests and you should select a test based on your area of interest or specialization. Employers require you to have the respective specialty certificate before you are hired. For example, if you want the Automotive and Light Truck certification, you will need to take and pass the A-Series tests, which include nine tests on subjects like suspension and steering, and breaks.

Once you pass all the tests in a given series, you are awarded a master certification. To register, visit the ASE website. You login into your account and submit the registration materials and provide experience documentation signed off by your employer. Browse the certifications available, the tests involved, and timeframes for the tests. Finally, find a test center close to you and request study materials from the ASE website.

You need the study materials to be acquainted with the test. Study hard to pass the exam. You can also request sample tests from ASE that cost about $15 for you to adequately prepare. Find a test center near your locality and then schedule an appointment to come and take the exam whenever you are ready. The tests are done on a computer.

Once you take the test, you will wait for about 4 weeks before getting the test results by mail. If you have not passed, keep studying and retake the test. However, with the new computer tests, you can obtain your results in as little as 10 days. You will be mailed the certification if you have passed.

How to Use Your Certification

  • Display the ASE logo at your garage and on your website
  • Use it to obtain the Master Technician status
  • Keep your certification up to date by taking a recertification exam every 5 years


Certification in the automobile industry is vital for you to advance in this career. ASE student certification evaluates students as they complete their Automobile Services studies. Each credential of the certification shows specific mastery in important areas of the automobile service and repair. Starting from ASE student certification, which is valid for two years, those who graduate with automotive technical education will go to potential employers with a basic set of credentials that show the knowledge acquired in the training programs.

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