A Q & A With Certified Managers: AEDF’s Certified Manager Program

The AED Foundation’s Certified Manager Program (CMP) is an online certification program designed to prepare technicians and industry professionals for a career in a management position at a dealership. Those who are interested in the program can choose from several department-specific programs, including:  

  • Parts Management  
  • Branch Management  
  • Rental Management  
  • Service Management  
  • Sales Management  

Within each program, there are department-specific courses and general courses taken for all certifications. These general courses focus on topics that all department managers deal with, such as finance, people management and sales.  

Are you wondering if this program could be the next step you should take to level up your career goals? See what others who have completed the program have to say about the CMP! In this blog, we hear from the Director of Parts and Service at Marshall Machinery, Jon Hiller (JH), and Senior Service Advisor of Asphalt Care, Chris Fackler (CF). Check out their responses to common questions below!  


What, if any, background do you have in the heavy equipment industry?  

JH: I am new to the field. I have five years’ experience in Heavy equipment. However, I have 25 years’ experience in the Automotive industry. Twenty of those years in management.  

CF: I have been surrounded by the heavy equipment industry my whole life. My father started this company when he was 18, so I have had the unique experience to watch it grow and learn more about it the older I got. It gave me a great appreciation for the industry and the people involved in it.   


What motivated you to start the Foundation’s Certified Manager Programs (CMP)?  

JH: I was looking to progress my new career in the Heavy equipment business. Already being a service manager, there was an opportunity to become the Parts and Service Director at my current dealership. This training helps me make the goal a reality As that is my new position at the dealership.  

CF: AED has always been a tremendous resource for me in the ways of learning and networking. Once I found out about these courses, it was a no brainer. I was looking to continue my education as I grow into new roles within my Company.   


What was the most enjoyable part of the program for you?  

JH: I believe the ability to work at your own pace made it easy to complete AED’s training. I didn’t feel rushed to get the course done. Also that I could work at them from home. That feature was beneficial since my days are usually very busy at the dealership.    

CF: The most enjoyable part of the program was the direct correlation to an equipment dealership. Every example and video were all directly related to what I was doing daily, where as a college course is more generic. I was able to put what I was learning to use right away.   


How do you think your certification and knowledge gained from the program helps you in your career/ will help you move forward?   

JH: I am living proof. I set a goal to obtain that position and look at me now. Your training helped me understand what I had no experience in, that being the ins and outs of the parts world.  

CF: My certification has already helped me in my career as I have changed roles, and it is continuing to do so. I would have been limited in certain areas of our dealership if not for the knowledge and training these courses provided me. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue taking more of these courses moving forward.  


What advice would you give to someone just starting or thinking about signing up for a CMP?  

JH: My advice to someone would be to embrace the opportunity. You have to want it. If you devote the time to the course and focus on the material, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.    

CF: For those who are just starting CMP – take your time and work at a comfortable pace, don’t rush the process. If you work in a dealership, practice what you learn during and after each course section. This program has opened up doors for me, and I can confidently say it will do the same for others.   


How the Construction Career Aptitude Test Can Benefit High School Instructors

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) Construction Career Aptitude Test is one of the Foundation’s newest students’ resources. This test was designed to help students determine if a career within the equipment industry may be right for them and free to students aged 13-17. With the Construction Career Aptitude Test, junior high and high school students can see how their knowledge compares to other students before committing to a recognized high school program. The Construction Career Aptitude Test determines this by testing students on industry-related topics like general mathematics, basic electrical, measurement, safety and more.  

 It’s no question that AEDF’s aptitude test can be highly beneficial to students planning to enter an industry career, but the test has benefits for instructors as well! Students take the test online through your organization’s login, and results are immediately available. This means that as an instructor, you can analyze student strengths and weaknesses by reviewing their results. The Construction Career Aptitude Test provides instructors with the opportunity to see what general areas their students may be struggling with. Instructors can then utilize this information to make necessary changes to their program.  

Also, instructors can use this test to measure their students’ knowledge on a benchmark. The Construction Career Aptitude Test allows instructors to view a student’s overall results and results by category. Instructors can see how their students’ results compare to the average student taking the test. This offers a tangible way for instructors to understand what topics a student may need to work on for free.  

Students can take the Construction Career Aptitude Test by first creating a free account at aedflearning.org with voucher code 6HN8894P. Then, students can take the free, 50-question test at bit.ly/AEDFAptitude. For additional help creating an account, please view the instructional video 

If you have questions regarding the Construction Career Aptitude Test, please contact the Vice President of Education and Programming, Liz McCabe, at lmccabe@aednet.org.

Get a Productive Start to the New Year with The AED Foundation’s Certified Manager Programs!

For many, the beginning of the year signals a fresh start and a time to set goals for the future. Many people set goals focused on improving their financial situation or growing within their career, which is where The AED Foundation (AEDF) can help industry members. Technicians who aspire to transition into a management role at their dealership can get on the right track with AEDF’s Certified Manager Programs (CMP). 

CMPs are offered by the Foundation virtually, making them a convenient and safe form of online education in today’s world. In addition, Certified Manager Programs do not have strict deadlines to complete the material and allow you to take them at your own pace, making it stress-free to fit them into your busy schedule. Whether you choose to dedicate time to the course on your lunch break or days off, the flexibility of CMPs allows you to complete the work anytime, anywhere.  

AEDF recognizes that each department in a dealership handles different operations. For this reason, the Foundation offers participants to choose from the following five programs, including: 

Earning a certification will help prepare aspiring managers and those new in their position for the next step in their career. These certifications will not only teach valuable management skills, but display your commitment to this new position in the workplace. 

Interested in learning more about Certified Manager Programs? Head to the site page or contact AEDF’s Vice President of Education and Programming Liz McCabe at lmccabe@aednet.org. 

How Can Technical Testing Help Your Dealership to Succeed?

The hiring process can be challenging in any industry. Taking on a new employee often means training, paperwork and a level of risk if the employee doesn’t end up being a good fit. In the equipment industry, it can be difficult to fully understand a technician’s skill level before hiring them onto your team. The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) technical test offers a solution to dealers and other organizations who want to test a candidate’s knowledge before they commit to hiring them on as an employee. 

For $100 ($200 for non-members) your organization can determine if a technician will be the right fit for your business with a technical test. Utilizing this test before hiring on new employees saves businesses lots of time and money in the long run, as they can be sure the candidate is qualified for the position.  

The test consists of 160 questions that are based on the Foundation’s six core competencies. Technical tests are completed online, making them a convenient option that is easily accessible. Not only is the test easy to navigate, but the questions were designed by a reputable task force that included a group of 24 equipment technical experts, with individuals who represent AED dealer members and equipment manufacturers. 

This test isn’t just ideal for technician candidates, it can help your current team grow as well! Providing your technicians with the opportunity to take the test can help you both to develop better insight on their strengths and weaknesses. This information can help you work together towards bettering their skills, which can improve your dealership’s profits in the long run and strengthen the relationship with your employees. 

Find out more about the technical test and how to purchase here. 

Do you have questions on AEDF’s technical testing? Contact Vice President of Education and Programming, Liz McCabe, at lmccabe@aednet.org. 





An Overview of AEDF’s Technical Tests  

 The AED Foundation’s technical test opportunities are ideal for pre-screening technician applicants at your dealership. As an AED member, you can test applicants to measure their proficiency in industry topics for just $100 per test ($200 for non-members). The test includes 160 questions based on the Foundation’s six core competencies, including:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Powertrains
  • Electric/Electronics
  • A/C and Heating
  • Hydraulics/Hydrostatics
  • Safety/Administration

These questions are updated as industry technology improves and is based on AEDF’s National Construction Equipment Technical Standards, currently in its 9th edition. Representatives from dealers, equipment manufacturers and technical colleges have collaborated on task forces to update these “Standards.”  


Test-takers have 120 minutes to complete the test, which can be easily taken online. A proctor is required to be virtually present for the duration of the test, ensuring test integrity. Upon completion, test results and benchmarking data are immediately available to your organization. This information helps dealers to identify an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses in the skills necessary to succeed at their dealership.


By purchasing AEDF’s technical tests for technician applicants, your dealership knows ahead of time whether a candidate is the right fit. AED dealer members have found that this saves both time and money in the long run, as they no longer worry about hiring a candidate that falls short of expectations. These tests can also be used to evaluate current employees to recognize where they may need improvement.  


Is your organization considering purchasing a technical test? Head to aedflearning.org for more information. For technical testing questions, contact us at 630-574-0650 or reach out to the Vice President of Education and Programming , Liz McCabe, at lmccabe@aednet.org


The Annual Campaign: Where do Donations go?

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) Annual Campaign is the primary source of funding for the Foundation. Our donors’ support is essential to keeping the Foundation’s resources available and open to new possibilities. Through the annual campaign, the Foundation’s donations go towards four primary categories, including college accreditation, career promotion, professional education, and research.  

Accreditation plays a crucial role in expanding AEDF’s opportunities across North America. The Foundation’s Vision 2025 goal aims to accredit 100 college programs by 2025. This goal hopes to provide students with quality education and reduce the skills gap. To accredit one college program, it costs roughly $90,000 in expenses, making donations from AED members essential to achieving The AED Foundation’s mission.   

Career promotion involves AEDF’s efforts to spread the word about The Foundation’s resources. The newest method of career promotion, AEDF’s Journey of a Certified AEDF Technician video showcases all of the Foundation’s currently available resources. This year alone, The AED Foundation has released several e-learning opportunities targeted towards high school students that supplement industry education, including the Construction Career Aptitude Test and Stackable Credentials Programs. Career promotion helps to inform AED dealer members, students, schools and parents about the Foundation’s available opportunities to get students on track to enter a rewarding career in the equipment industry.  

The Foundation’s professional education includes the online resources that AEDF offers industry professionals seeking resources to meet their career goals. These involve the Foundation’s Certified Manager Programwebinars and seminars. Vision 2025’s goals surrounding professional education comprise of certifying 500 managers. Contributions to The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign make providing these resources possible and help aspiring industry leaders to move forward.  

In addition to these resources, the Foundation diligently conducts industry research to optimize the benefits it can provide. This research includes the Technician Shortage Research Report, which showcases how the skills gap affects the industry financially.  

The Foundation would like to thank its board members for their support and leadership and all donors who help to make AEDF’s goals possible for the industry. To donate to The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign, visit bit.ly/2020aedfcampaign. For more information about The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign, please contact AEDF’s associate director of development and workforce, Jena Hencin, at jhencin@aednet.org.  

The Steps Your College Can Take to Earn AEDF Accreditation

The AED Foundation (AEDF) is committed to accrediting 100 college programs across North America by 2025. With this goal in mind, the Foundation has been working with schools to become AEDF accredited.  

Accreditation is highly sought after by colleges as it displays their commitment to providing students with an industry-recognized education. Accredited programs are required to be up-to-date with the Foundation’s standards to validate the program’s quality. For this reason, many students have chosen to attend AEDF accredited programs, as accreditation is an indicator of top-tier industry education. By choosing to become accredited, colleges show their concern for holding their programs to a higher standard and attract students looking to fast-track their careers within the industry.  

In addition to the benefits for schools and students, accredited college programs help create a steady pipeline of qualified industry technicians. With the current industry workforce shortage, competent technicians can be hard to come by. Introducing more accredited colleges will produce an increase in AEDF certified technicians, who bring in $250,000 to a dealership each year.  

With all the advantages of being an AEDF accredited college, many schools are interested in becoming accredited but may be wondering about the process. The steps to becoming an accredited college include:  

  • Establish a dealer task force to work with the school. All accredited colleges must work closely with a dealer in the area.  
  • Perform gap analysis and develop an action plan. This includes noting where your program may need to be altered to fit accreditation requirements and develop a solution to modify it accordingly.  
  • Acquire equipment for the program. All AEDF accredited programs must have access to adequate equipment to ensure students can learn effectively.  
  • Develop a curriculum that meets AEDF standards. The AED Foundation holds it’s accredited programs to a high standard to ensure students receive a high-quality education. Programs must meet these standards to become accredited.  
  • Host Evaluation Team Leader (ETL) visit. The Foundation’s ETLs are hardworking volunteers who are experts at reviewing prospective programs to meet AEDF’s standards. This final step in the process confirms that a program is fit for accreditation.  

With the participation of schools and dealers, the Foundation is accrediting college programs as fast as possible. For more information, download The AED Foundation Accreditation Summary or fill out an application 

Introducing The AED Foundation’s Construction Career Aptitude Test

The AED Foundation’s newest resource for students, the Construction Career Aptitude Test, is launching soon! This free test will help 13-17-year-olds interested in the equipment industry to gauge their understanding of industry knowledge before entering a recognized high school program or an accredited college program. With the help of this aptitude test, students and instructors can focus on students’ prior knowledge and examine areas where a student may need extra training.

The test includes 50 questions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Measurement
  • General mathematics
  • Safety
  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Basic electrical
  • Hydraulics
  • Engine systems

The test will be available to students through their organization’s login. Upon completion of the test, the organization will have immediate access to student results. The AED Foundation aims to provide this test to allow students and instructors to evaluate the student’s strengths and weaknesses upon introduction to the equipment industry, including easy analyzation of test results. Students will receive a score in each category of the test, as well as an overall score. This provides instructors with a clear perspective on what to focus on to achieve student success.

Test results will help students individually, but they offer organizations benchmarking data that helps evaluate their test takers. The Foundation is committed to working hard to ensure students can determine key areas that need improvement and prepare for their careers in the industry.

How High Schools Get Engaged and Become Recognized

High school recognition is a sought-after distinction in the industry as it displays school commitment to The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) standards and student education. Many high schools may wonder how they can become recognized by The Foundation, or if there’s anything they can do to speed up the process. In this post, we discuss what high schools can do to work towards becoming recognized.  

The first part of the recognition process starts with the high school. High schools can reach out to an AED accredited college in the area to establish an articulation agreement. Creating an articulation agreement between an accredited college and the prospective recognized high school helps to expedite the process of becoming AEDF recognized. This would ideally include a robust dual credit agreement. The articulation agreement is beneficial to schools as it offers students a smooth transition from a high school program to a college program.  

There are five parts to AEDF’s high school recognition process that are handled on the school’s end, including:  

  1. Have an articulation agreement in place with local AEDF accredited college (dual credits recommended).  
  2. Provide advisory board lists for both the high school and AEDF accredited college.  
  3. Provide the Foundation with 3-5 photos of the high school facility.  
  4. A letter of recommendation from the accredited college is necessary, and a supporting dealer letter is preferred.  
  5. The high school needs to send a 1.5 to 3-page summary of their program.  

Taking a proactive approach and working to get these steps completed can help your school speed up the recognition process. It should be noted that the most important part of becoming recognized is that the high school program must display competency in at least one to two of AEDF’s six technical standards (Electrical/electronics, HVAC, hydrostatics/hydraulics, powertrains, diesel engines, safety/administration). This helps ensure that students are aptly prepared for their careers as technicians in the equipment industry.  

The Foundation highly anticipates recognizing more high school programs in the coming years in contribution to Vision 2025 AEDF’s response to address the workforce shortage. The AED Foundation’s goal is to have 50 recognized high school programs in 2025. The schools’ efforts that work with the Foundation to become recognized have a lasting, positive impact on the future of the industry and the students that graduate from these programs.  

Technical Testing and Certifications as Part of Our Vision 2025 Goal

The AED Foundation (AEDF) strongly believes in continuous learning and education for technicians to help dealers ensure top quality performance and open up new growth opportunities. As part of Vision 2025 ) the Foundation plans to administer 10,000 tests and certify 5,000 technicians. To facilitate this goalAEDF is happy to offer testing and certifications for technicians to demonstrate their abilities. The Foundation’s testing is used to measure a technician’s knowledge before hiring and helps determines the strengths and weaknesses of current technicians employed at your dealership. Offering your technicians, the opportunity to evaluate their skills and gain a certification displays commitment to their growth and career development. 

 Technical testing provides benefits to dealers and technicians interested in furthering their skill set. Dealers can gauge a technician’s knowledge and identify areas of strengths and weaknesses through AEDF’s Technical Test. The results offer a clear depiction of what areas a technician excels and what areas need improving. Dealers save time and money on training by using AEDF’s testing tool pre-hire to determine if an applicant is the right fit for the position, and then training to focus on weaker areas. Technicians can feel confident that they are taking the steps needed to become a well-rounded, knowledgeable employee by identifying the areas they need to improve upon. Testing costs are regularly $100 for members, but The AED Foundation is offering a limited time discount of 25% for dealers now through July 14. 

The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program  ensures that technicians are highly qualified to perform effectively at a dealership. AEDF’s certification shows dealers and customers that a technician meets an industry recognized standard. The AED Foundation is proud to recognize technicians and dealerships whenever a technician completes the program. Certification displays that technicians meet an industry recognized standard. Customers of dealerships with certified technicians can be assured that technicians are the top tier in the entire industry. 

Beginning in August, AEDF will offer its new aptitude test for students age 13-16. The aptitude test has been designed to create a benchmark for both student and dealer awareness.  The test helps gauge students’ knowledge before entering a recognized high school program or accredited college program. With this additional testing, instructors can familiarize themselves with student capabilities before they begin the program and can focus on general weak points to ensure students are up to speed.