The Five Ways to Become AEDF Certified

The AED Foundation (AEDF) offers premier educational programs for high school and college students planning to become diesel technicians, but opportunities from AEDF don’t stop there. The Foundation provides aspiring managers with self-study courses to develop their knowledge on specialized topics and course bundles, known as Certified Manager Programs (CMP). These programs differ based on individual career goals at a dealership. Essential courses, including financial management, people management and sales/customer service management, are featured in all CMPs. The remaining courses in each program are focused on the specific needs of the department in the dealership.

The Foundation has broken down the details of each program, including salary averages and course load below:

Parts Manager Certification Program
Participants in the Parts Manager Certification Program will gain general leadership skills, develop planning techniques specific to parts department needs, and learn how to optimize customer benefits and sales.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101,102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Parts Management 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 50K-75K

Service Manager Certification Program
AEDF’s Service Manager Certification Program covers both general leadership courses as well as service management courses. Participants can expect to learn about service operation standards, selling techniques and service management tips.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102,People Management 101, 102 & 103,Sales/Customer Service 101,Service Management 101,Service Management 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 55K-85K

Branch Manager Certification Program
The Foundation’s Branch Manager Certification Program offers the opportunity not only to learn essential leadership skills, but gain background knowledge on parts management, rental management and service management to manage all areas of the branch effectively.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Service Management 101, Rental Management 101, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 75K-145K

Sales Manager Certification Program
The AED Foundation’s Sales Manager Certification Program allows participants to gain leadership skills and refine their sales techniques, with key knowledge on how to retain and motivate your team and forecast sales.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Sales Leadership 101, Sales Leadership 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 80K-160K

Rental Manager Certification Program
AEDF’s Rental Manager Certification Program features courses that help develop professional leadership skills and training on fundamental parts of the position, including rental management, rental sales, and rental operations.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Rental Management 101, Rental Management 201, Rental Management 301, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 50K-85K

With The AED Foundation’s Certified Manager Program, your employees can feel confident in taking on their role in a management position. To learn more about AEDF’s Certified Manager Programs, please contact the Foundation’s Vice President of Education and Programs, Liz McCabe, at lmccabe@aednet.org.

How AEDF Accredited College Programs Can Benefit Your Dealership

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) accreditation program offers students the opportunity to become AEDF Certified Technicians upon graduation, an industry-recognized credential that is just the start of a promising career.

By achieving 100 accredited college programs by 2024, students who pass the certification ultimately benefit AED’s dealer members. Through the Foundation’s efforts to accredit college programs, effectively helping to reduce the workforce shortage, dealers will find that they have more candidates to choose from who have received extensive training. As the Foundation continues to work to broaden its student-reach by additional accredited programs, dealers in North America are met with the opportunity to hire a top-tier applicant to be a part of their organization.

The AEDF certification directly communicates the intensive education and training that the technician has been through to complete their schooling. Accredited programs are required to be re-evaluated every five years to ensure they continue to meet the Foundation’s rigorous standards. Upon completion, certified technicians have the experience and expertise needed to begin their industry careers.

Hiring AEDF Certified Technicians shows your commitment to your customers and the quality of work and effectiveness that your dealership displays. Customers can recognize the technicians’ hard-earned title and feel assured that their equipment is receiving unmatched service quality. One AEDF Certified Technician can bring in $250,000 to the dealership. This produces long-term financial excess for dealers, making certifying a technician a worthy investment to dealers.

Through accredited college programs, The AED Foundation is working to build a brighter future for industry dealers and technicians. Any questions regarding The AED Foundation’s accredited programs can be directed to the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org.

Learn All About AEDF’s Recognized High School Programs in July!

As we move into July, The AED Foundation (AEDF) is switching focus for its brand awareness campaign to a new topic: recognized high school programs! Throughout the month, AEDF will be focusing on the critical role that recognized high schools play in bringing qualified technicians into the industry and addressing the workforce shortage. This relates to the Foundation’s Vision 2024 goal, which includes 50 recognized high school programs. Recognized high schools help students become highly educated as they transfer into an AEDF accredited college program, offering a strong background for them as they become future technicians. Students who graduate from an AEDF recognized high school and college go through a rigorous training process, ensuring that they are a top tier applicant upon graduation. 

The AED Foundation currently has six recognized high school programs, including:

These high schools have made efforts to meet all AEDF’s standards to enable their students to have a bright future as AEDF certified technicians. 

The Foundation’s goal to recognize 50 high school programs by 2024 will offer substantial benefits for students, schools and dealers. Students enrolled at an AEDF recognized high school could attend an accredited college program once they graduate, which is closely partnered with a nearby dealership, facilitating a space for dealers to oversee that the instruction meets their individual needs. In addition, students enrolled in The AED Foundation’s recognized high school programs can apply for a CAT Foundation scholarship for their education at an AEDF accredited college program. 

By recognizing more high school programs, the Foundation is adding more highly skilled technicians to the workforce. AEDF hopes to make these recognized programs widely available to provide more opportunities for young people interested in a rewarding career in the equipment industry. To learn more about the Foundation’s recognized high school programs, view the Vision 2024 Brochure.  

If you have any questions about the high school recognition process, please contact the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org. 

We’ve seen the issues. We’ve heard the Issues. This is our Solution: Vision 2024

Addressing the technician workforce shortage is something that The AED Foundation (AEDF) understands needs to be taken seriously. Vision 2024 is AEDF’s plan of action to fight these issues and establish a brighter future for our industry. With the efforts of students, schools and dealer members, the Foundation can diminish the workforce shortage that the industry is currently experiencing.

Three primary focuses of this plan include students, schools and dealers. Vision 2024 will reach:

  • 100 accredited college programs
  • 50 recognized high school programs
  • 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce
  • 500 Certified Managers
  • 10,000 Tests Administered
  • 5,000 Certified Technicians

Reaching these benchmarks will help to transform the industry by creating a pipeline of skilled technicians that will feed into the workforce.

The AED Foundation plans to double the number of accredited college programs and recognized high school programs.  This will ensure students receive quality education and training that will prepare them for their future. The only accreditation program in the industry, AED Foundation accreditation offers students an esteemed education and ensures dealers that they are hiring qualified employees. With this, Vision 2024 will add more technicians to the applicant pool and ensure that they’re the most qualified in the industry.

In addition to our school programs, Vision 2024 will propel the industry forward with the addition of 500 certified managers to the workforce.  The AED Foundation offers Certified Manager Programs (CMP) online to enhance employee skills in various dealership area. The Foundation provides these programs for those interested in career advancement opportunities, and doing so allows them to get the education and certifications that they desire from the designated program of their choosing.

AEDF is offering dealers and schools to technical testing opportunities for students and employees on their knowledge. Technical testing is also included in the AEDF’s Certified Technician Program and both are essential to our Vision 2024 goal. Testing provides insight to student and employee understanding, while the Certified Technician Program establishes employee excellence and allows dealers as well as technicians to be recognized.

The Foundation is determined to meet our Vision 2024 goals to create opportunities for individuals and dealerships. To learn more information, visit http://aedfoundation.org/vision-2024/

The AED Foundation 2020 Research Report

The Equipment Industry Technician Shortage

The Equipment Industry Technician Shortage: Reassessing Causes, Impacts and Policy Recommendations research report provides an updated look at the impact the skills gap is having on our industry, estimates how many technician positions will need to be filled over the next five years, and provides recommendations for addressing the technician shortage.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The need to fill up to 73,500 heavy equipment technicians over the next five years
  • The equipment industry has a job opening rate three times higher than the national average
  • Almost 90% of AED member dealerships have a job opening rate above the national average
  • Among AED member respondents, 95% agree there is a skills gap in the industry and 89% report a shortage of workers in their company

The AED Foundation, through its Vision 2024 initiative, is creating a steady and robust pipeline of technicians for the future of the equipment distribution industry. By 2024, the Foundation is aiming to reach the following goals; 100 accredited college programs, 50 recognized high school programs, 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce, 500 certified managers, 10,000 tests administered, and 5,000 certified technicians.

Concurrent with the report release, the Caterpillar Foundation announced a $300,000 grant to The AED Foundation to fund scholarships to high schools interested in promoting a curriculum that leads to a career in the heavy equipment industry. To view the full press release, click here.


Research Report Recap Video: