Collision Repair

AWARD OFFERED Certificate (4 semesters)

Auto body technicians, also often called collision repair technicians, straighten bent bodies, remove dents, and replace crumpled parts that cannot be fixed. They repair all types of vehicles, and although some work on large trucks, buses, or tractor-trailers, most work on cars and small trucks.

Auto body repair work has variety and challenges: each damaged vehicle presents a different problem. For example, “unibody” vehicles—designs built without frames—must be restored to precise factory specifications for the vehicle to operate correctly. Using their broad knowledge of automotive construction and repair techniques, repairers must develop appropriate methods for each job.

To become a fully skilled auto body technician, formal training followed by on-the-job instruction is recommended because repair of newer automobiles requires more advanced skills to fix the new technologies and new body materials.

The Auto Body Repair program at Wallace State is designed to train students to repair and replace damaged auto bodies and parts, from frame repair and glass replacement to working with fiberglass and plastics, and applying paints and finishes. Students learn the metallurgical structure of sheet steel and the use of hand tools and pneumatic equipment used in bumping, dinging, filing, grinding, sanding, and spraying a damaged panel.

The median annual wage for auto body and related technicians was $38,380 in May 2012, with the highest 10 persent earning more than $65,390.

Employment of auto body technicians will be good for all occupations through the year 2014. Demand for qualified body repairers will increase as the number of motor vehicles in operation continues to grow, which in turn results in a greater number of accidents. New automotive designs of lighter weight materials such as steel alloys, aluminum and plastics are prone to greater collision damage than older, heavier designs and, consequently, more time is consumed in repair. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)

View Gainful Employment Information for Collision Repair

Tim Grace, Department Head