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Just What Are ASE and I-CAR Certifications?

Many professions, including nursing, hair styling and plumbing, require state licensure before people can practice or go into business. Automotive technicians, however, are not required to have any type of licensure or certification. So how can you tell the difference between a competent and experienced technician and a guy with a wrench who works on cars?

You can look for voluntary industry certifications: ASE and I-CAR.

Certification for Mechanical Automotive Technicians

The Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE, certifies technicians who provide mechanical maintenance and repair services. The Institute was founded in 1972 to provide technicians with a credential that demonstrated their experience and technical knowledge.

In order to become ASE-certified, a technician must:

  • Register and pass one of ASE’s exams
  • Provide proof of a minimum of two years’ relevant work experience

Once a technician has been ASE-certified, they must re-test every five years to maintain their certification. They may also take additional certification exams for higher level credentials.

Certification for Auto Body Technicians

I-CAR stands for Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. It is an international training organization dedicated to improving the efficiency, quality and safety of auto collision repair. I-CAR develops and delivers technical training to professionals in all areas of the collision industry. Completion of training and skills mastery is demonstrated through exams that earn credentials like “Gold Class” (recognition for collision repair businesses) and “Platinum Class” (recognition for individual technicians).

Benefits of Certifications

ASE and I-CAR certifications are much more than paper displays. By standardizing and assessing technical knowledge and skills that qualified mechanical and collision repair technicians should have, they help consumers measure a repair shop’s quality. In other words, when you take your car to a certified shop or a shop with individually certified technicians, like ABC Paint & Body, you can rest assured that your car is in good hands.