Collision refinishing programs are usually offered as a diploma, certificate or associate's degree level program, although a small number of bachelor's programs are available. Certificate and diploma programs focus on technical skills, while degree programs may add some business courses.
10 Schools with Collision Repair Programs
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Austin Community College||Austin, Texas||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $2,550 In-district
|Lansing Community College||Lansing, Michigan||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $3,530 In-district
|Butler Community College||El Dorado, Kansas||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $3,180 In-district
|Hillsborough Community College||Tampa, Florida||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $2,506 In-state
|Northwest Mississippi Community College||Senatobia, Mississippi||2-year, Public||Certificate|| $3,000 In-state
|Clackamas Community College||Oregon City, Oregon||2-year, Public||Associate's|| $4,944 In-state
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, North Carolina||2-year, Public|| Diploma
| $2,795 In-state
|San Jacinto Community College||Pasadena, Texas||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $1,548 In-district
|Salt Lake Community College||Salt Lake City, Utah||2-year, Public|| Certificate
| $3,843 In-state
|Nashua Community College||Nashua, New Hampshire||2-year, Public||Associate's|| $7,616 In-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Most collision refinishing programs include a significant hands-on component, offering training with industry tools and technology, including on-campus labs, workshops and automotive facilities in which students can practice repair and refinishing skills. Students should consider the following when selecting a school:
- Programs accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) demonstrate that students receive sufficient education and training in all relevant aspects of the profession.
- In addition to a significant amount of hands-on learning, students may want to choose schools that include internship opportunities with affiliated companies.
- Students may wish to look for schools that offer a certified Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) curriculum.
Certificate in Collision Repair or Refinishing
Unlike degree programs, most certificate programs concentrate on either collision repair or refinishing. The coursework usually includes several sequences, as well as introductory math and writing courses. These programs can typically be completed in two semesters or less.
Associate's Degree in Collision Refinishing and Repair
These 2-year programs include introductory courses in refinishing and collision repair before moving onto more advanced coursework, such as air conditioning, heating and electrical systems. Coursework outside the refinishing and repair curriculum can include human relations, business communication and business writing.
Bachelor's Degree in Automotive Technology Management
Students with previous industry experience that want to become managers might want to consider earning an automotive technology management bachelor's degree. These programs combine collision repair with business management, teaching students how manage employees and finances. Some schools offer this as a completion program, allowing students with an associate's degree to earn the bachelor's degree with two additional years of study.
Prospective students should consider their career goals when deciding on a school for collision refinishing. At all levels, they should look for programs that provide the opportunity for extensive hands-on experience with the most up-to-date technology.