|Program Levels||Certificate, career diploma, and associate degree programs|
|Field(s) of Study||Auto body|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Online Availability||Online programs are rare and when available are typically hybrid|
|In-Person Requirements||Hands-on in a lab or at an auto shop|
|Program Length||Up to 2 years|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Online auto body courses are available on a very limited basis due to the necessity of hands-on experience and training in the field. Some programs may be in hybrid format, with a mix of online coursework and lab sections taking place on-campus or in an auto shop. Graduates of auto body programs may hold occupational titles such as auto collision technician, vehicle painter or auto mechanic. Auto body courses can help students prepare for voluntary certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Technical Requirements for Online Courses
Students need an updated computer with video and audio capabilities as well as high-speed Internet access. Streaming media or DVDs are commonly used to provide technical demonstrations in auto body technology. Auto shop tools and equipment are included with some programs and available for separate purchase in others. Students taking hybrid courses are required to travel to campus or a training center for supervised practical training.
Online Auto Body Courses
Below are the overviews of some commonly offered online auto body courses.
- Shop Basics and Tools Course: This course provides an introduction to body shop safety procedures, basic automotive math and commonly used power and hand tools. Step-by-step procedures for handling automobiles damaged in collisions are covered.
- Computer Estimating and Diagnosis Course: Students learn how to write collision damage estimate reports with accurate calculations of various costs including labor, materials and parts. The course introduces computer software systems commonly used in body shops to manage tools and provide damage analysis. The class explores different types of damage, including collision, weather and vandalism.
- Auto Body Materials Course: This class covers the design and build of modern vehicles and their frames. Students learn about the types of materials used for automotive parts and how they can be repaired. Classwork includes study of high-strength and laminated steel repair.
- Refinishing and Body Painting Course: In this course, students go over all components necessary in refinishing automobiles. They learn how to prepare the spray painting equipment and the vehicle surface. Instructors explain techniques for detailing and custom paint jobs. Color theory, blending and matching are also taught for spot painting.
- Automotive Engine Fundamentals Course: In this course students will learn the essentials of cars and their engines. The course will also teach students how to perform a basic vehicle inspection.
Online auto body courses are limited as hands-on experience is required, but these courses will cover everything from shop basics and tools, computer estimating and diagnosis, auto body materials, refinishing and body painting and automotive engine fundamentals.