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Collision Repair & Refinishing Certification: Program Overview

The certificate programs in collision repair and refinishing teach students about frame-straightening, replacement of electrical and mechanical components, door and fender repair, glass replacement, final surface preparation and painting. Students will usually get hands-on training with the certificate.

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Essential Information

A certificate in collision repair and refinishing provides the skills needed for an entry-level job as an auto shop helper, paint shop helper or auto body repair and refinishing assistant. Co-op work experience may be included in the program. Specific skills learned might include entry-level skills in collision repair and refinishing and familiarity with industry standards among others.

Program specializations available for this certificate include auto body estimating, refinishing or auto body repair. The program length is one to two semesters long.


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Collision Repair and Refinishing Certification

General collision repair and refinishing certificate programs include classes in each of the many areas of auto body and chassis collision repair. Specialized programs are also available. Depending on the type of program you choose, you might learn about:

  • Plastics and adhesives
  • Auto body welding
  • Structural damage
  • Painting and refinishing
  • Estimating
  • Non-structural damage

Employment Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the average hourly wage of automotive body and related repairers was $20.12 as of May 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned $10.83 or less per hour, and the highest 10 percent earned $31.44 or more per hour. Helpers and trainees typically earn between 30 to 60 percent of the earnings made by skilled workers. Entry-level helpers and trainees usually receive hourly wages until they are skilled enough to be paid incentives.

The general employment outlook for automotive body and glass repairers is expected to be about faster than average at a rate of 9 percent from 2014 through 2024, according to the BLS. Inclement weather can cause a rise in accidents, which results in demand for more repair work. In addition, new automobiles tend to be lighter in weight and are prone to greater collision damage than older automobiles, which may lead to an increased need for repair technicians.

Certification Information

Earning a certificate in collision repair and refinishing is a great way to start out in the auto body and chassis collision repair trade. Individuals with a good combination of vocational training and work experience can find work in collision repair shops, auto dealerships, trucking companies, bus line companies and rental fleet companies. They may also be employed as sales reps for paint and body supply companies and as estimators for insurance companies. Graduates can also choose to pursue repair technician certification, such as those offered from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. After several years of work experience, ASE certification may be earned in various repair specialties by passing exams designed by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE, www.asecert.org).

The certificate program in collision repair and refinishing can teach students about auto body welding, structural damage, and estimating. For students who are just starting out in the auto body field, this certificate will cover entry-level material.

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