We love knowing what’s best. We know that the Seattle Seahawks are currently the best football team because they won the Super Bowl. We know that the hotel we’re staying at on vacation is the best because it has a five-star rating. We know which is the best movie that came out this week because it has two thumbs up.
It’s easy for us to recognize the best of the best — the crème de la crème — for plenty of things. As an owner or manager of a quick lube, you can know that you’re hiring the best technicians if they are certified.
There are several organizations, such as the Automotive Oil Change Association, that offer certification programs. One other organization is the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
ASE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals.
Lube shop owners should consider hiring ASE-certified technicians because it lets them know where a technician’s skill set is.
“If a technician is ASE certified, it allows the shop owner to gauge the level of expertise of the technician they have hired or plan on hiring,” said Cindy Schenker, marketing manager for MotoSkill and MotoRev.
Becoming an ASE-certified technician has its perks. You’ll be able to attract the attention of possible employers.
“The biggest benefit of becoming certified is that it makes you more employable,” said Katie McGuire, product manager for Cengage Learning. “Where our nation is right now with job opportunities, having that certification on your résumé really helps bump you to the top of the potential candidate list. It also shows that you have specific qualifications based on industry standards that all the shops and OEs across the country recognize.”
L.J. Houska, vice president and office manager of Houska Automotive in Fort Collins, Colorado, agrees with McGuire.
“It’s an industry standard,” Houska said. “It’s a way for us to boast that our technicians have gone through a certain amount of testing and qualifications. It shows that they constantly want to make sure they know what’s going on with today’s modern vehicles.”
Employees want validation. Investing in them by furthering their education and paying for them to become ASE certified is one way to not only add value to your business, but also prove to your technicians that you want to see them grow in their craft. If employees know you value them and their career goals, you’ll be less likely to have a high employee-turnover rate and your employees will be better equipped to service your customers’ vehicles.
ASE offers an extensive selection of specialties one can become certified in.
“ASE has numerous specialties that they give certification in,” Schenker said. “It goes from automobile, to medium/heavy trucks, to school buses and collision repair, just to name a few.”
Each certification topic has subtopics, giving technicians maximum coverage.
“Each main topic area can range in a number of ways,” McGuire said. “For instance, the automotive section has 13 specific areas that ASE actually tests on. These include brakes, electrical, suspension and steering, engine repair, engine performance, HVAC, exhaust, as well as different transmission and axle types.”