One of the most frequent questions I encounter from technicians is, Whats in it for me (WIIFM)? Its an honest question and a fair one. Why go to the trouble of taking a test and getting ASE certified if you cant see the value in holding professional credentials in the first place. I could tell you how ASE certification was created to raise the level of professionalism within the automotive industry. Or, I could point out that ASE Certification is recognized as the industry standard by both OEM and aftermarket companies. I could also note that virtually every other profession has some form of knowledge certification attached to it at some point, or go on for pages listing all the other credentials, from college degrees to specialized training, that are universally recognized as a Badge of Honor that separates the best from the rest. But every once in a while I get a letter or an e-mail that says it better than I ever could, and one of these arrived recently. Ive edited it a bit, and kept his name confidential, but would like to share his message with you.
Dear Mr. Molla: I have been working as a technician for six years, and my income has increased an average of 28% each of the past five years. I have no formal education and the only incentive for ASE certifications at my first two jobs was for pay increases. There is no training offered at either of these places, since 90% of the work is scheduled maintenance or parts changing.
Because of my employers basing the pay on certification, I had to force myself to learn what I could through home study. Raises at my current employer are done once a year, around March 1st. Because of the computer-based testing now available, I was able to earn my L1 today, and have recently achieved Master Technician. Thank you for ASE and its help in my learning my trade, and providing for my wife and four young daughters!
Ive never personally met him until his note arrived in my e-mail box, but I believe he represents the future of our industry. His drive and determination to improve his technical skills through ASE certification, even though he had to seek out training on his own time, represents the kind of attitude our industry needs. Its also great that his employers recognized the value of ASE certification enough to provide an incentive in the form of higher earnings, but that 28% increase in earnings most likely came as a direct result of his increased technical knowledge as he prepared to take the ASE tests. Thats the way its supposed to work. You need to keep up with changing technology through training in order to be successful in passing ASE tests every five years, and it pays dividends both personally and professionally. Im also sure that his employers benefited from his increased knowledge as well.
When everyone recognizes the value that professional credentials provide, everybody winsthe certified professional, the businesses that employ them, and the consumers who get the most value for their service dollars.