ASE: The blue seal bargaining chip

Jan. 1, 2020
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal patch is worn with pride by techs and counterpeople throughout the industry. When job-hunting, however, how can techs use ASE certification to their advantage? Can it mean overq
Untitled Document

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal patch is worn with pride by techs and counterpeople throughout the industry. When job-hunting, however, how can techs use ASE certification to their advantage? Can it mean overqualification in some instances?
Not a chance, say those we spoke with.

“I don’t think you can be overcertified in our industry,” says Andy Fiffick, CEO of RadAir Complete Car Care, a Cleveland, Ohio-based repair chain. The more patches earned the better, because in the eyes of many repair shop owners, if other professions mandate certification, why shouldn’t the automotive repair industry?

“Any ASE training is great,” says JJ Morgan, service writer for Piles Chevrolet-Pontiac-Buick’s service department, in Williamstown, Ky. In fact, techs at this shop are required to keep up with ASE certification, as well as ongoing GM certification, Morgan adds. All of the dealership’s parts reps are ASE certified as well, he says.

Technicians can be assured that with the elevated status of ASE certification also comes better pay. And certainly, an ASE-certified tech can use his or her training as a bargaining chip for a better starting salary.

“ASE techs will always be paid a higher rate,” says Mike Bromwell, fixed operations director for Columbia Car Care Center in Columbia, Md.

As much as it enhances a tech’s background, Blue Seal certification may work to a repair shop’s disadvantage when its technicians begin to feel confident enough to go out into the work force and gamble with switching jobs or seeking something with higher pay. There’s a cost to retaining top-notch employees.

Morgan says a well-seasoned tech recently left the fold for Snap-on.
However, RadAir’s situation illustrates the opposite of the employee retention challenge, as many of Fiffick’s employees are known for their lengthy tenures.

ASE certification is an ongoing process, and can improve a potential employee’s value in the eyes of the employer. But some employers look for more than test results when hiring. 

Fiffick admits ASE certification is not a be-all, end-all criterion for hiring, although it does reveal an employee’s pride in his or her job, and that worker’s commitment to bettering their future.

“To me as a business owner, having ASE certification does very little to show me the level of expertise a person has,” Fiffick admits. “What it does show me, however, is that they have the will and the pride to go and do it.”
He notes some techs, certified or not, have a proclivity for fixing cars, book smarts notwithstanding.

“I found that for some of our best technicians, the ability to fix vehicles comes more natural than book smarts, so just having the ability to pass an ASE test doesn’t tell you a lot about your work ethic, your background knowledge or how quickly they can understand a subject, but it shows pride in what they do.”

To find out about self-study guides for ASE certification, visit passthease.com.

Sponsored Recommendations

Best Body Shop and the 360-Degree-Concept

Spanesi ‘360-Degree-Concept’ Enables Kansas Body Shop to Complete High-Quality Repairs

How Fender Bender Operator of the Year, Morrow Collision Center, Achieves Their Spot-On Measurements

Learn how Fender Bender Operator of the Year, Morrison Collision Center, equipped their new collision facility with “sleek and modern” equipment and tools from Spanesi Americas...

ADAS Applications: What They Are & What They Do

Learn how ADAS utilizes sensors such as radar, sonar, lidar and cameras to perceive the world around the vehicle, and either provide critical information to the driver or take...

Banking on Bigger Profits with a Heavy-Duty Truck Paint Booth

The addition of a heavy-duty paint booth for oversized trucks & vehicles can open the door to new or expanded service opportunities.