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ASE As A Job Requirement?


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I just recertified last week for my A4, A5, C1, & P2 exams and it was my first time doing it at a prometrics test center on a computer. I have to say I was impressed and got my results immediately. :D

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I've tried to implement this practice, but find a lot of "techs" don't have ASE. The sad thing is, a LOT of people that turn their apps in are older 30-50 and have a ton of experience, just never bothered to take the test or thing it's too hard. I personally don't get it, I started getting ASE as fast/soon as I could because at my first real mechanic job, the boss did the same thing as Joe. $1/hr raise for every cert and pay for the test. I've tried offering it to my lube techs, but they don't have the drive for it.

 

I think it should be a requirement to hire, because I am seeing way to many kids coming from the trade schools with no common knowledge and weak diagnostic skills. Then again, if ASE was easy, everyone would have them.

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What suggestions does anyone have regarding techs that have a tough time passing the tests. To sum it up I have a tech that will take ASE tests when I ask him to but tells me that I'm wasting my money because he won't pass. He takes tests and just barely fails. I have offered everything I can think of to get him past that hump. He is very smart and knows his way around vehicles and diagnosing them, and I dont see replacement as a proper solution because I have seen many techs that are laughable compared to this guy over the years. I think he just freezes during the testing or just gets overwhelmed. I have not put pressure on him to do them, only that I pay for the tests and that when he passes we give him a raise for each test past. Any thoughts or things that have worked for other shop owners out there?

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If you want to make that a requirement, do it for going forward hires to help weed out the ones you don't want. Not everyone will be able to pass them. You know the tech and his ability and I think you already answered that question for yourself.

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Joe, so you know I value your opinions and advise, this just goes to show why I'm on this forum and continue to read, post, and learn from it. I'm going to keep working with my tech but the last few sentences about the nay sayers is halarious because that is the exact argument I get from him about it.

 

CARMandP,

 

I agree going forward I will be making this a requirement.

 

I have come across the same issue. The way I look at it is this. If I went to the doctor for a pain in my knee and he wants to do surgery, how would I feel if that doctor never past a test on knee surgery? Oh, I know he knows his stuff, but he can't pass a test?

 

If this tech is very smart and works on cars every day, why can't he pass an ASE Test? Those tests are not designed to trick you, they are designed to qualify you that you are certified to work in your field.

 

Part of reason we lack the respect and image we deserve is that we don't hold all the people in our industry to the standards we have.

 

If a tech is a good tech, get him or her the help, the training to pass the ASE tests. For me it's that's simple. I know the naysayers will say that a test does not prove a tech can do the job and that some that pass the test are just good test takers. My answer to that is the next time you need a doctor, just go to someone who is good in medicine, but one that never passed a test in medicine.

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I'm in the process of opening a shop up right now. In preparing for opening, I decided that I had better get ASE certified myself if I am going to require techs to be certified. So, I went out and took all 8 ASE tests at a Prometric Center and passed all but the 2 transmission tests.

 

Through this, I came to understand what ASE tests entail. They are a mixture of "book knowledge" and "troubleshooting / practical knowledge." If a tech cannot pass one of the tests, he will typically blame it on the fact that he doesn't have all this "book knowledge." Fair enough. None of us can memorize it all, especially now that AllData and Identifix have it readily available. However, in the ASE tests that I took, only 5-10% of the questions relied on memorized information, so not a very valid excuse with the 70% to pass criteria.

 

The other 90-95% of the questions involved "troubleshooting / practical knowledge." This is where I have a difficult time sympathizing with any tech not able or willing to pass an ASE test. Techs deal with troubleshooting situations ALL DAY LONG. These ASE questions are nothing but the paper version of their daily job. Additionally, the questions are simplified, idealized, and put in the most basic format possible. A tech could only DREAM of getting a vehicle in their bay with such a straight-forward issue.

 

A final excuse would be the cost of the study materials and the tests. Study materials ran me around $100 for all 8. The tests ran another $300 for all 8 (I may be a bit off on this). In total, that's $400 to become a "Certified Master Technician." $400. Let's put that cost in perspective. In any other industry, certification is going to costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to complete. Our industry? On the job training and a few hundred bucks to take the tests. I'm not saying don't reimburse techs for this cost. I will certainly be doing that. However, just put it in perspective.

 

In short, I'm going to agree on this one. Techs should come in the door with ASE or be moving toward it.

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A true professional passes his ASE tests even if they don't feel like it. Listen to your staffs words. If you hear

"I don't care,I don't know, Questions that could have been answered with 2 minutes research on the databases you pay for,Talk about after hours drug/achohol abuse, womanizer talk ,cursing that should give you a clue. It all starts with the heart and soul. B)

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  • 5 months later...

What suggestions does anyone have regarding techs that have a tough time passing the tests. To sum it up I have a tech that will take ASE tests when I ask him to but tells me that I'm wasting my money because he won't pass. He takes tests and just barely fails. I have offered everything I can think of to get him past that hump. He is very smart and knows his way around vehicles and diagnosing them, and I dont see replacement as a proper solution because I have seen many techs that are laughable compared to this guy over the years. I think he just freezes during the testing or just gets overwhelmed. I have not put pressure on him to do them, only that I pay for the tests and that when he passes we give him a raise for each test past. Any thoughts or things that have worked for other shop owners out there?

There plenty of places that help techs just like the one in question here, to pass the test.

http://www.tests.com/ASE-A1-Engine-Repair-Practice-Test

Just have another tech smack him upside the head (you as a boss are not allowed unfortunately :wub: ) to get the fear out of his thinking. If he takes the mock tests enough times and feels how easy they are, he will pass on the first try. I think that time constrain causes some people (ahem yours trully) to freeze, again practicing the test helps with that as well - tremendously.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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