Q&A With Certified Managers | Find Success With AEDF's Certified Manager Program

Do you have dreams of advancing your career at your dealership? Or maybe you know someone you believe could succeed in a management role or someone who just took on a management position?

Whatever the case, The AED Foundation (AEDF) has tools to help individuals develop the skills needed to become a successful department or branch managers. 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. There are several department-specific programs to choose from: 

- Parts Management 
- Branch Management 
- Rental Management 
- Service Management 
- Sales Management 

Within each program, there are department-specific courses as well as general courses that apply to all certifications. These general courses focus on skills regularly used by all departments, on topics such as finance, people management and sales. Are you wondering if this program could be the next step you should take to move forward with your career goals? See what others who have completed the CMP have to say about it! In this article, we hear from the Director of Parts and Service at Marshall Machinery, Jon Hiller (JH), and the Senior Service Advisor at Asphalt Care, Chris Fackler (CF). Both of these men have successfully completed the Certified Manager Program. 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, 20 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 of watching it grow and learning 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 Program (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 certified manager program helped me make the goal a reality, which is my new position at the dealership. 

CF: AEDF 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 AEDF's training. I didn't feel rushed to get the courses done. Also that I could work on the courses 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 directly related to what I was doing daily, whereas 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 the knowledge gained from the program helps you in your career or will help you move forward?  

JH: I am living proof. I set a goal to obtain that position, and look at me now. AEDF's Certified Manager Program 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 a 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. 

A Look at Your Options…To become a certified manager through The AED Foundation, you must complete a certified manager program and pass the final certification test. What are the options for AEDF's Certified Manager Program? You'll find a description of each program, including course requirements and average salary expectations, below. 


Visit to learn more and purchase a program. 

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 and 102, People Management 101, 102 and 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Parts Management 201, Final Certification Test 

Salary Range: $50,000–$75,000 

Service Manager Certification Program 

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

Courses: Financial Management 101 and 102, People Management 101, 102 and 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Service Management 101, Service Management 201, Final Certification Test 

Salary Range: $55,000–$85,000 

Branch Manager Certification Program 

The Foundation's Branch Manager Certification Program offers the opportunity to learn essential leadership skills and gain background knowledge in parts management, rental management, and service management to manage all branch areas effectively. 

Courses: Financial Management 101 and 102, People Management 101, 102 and 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Service Management 101, Rental Management 101, Final Certification Test 

Salary Range: $70,000–$145,000 

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 of retaining and motivating a team and forecast sales. 

Courses: Financial Management 101 and 102, People Management 101, 102 and 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Sales Leadership 101, Sales Leadership 201, Final Certification Test 

Salary Range: $80,000–$160,000 

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 and 102, People Management 101, 102 and 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Rental Management 101, Rental Management 201, Rental Management 301, Final Certification Test 

Salary Range: $50,000–$85,000 


Contact The AED Foundation's Vice President of Education and Programming, Liz McCabe, at

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