In this episode of WrenchWay Weekly, we look at technician certifications. Watch the full episode, or review the episode highlights below.

The Importance of Technician Certifications

A recent WrenchWay Insiders poll asked, “How important do you think it is for technicians to have certifications?” Let’s review the responses:

  • Extremely important: 62%
  • Somewhat important: 38%
  • Not at all important: 0%

Every respondent agreed that certifications have some level of importance. This reinforces the significance of technician certifications across the entire industry by offering trustworthiness to the consumer, strengthening competency with shop management, and supporting confidence and pride for the individual technician.

One technician remarked, “As a dealer technician, certification is everything. The manufacturer uses your certification level to gauge what types of jobs you’re allowed to perform.”

Certifications as Part of the Career Development Puzzle

Shops that value these third-party validations should formalize the certification process as part of an overall career development plan for technicians.

  • Create a Path: Whether this involves ASE and/or manufacturer certifications, identify the areas that each technician should work on.
  • Develop a Process: If your shop doesn’t already do this, establish a policy to pay for ASE certifications. This approach reflects a growing trend in the industry and removes any disincentives for a technician not to advance his career.
  • Make it Pay: Define the advantage to a technician for achieving a certification or a set number of certifications. This may involve a pay increase or additional benefits.

Of course, not every shop applies the same level of importance to certifications. As one survey respondent noted, “If you’re dedicated to excellence, you’ll want to show the world you put the effort into being the best. On that note, though, ASE tests are way too expensive, and shops should pay for these tests. Thirty-five plus years and not once has passing any test I laid out money for, and studied for, have I received any sort of raise.”

Survey Says…

Let’s review some additional certification questions we surveyed technicians about.

When asked if they have obtained technician certifications and found:

  • 95% said yes
  • 5% said no, but they plan to

We also asked if their shop requires or encourages them to have certifications:

  • 37% said their shop requires certifications
  • 37% said their shop encourages certifications
  • 26% said no

Lastly, we asked if their shop pays for certifications:

  • 76% said yes
  • 24% said no

These answers serve as a reminder of how important certifications are to most shops — making this the ideal time to look at your shop’s involvement with technician certification.