Mattinat: Working together to promote the high value of ASE certifications
By Amy Mattinat
Making a career in the automotive industry in not for the faint of heart. It’s a very complicated, challenging and physically demanding career that requires a constant investment in training, tools and equipment.
Running a repair facility is like running a hospital. Auto technicians are the car’s doctor. They test, diagnose and repair hundreds different models that are fully redesigned every four to six years.
While people doctors must go to school and get licensed to practice medicine, Auto technicians do not need a formal education or a license. Anyone can purchase some tools and open an auto repair shop or get a job working on cars.
Since 1972 The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE have tested and certified automotive professionals nationwide. ASE Certifications are basically our licenses. Having certifications does not necessarily make a good technician, but most successful shop owners and auto technicians will agree that the ASE Certification has grown and evolved over the years creating a win/win/win for the Auto Care Industry.
Win No. 1 is for Auto Technicians
Of course, ASE certifications alone can’t guarantee a technician will be successful. The road to success includes work experience, mechanical, electrical and computer diagnostic skills. Along with critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, and a good attitude.
ASE has over 40 different tests and certifications that technicians can use as a career road map to increase their knowledge and skill set. With each new certification, technicians gain professional credentials that help to validate their automotive specialty knowledge and contribute to feelings of personal accomplishment.
Technicians can also use the ASE brand to help find a great place to work. Look for a repair facility that proudly hangs the “We employee ASE Certified Technicians” sign on the outside of the building and has a wall of ASE Certificates proudly hanging in the waiting room for customers to see the achievements of their staff. This is a great indicator of a supportive culture where the staff has a voice in how the shop operates and provides quality technical training. These businesses tend to have a pay scale that increases with certification status and that offers performance compensation.
Win No. 2 is for Repair Facilities
Owner and managers can use ASE Certifications to help them prequalify new hires. Someone who comes in with experience and ASE certifications show that they have taken extra steps in their professional development. If a good candidate comes in with no certifications but a great resume’, offering to pay for training and ASE testing, may be the reason they decide to take the job. This shows your business is serious about helping its employees be successful and fostering a positive workplace culture.
Marketing the ASE brand also helps a business stand out from their competition.
The ASE brand is an excellent way to demonstrate to your customers that you‘re committed to providing the best qualified service and repair in town.
Win No. 3 is for Drivers
Owning a vehicle is expensive and is inconvenient to get serviced and repaired. But most people depend on their car to get to work, school, recreational activities and back home. No wonder people are always on the hunt to find an auto repair facility that is honest, trustworthy and will keep their vehicle safe and reliable.
People tend to put more trust in a certified professional. It is a great benefit for your customers when you can offer them a staff that is ASE Certified in the areas of repair and service that your business offers. You are providing peace-of-mind and a professional image that shows you are serious about the quality of your work.
Working Together To Promote The High Value of ASE Certifications
One of ASE’s goals if for ASE Certifications to become a recognizable brand. To help achieve this goal, ASE has created a website specifically for consumers that explain ‘What Is ASE and Why Should I Care’. It includes information about ASE Certifications, a white board video and a blog that consists of car care tips.
ASE invites you to link to the ASE consumer website and blog posts in your social media. You are also free to copy any of our posts for use in your marketing: http://www.ase.com/DRIVERS/
ASE is also reaching out to industry partners. The goal would be for the whole industry to have ASE displayed in all their marketing. All the actor-technicians would have an ASE patch on their shoulders, and the “We employee ASE Certified Technicians” sign would be displayed in the background.
But truthfully, you are ASE’s best advocates! When you explain your ASE Certifications directly to your customers you are displaying your expertise and showing you truly care about their safety. You are also helping to educate the general public that the days of the ‘grease monkey’ are over, and that auto technicians are highly skilled car doctors and essential to keeping our roads safe to drive on.
When a repair facilities and technician proudly display the ASE sign, their staff’s certificates and ASE patches on their uniform, it indicates a higher level of knowledge, skill, pride and a willingness to continue training. Working together to showcase the high values of ASE Certifications will help to elevate the respect and compensation shop owners and technicians deserve for their dedication and highly skilled craftsmanship.