Automotive collision repair and refinishing programs are offered at various Florida technical schools, community colleges and 4-year public colleges. This field of study is primarily offered through certificate programs, which are designed to prepare students for work as automotive body repair technicians. Additionally, automotive collision repair programs provide supplemental training for certified auto mechanics.
Most programs consist of 1,400 clock hours of training in automotive collision repair, and many programs require students to purchase tools and uniforms. Upon graduation, individuals are able to sit for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exam. Read the profiles below of the 10 largest schools offering automotive collision repair and refinishing programs, and decide which program is right for you.
College of Central Florida
Ocala-based College of Central Florida provides a certificate program in automotive collision repair and refinishing. Coursework consists of classroom education as well as various repair and refinishing skill labs. The automotive collision repair and refinishing certificate program is offered to qualified high school students as a dual enrollment program.
Daytona State College
Located in Daytona Beach, this college offers an automotive collision repair and refinishing program that provides traditional classroom experience combined with hands-on lab experience. The certificate program takes approximately two years to complete. Students without a high school diploma may test into the program by taking the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) exam.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida State College's Jacksonville campus offers an automotive collision repair certificate program, which is administered through its Florida Coast Career Tech division. In addition to automotive repair curriculum, the program consists of English and math coursework. Students are able to test out of remedial English and math requirements by passing the TABE exam.
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa's Hillsborough Community College offers certificate programs in automotive service technology program. Coursework for the automotive collision repair program is transferrable into the associate's degree program in industrial management. Furthermore, courses are held Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-1:30 pm, and program coursework includes an internship. The automotive service technology program is a 17-month program requiring 1,800 hours of instruction. Students will cover automotive repair, including engine repair.
Indian River State College
Based in Fort Pierce, the college administers an automotive service technology program that prepares students for the ASE exam. Students learn basic shop skills and safety procedures as well as automotive repair and refinishing techniques. IRSC offers online ASE test preparation courses.
Miami Lakes Educational Center
Located in Miami Lakes, this education center administers a full-time and part-time automotive collision repair certificate program. Students attending the program full-time can expect to graduate in 16 months. Entrance requirements include an assessment in English and math, and applicants must be at least 16 years old. The automotive collision repair program has an open-entry, open-exit policy that allows students to enter and exit the program at any time during the school year.
Mid Florida Tech
Located in Orlando, the school offers an automotive collision repair certificate program. Upon completion, students may sit for the ASE examination. Students must meet basic skill requirements in math and English before graduating from the automotive collision repair program. The program consists of courses in paint and body repair, repair cost estimation techniques, structural damage analysis, and refinishing techniques.
Pinellas Technical Education Center - St. Petersburg
Pinellas Technical Education Center, located in St. Petersburg, provides a certificate program in auto body repair. It requires 18 months of study and prepares students for a career in auto body repair, as well as the ASE certification test.
Robert Morgan Educational Center
Located in Miami, the center has an automotive collision repair certificate program for individuals over the age of 16 who are not currently enrolled in another Miami-Dade County public school. Students must show at least a 9th-grade-level proficiency in English and math before graduating from the program. Graduates are prepared for careers as paint and body technicians, insurance estimators, and other various automotive industry positions.
South Florida State College
Avon Park-based South Florida State College administers a 1,620-contact-hour automotive collision repair certificate program. The typical length of the program is 16 months. Students take courses in fundamentals of body repair, basic sheet metal repair, painting techniques, and applied repair techniques, as well as multiple refinishing labs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Collision Repair Technology Programs||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|College of Central Florida||4-year, public; small city||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$2,570 (in-state); $10,126 (out-of-state)*|
|Daytona State College||4-year, public; small city||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$5,050**|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, public; large city||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$2,830 (in-state); $9,944 (out-of-state)*|
|Hillsborough Community College||2-year, public; large city|| Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate,
Automotive Service Technology Program
|$2,506 (in-state); $9,111 (out-of-state)*|
|Indian River State College||4-year, public; suburban||Automotive Service Technology Certificate||$2,764 (in-state); $10,201 (out-of-state)*|
|Miami Lakes Educational Center||2-year, public; suburban||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$4,121 (in-state)**|
|Mid Florida Tech||2-year, public; suburban||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$3,920 (in-state); $15,666 (out-of-state) **|
|Pinellas Technical Education Center - St. Petersburg||2-year, public; midsize city||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing||$4,088, (in-state); $16,394 (out-of-state)**|
|Robert Morgan Educational Center||2-year, public; suburban||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$4,099**|
|South Florida State College||4-year, public; distant town||Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing Certificate||$4,030 in-state, $16,118 out-of-state**|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Schools' websites.