Due to the nature of auto body repair, most training programs must be completed on campus so that students can receive hands-on experience. However, there are a select number of diploma programs in auto body repair and mechanics available online. Students can learn about basic maintenance techniques, ignition systems, automotive safety and engine controls. Those taking a fully online program usually need to complete auto repair practical components on their own time. Some programs help train students for Automotive Service of Excellence certification exams.
Diploma Programs for Auto Body Repair Technicians
An online auto body repair technician diploma can increase the chances of employment at auto dealerships, privately owned service shops or franchised auto collision shops. Due to the nature of auto body repair, most training programs must be completed on campus so that students can receive hands-on experience. Programs on campus typically teach skills in general shop practice, working with shape metals and refinishing techniques. However, some general education courses required for a diploma program may be available online.
Program Information and Requirements
Most programs in auto body repair and refinishing strive to prepare students to become certified technicians. The duration of a diploma program in auto body repair can vary, but most require at least one year of study.
List of Common Auto Body Repair Technician Courses
While general education courses in English, mathematics, and composition can be completed online, courses dealing specifically with auto body repair usually must be performed on campus with an instructor. Here are a few courses that you may complete during an auto body repair program.
Welding and Metalworking
Welding plays a major role in auto body repair. Courses in welding and metalworking tend to concentrate on basic techniques and safety. Students learn how to work with various metals and types of welding.
Refinishing Equipment and Body Painting
Students learn how to refinish surfaces safely with a variety of paint products and equipment. These courses teach the proper application for primers, as well as how to utilize spray guns and complete paint jobs.
Structural Damage Repair
Students learn how to repair vehicles as a unit as well as identify various components. Repair courses focus on protection materials, glass installation procedures and methods for accessing damage done to various structural components.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted that employment for automotive service technicians and mechanics will grow by 5% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, automotive service technicians and mechanics earned a mean annual wage of $40,720. The lowest-paid ten percent earned an annual wage of $21,020 or less, and the highest-paid ten percent earned $63,330 or more. In October 2016, the hourly rate for auto body repairers ranged from $11.04 to $25.10, as reported by PayScale.com.
Continuing Education Information
According to the BLS, many graduates earn the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification for improved job prospects. Certification is available in eight areas of automotive repair, including brake systems, engine repair and air-conditioning. Those striving to become Master Automobile Technicians must successfully pass examinations in all eight fields.
Most training programs in auto body repair must be completed on campus, but a few online diploma programs are available to teach students basic knowledge about the field. Graduates may earn further certification which may improve their chances of employment.