Students seeking collision repair programs in Arizona have three options within the state. Collision repair training programs can be found at technical and community schools. These programs take between a year and two to finish, and award a certificate or associate's degree. These programs offer students hands-on learning, and students can go straight into the workforce after completion.
East Valley Institute of Technology
The East Valley Institute of Technology offers vocational training courses to high school students and adults in Mesa. The Certificate in Collision Repair program teaches students auto body repair, frame straightening, welding, painting and body filling. Students also learn machine sanding and how to repair vehicle bodies for refinishing. The program takes from two to four semesters to complete, and the school offers day and evening program options. This program is designed to meet the standards set by ASE and I-CAR, and graduates are prepared to pursue various certifications. Graduates can typically find work as automotive body repairers, automotive glass installers and repairers or transportation equipment painters.
Maricopa Skill Center
The Maricopa Skill Center uses a combination of classroom teaching and hands-on training to provide students with career-oriented training at its campus in Phoenix. The Certificate in Auto Body Worker program prepares students for entry-level jobs as auto body technicians, auto body repairmen, automotive painters and automotive refinishers. Students learn about shaping and forming fillers, welding, metalworking and vehicle painting. The program takes roughly 7.6 months to complete. Students who finish the program should be prepared to take various I-CAR certification exams.
The 366-hour Certificate in Auto Body Basic program teaches students how to repair vehicles that have been in collisions and prepare collision-damaged vehicles for refinishing. Students acquire metalworking, welding and plastic repair skills, and they learn about safety in the workplace as well. Graduates can pursue careers as auto body technicians and automotive repairers; the program also prepares them for I-CAR certification.
Mohave Community College
Located in Kingman, Mohave Community College offers an associate's degree program in collision repair that can be completed in two years. Students learn about safety regulations, welding, damage analysis, basic mechanics and structural repair. General education coursework must be completed as well. The program prepares students for various I-CAR and ASE certification exams.
Professionals are not required to obtain certification to be employed in this field. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that certification from an organization like the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) may lead to better job prospects.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Collision Repair Technology Programs||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)|
|East Valley Institute of Technology||Less-than-two-year; public; large city||Certificate in Collision Repair||$5,400 for entire program (includes tuition and fees)*|
|Maricopa Skill Center||Less-than-two-year; public; large city|| Certificate in Auto Body Worker,
Certificate in Auto Body Basic
|$5,010 for auto body work; $3,100 for auto body basic (includes tuition and fees)**|
|Mohave Community College||Two-year; public; fringe rural||Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Collision Repair Technology||$2,112 per year in-state; $6,972 per year out-of-state (includes tuition and fees)*|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Maricopa Skill Center.