Different levels of ASE Certifications for qualified Technicians
If you see an ASE logo on display at an auto repair shop, you should be aware that not all the mechanics at the shop need to be certified. Unless you ask, you don't know if the mechanic working on your car is certified, or which type of certification he has been issued.
Today's automobiles are so technologically advanced that most Technicians specialize in just a few areas. The more ASE certifications the Technician has, the better his pay and his employment. A Technician that has the experience level on every mechanical and electrical system, and has been certified by ASE in all 8 automotive testing areas (see below), is given the "Masters Certification".
A Master Certification is very difficult to accomplish. Most repair shops do not employ a Master Technicians. If they do, the Master Technician is usually the highest paid Technician and works on the most complicated repairs.
A Master Technician is a person that has obtained the required experience and is currently certified in the 8 automotive testing areas below:
Manual Drive Train and Axles
Suspension and Steering
Heating and Air Conditioning
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that the Technician that will perform a pre-purchase inspection is an ASE Master Technician. Most technicians are ASE Certified. However, they may only be certified in one or two of the 8 general Automotive areas. Only a Master Technician is certified in all 8 of these areas. Since you need all the components and systems inspected and evaluated, you'll need to have a Master Technician inspect the vehicle.
ASE Master Certified Technicians are only certified on mechanical and electrical systems - NOT Frame! There are separate ASE Technicians Certified for Body & Frame (Structural and Non-Structural Analysis). Many of the Body & Frame shops have these qualified Technicians.
A pre-purchase inspection should be performed by a person that is a ASE Master Technician, PLUS ASE Certified in Structural and Non-Structural Analysis.