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Online Schools with Auto Body Repair Programs: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online auto body repair school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, delivery factors, and common topics offered for the field of study.

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When considering online auto body repair programs, it is important that individuals make sure it adequately prepares them for certification. Read on to learn more about program delivery and requirements for different programs.

How to Select an Online Auto Body Repair School

Students considering online auto body repair schools must make their decision based on several key factors. There are few complete professional online programs for students interested in pursuing a career in auto body repair due to the hands-on nature of the work. Online programs that exist can either be taken online or through a hybrid option that incorporates hands-on shop training with online instruction. While auto body repair courses must be taken in person, some of the general education requirements can be completed online depending on the school. Post-secondary and certificate programs in automotive technology provide adequate preparation for a career in automotive repair. Students learn to diagnose problems and repair surface and interior car damage. Students then have to weigh certification preparation actions with the technical requirements.

Program Delivery

Online programs in auto body repair offer students enrollment opportunities in full, online immersion and low-residency, hybrid programs. Online immersion programs provide course instruction though video, voice and e-mail correspondence and don't require students to take classes on campus. They are well suited for working professionals or students who have had some hands-on experience in the shop.

Although less common, hybrid programs in auto body repair require students to spend at least part of the time on-campus. Students benefit from hands-on training with welding and metalworking tools. A few schools may also offer accelerated or self-paced study options that allow students to complete courses at their chosen pace.

Certification Prep

A certificate in Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is becoming the norm for prospective individuals on the job market. Professional online programs offer adequate preparation for the exam; however, in order to receive the certificate, applicants must also have two years of hands-on experience in the field.

Technical Requirements

To participate in online programs, students are required to have updated software and a computer that can operate large media files like video, live streaming and 3D animation graphics. All online programs will require students to have some level of technical fluency in order to feel comfortable uploading, opening and accessing files on the Internet.

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Online Program in Auto Body Repair

Online Certificate in Auto Body Repair

An online program provides students with basic knowledge in auto body repair and teaches them to work with plastic and metal surfaces and finishes. Students follow online interactive exercises, video lectures and animations and study 3-D drawings and charts. Although the length of the program can vary from a few weeks to a few months, students are expected to pass all the lesson reviews, quizzes and tests. Topics include instruction in the basics of:

  • Metalworking
  • Shop operations and estimations
  • Automotive refinishing
  • Painting

Schools with Online Programs in Auto Body Repair

Century College offers an Auto Body Technology diploma with some coursework available online, but the auto body repair component must be completed in person. The intention of this program is to give students general knowledge of all aspects of the auto body industry. This includes but is not limited to coursework involving unibody and frame, damage analysis, and structure repair. After completing this program, students will be able to meet the industry's requirements for an entry-level technician. General education courses are required for every student to make sure that they have strong written and critical thinking skills that aid their ultimate responsibilities.

Lanier Technical College has certificate programs for automotive assistants and a diploma program in collision repair. All include general education requirements that can be completed online. The Automotive Refinishing Assistant I certificate program prepares students to work under master technicians in repair shops, while a level II provides more advanced coursework for those that have completed the initial coursework. Areas of study include but are not limited to surface preparation, paint identification, and spray gun equipment. The level I program lasts one semester while the level II program lasts two. The diploma program includes courses in welding, body repair and computer. Students can choose to specialize in either refinishing or major collision repair.

While online and hybrid programs are available, hands-on experience is critical to any auto body repair program. Online coursework will teach students the foundation of knowledge necessary to complete this work and prepare them for a career in the industry.

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