Schools with Body and Paint Programs: How to Choose

Body and paint technicians work on automobile exteriors, ensuring that they are in safe operating condition and of quality appearance. Technicians accomplish this by discovering and administering any repairs or replacements, paint detailing and body work. A number of schools offer degree and certificate programs in auto body and paint technology.

How to Choose a Body and Paint School

Auto body and paint technology programs are commonly available at community colleges and technical schools.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Program levels
  • Hands-on training
  • Special coursework

Program Levels

Auto body and paint technicians perform major and minor automotive bodywork, such as removing dents, fixing structural damage and replacing broken automotive body parts. Once the auto body is fixed and intact, technicians apply precision paintwork. A certificate in body and paintwork can prepare an individual for an entry-level position in the field and a basic industry education. An associate's degree is suitable for individuals seeking a more advanced education and a career in the trade.

Hands-on Training

Aspiring body and paint technicians may want to look for schools that provide access to garage facilities with specialty tools and equipment. In addition, schools that offer teamwork-based programs can help prepare students for fieldwork; many positions in the industry require technicians to work in groups.

Special Coursework

Students may seek programs with courses that concentrate on current issues in technology and automobile standards to ensure they learn the most up-to-date information. Students might also want to look for programs that offer emphases in auto bodywork or auto paint if they plan to specialize in one sector of the industry.

Overview of Body and Paint Programs


A certificate in auto body and paint includes coursework in safety practices and procedures. Students also learn basic techniques for refinishing and repairing an auto's exterior. Additionally, a certificate program might prepare students for ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification, which is required by a number of employers. Courses may include the following:

  • Surface preparation
  • Paint refinishing
  • Auto detailing
  • Cost estimation
  • Welding

Associate's Degrees

An associate's degree in body and paint technology provides students with opportunities to learn to weld auto body materials, perform advanced refinishing procedures and correct damages to restore vehicles to their original condition. Students learn techniques required to refinish vehicles. Coursework may include:

  • Panel and frame repair
  • Advanced painting
  • Advanced repair concepts

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