Cars are more complicated to fix these days, and consequently auto technician certification tests are harder to pass.

Veteran technicians may find their training and knowledge is outdated, says Jay Safford, a master technician with 25 years experience, who teaches courses in preparation for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams.

“Some technicians find themselves needing additional test preparation and training in order to pass the exams,” Safford says.

He says ASE exams of the past tested the general knowledge level of a technician. That's changed.

“If technicians had more than five years of experience, they would generally pass the exam without a problem,” Safford says. “Today, the ASE exams are much different than years ago. They are more challenging and updated more often, especially with the new computer based versions.”

He says some of his students get additional training to refresh their skills for the exams. Others prefer to study on their own. He recommends Thomson Delmar Learning materials to prepare for certification tests.

As a teacher, he says he finds satisfaction in preparing young people to “work in this fast-moving automotive age. But the auto-technician training can be intimidating,” he says. “Some students are hesitant to pursue the automotive industry due to the challenging nature of the work.”