ASE Certification Training Headquarters

Online ASE Certification Training and Career Center

Welcome to ASE Certification Training Headquarters! We have everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as an Automotive Service Excellence Certified Master Mechanic. State specific training requirements, a step-by-step hiring process, potential employers, and interviews to help you get hired are just some of the helpful things you'll find here.

How to get ASE Certified: The Ultimate Guide (2021)

Ready to take your career as an automotive technician to the next level with ASE certification, but not quite sure how?  You’re in the right place!  There are over 315,000 ASE certified professionals in the USA, including many technicians and specialists with certifications in multiple areas.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average ASE certified technician earns an average income of $50,518, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $68,880. 

Becoming ASE certified may feel like a daunting task.  But if you follow our step-by-step guide to ASE certification, you’ll be on your way to career growth in no time!

Step 1.  Gain Work Experience in the Field

As every mechanic knows, no amount of book knowledge can ever replace hands-on experience in the field, which is why ASE requires hands-on work experience in addition to passing tests.  The amount and type of work experience needed varies between different tests and certifications.  Use the table to determine which of the various automotive service industry work experience is required for your certification:

Certification TestMinimum amount of experienceCategory and Type of Experience Needed
Repair Technician:
G1
1 yearHands-on experience maintaining, servicing, and/or repairing light-duty or heavy-duty motor vehicles.
Repair Technician:
A1-A9, B2-B5, E1-E3, F1, H1-H8, S1-S7, T1-T8, and X1
2 yearsHands-on experience maintaining, servicing, and/or repairing light-duty or heavy-duty motor vehicles.
Repair Technician:
L1, L2, and L3
3 yearsHands-on experience maintaining, servicing, and/or repairing light-duty or heavy-duty motor vehicles.
Service Consultant:
C1
2 yearsHands-on experience as an automotive service writer/consultant or service manager.
Parts Specialist:
P1, P2, and P4
2 yearsHands-on experience as a parts counterperson or managing a wholesale or retail parts store or in-house parts department.
Collision Damage Estimator:
B6
2 yearsHands-on experience as an automotive collision damage estimator/adjuster.

You will need to submit an ASE Work Experience Form to document your work experience.  For example, if you are trying to become certified as a Repair Technician, you can get experience in a repair shop or dealership service center.  If you would like to get Collision Damage Estimator certification, you can get relevant experience in a body shop or repair shop.

The one exception to the work experience requirements in the table above is that Formal Education may be substituted for part of a Repair Technician work experience requirement per the table below. Formal Education includes high school, trade school, or community college education.

Education / TrainingCredit toward 1-year Repair Technician requirementCredit toward 2-year Repair Technician requirementCredit toward 3-year Repair Technician requirement
1) Complete any ASE-Accredited Program – Auto, M/H Truck or Collision-Refinish, including MLR, AST, MAST and all other current or grandfathered ASE standards6 months1 year1 year
-or- 2) Complete an ASE-Accredited OEM-Sponsored Co-op Program1 year2 years2 years
-or- 3) Pass 3 or more different ASE Entry-Level Certification Program Tests6 months1 year1 year
-or- 4) All other training: 2 months of full-time training (or 200 program hours) equals 1 month creditUp to 6 monthsUp to 1 yearUp to 1 year

A few more notes about work experience (does not apply to most people):

  • The two-year work experience requirement can be waived if you complete a 3 to 4 year apprenticeship program or a two year co-op program
  • The ASE also offers a student ASE program.  Through this program, you can take ASE tests and pass them while still in school and receive an student ASE certification.  Once you finish the school program or gain the two year experience requirement, you will be given the full ASE certification at that time.

Lastly, if you do not have the required work experience, you may still register for and take tests.  If you choose this route, you will receive a final test score, but you will not earn certification or receive certificates until you complete the experience requirement.

Step 2:  Study for the ASE Tests

Now that you’ve chosen which certification to apply for and completed your required work experience, the next step is to hit the books!  The good news is that we have completely FREE ASE practice tests that you can take to practice for the exam.  After submitting your answer, you will immediately see whether you were correct and also an explanation for the correct answer.  You can repeat the tests as many times as you would like until you are ready to pass!

Here is an example of a quiz question from our ASE practice tests:

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Was this quiz question helpful?  If so, browse our entire library of FREE ASE practice tests here.

Another extremely helpful tool to help you ace the exam are to purchase or borrow study guides.  They will help to cover all of the possible subjects that will be covered in each exam as well as give you tips on how the questions will be worded.  Many technicians always say that they find study guides to be the most valuable tool available.

Click here to read reviews of our most recommended study guides to help you ace the exams.

Another option for preparing to take the tests is to enroll in a local trade school or community college course to help brush up on your knowledge.  Many students find these courses to be a very helpful supplement to their on-the-job experience.  Just make sure that the school or course you enroll in is geared towards the ASE certification test and is at the appropriate level of difficulty for your experience and background.

Step 3:  Take the ASE Exams

Register for your ASE Tests

After all of that experience and studying, it’s time to show off your knowledge by taking the official ASE Exams.  The first step is to register for your Tests Series that you are applying for.  You can register on the official ASE site

Below are all of the Tests Series offered by the ASE:

  • Automobile & Light Truck Certification Tests (A Series)
  • Collision Repair & Refinish Certification Tests (B Series)
  • Damage Analysis & Estimating Certification Test (B6)
  • Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1)
  • Truck Equipment Certification Tests (E Series)
  • Alternate Fuels Certification Test (F1)
  • Auto Maintenance and Light Repair Certification Test (G1)
  • Transit Bus Certification Tests (H Series)
  • Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Certification Test (L1)
  • Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Certification Test (L2)
  • Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist Test (L3)
  • Engine Machinist Certification Tests (M Series)
  • Parts Specialist Certification Tests (P Series)
  • School Bus Certification Tests (S Series)
  • Medium-Heavy Truck Certification Tests (T Series)
  • Undercar Specialist Exhaust Systems Test (X1)
  • ASE Military Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Certification Tests (MIL Series)

There are 17 different Tests Series you can take, and many Tests Series have multiple exams within – in total there are 50 different ASE Certification tests, covering almost every conceivable aspect of the automotive service and repair industry. 

For example, the A-Series, Automobile & Light Truck Certification Tests, is the most common Certification Tests Series, and it contains 8 tests – A1-A9 that cover the following 8 subject areas:

TestASE Series TopicNumber of Questions
A1Engine Repair 50 Questions
A2Transmission & Transaxle50 Questions
A3Drivetrain & Axles 40 Questions
A4Steering & Suspension40 Questions
A5Braking Systems45 Questions
A6Electronic & Electrical50 Questions
A7AC & Heating 50 Questions
A8Engine Performance 50 Questions

Registration Windows

Once you’ve chosen which exams to register for, you should think about the time frame to take the exam.  You may take the test any time of the year, but there are specific registration windows throughout the year to register for the exam.  Once registered, you will have 90 days to take the exam.  The registration windows follow the seasons:

Registration WindowDates
WinterJanuary 10 – March 31
SpringApril 10 – June 30
SummerJuly 10 – September 30
FallOctober 10 – December 31

Cost to register for ASE Exams

As part of registering for the exams, you will pay based on the number of exams you are registering for.  I’ve broken down the entire cost for ASE certification in this article.  

However, the quick summary is the cost of the ASE certification tests is $47 per test plus a single $34 registration fee paid with each order.  For example, taking the A1 and A2 exams would cost 2 x $47 + $34 = $128.  Although the cost seem pricey, it can more than make up in career growth and additional pay.  Some employers even pay for ASE test fees as an added benefit!

We’ve created a handy table below to quickly calculate how much it will cost to register based on the number of tests:

TestNameNumber of questions*Testing timeCost 
A1Engine Repair601¼ hours$47
A2Automatic Transmission / Transaxle601¼ hours$47
A3Manual Drive Train and Axles501 hour$47
A4Suspension and Steering501 hour$47
A5Brakes551¼ hours$47
A6Electrical / Electronic Systems601½ hours$47
A7Heating and Air Conditioning601¼ hours$47
A8Engine Performance601¼ hours$47
A9Light Vehicle Diesel Engines601¼ hours$47

Taking the Exam

The day has arrived to take the exam… Step 1: Take a deep breath – you can do this!

Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before the exam.  Everyone prepares for taking tests in their own way, whether it’s relaxing reading the newspaper, last minute cramming of practice test questions, or exercising.  Also, Be sure to read our guide to Test Taking Tips as well because every advantage helps.

Make sure you arrive at the test center on time and make sure you bring a valid Government-issued Identification. The good news is that you won’t have to wait long for your results.  The results will be emailed to you shortly after the test has been completed. 

What percentage is needed to pass the ASE Tests?

In order to pass an ASE exam, you need to score at least a 70% or better.  For example, if you are taking the A1 Engine Repair exam with 50 questions, you need to get 35 questions correct or more to pass.  This means you can only miss 15 questions or less on the exam. 

For an exam with 40 questions (such as A3 – Drivetrain & Axles), you must get 28 questions or more correct.  Put another way, you can miss up to 12 questions and still pass the exam.

What if I fail the ASE Test?

Hopefully you will have passed the ASE exam with flying colors the first time.  However, if not there is no need to worry!  The only requirement is to wait 30 days after the prior attempt to register again and re-take the exam. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself! – even the best technicians in their field can have an off day or get unlucky with the question selection.  The important thing is to keep your eye on the prize of ASE certification and not to give up.  Be sure to utilize our FREE ASE practice tests and look into a recommended study guide, and I have confidence that you’ll be ASE certified in no time!

Congratulations – You’re now ASE Certified!

Now that you’re officially ASE certified, get the most out of your certification by displaying your certificate proudly and ensure your employer and customers are aware of your credentials.  Since there are 50 certifications offered by the ASE, consider tackling another area of expertise within the automotive service industry.

To take your career to the next level, consider additional certifications to achieve ASE Master Technician certification to become part of an elite club.  An ASE Master Technician designation is achieved by successfully certifying on all 8 A-Series, Automobile & Light Truck Certification Tests (A1-A8). 

Those who are able to achieve ASE Master Technician certification will also receive a special ASE Master Technician shoulder insignia patch, wallet I.D. card and a certificate to frame on the wall in your shop.  Master Technicians are considered to be well-rounded experts in automotive repair and service.  Master Technician Certification may be that extra push to land you that promotion, salary bump, or land your next job within the industry.

Hopefully this comprehensive guide has been helpful in providing step-by-step instructions to help you achieve ASE certification.