Collision repair can be a very rewarding career for someone who likes hands-on work and working with cars. After an accident or collision of any kind, vehicles can be in serious disrepair and need the hands of a skilled collision repair body shop professional. This is where the auto body technician can step in and restore the vehicle and get you back on the road. Although a career in collision repair can be obtained by anyone with basic mechanical skills and appropriate on-the-job training, there are also programs and degrees available to improve your competitive advantage. Some auto body shops today may require completion of a degree of this nature.
What is a Collision Repair Expert?
Someone who works in collision repair is responsible for repairing a variety of physical body damage issues related to collisions and vehicle accidents. An expert will be able to handle even the most intricate of repairs and replacements, having extensive knowledge in all areas of auto body collision so that they can perform a full-service auto body repair with ease. Of course, it’s not just about looks. This type of technician will also ensure that repairs are performed properly to restore proper function to the vehicle, as well.
Some auto body collision techs may also be trained on repairing the internal parts or mechanics of a vehicle as they relate to the necessary body repairs. Typically, the exact role of the expert on the job will depend on the collision center where they are employed. These technicians will typically work in:
· Private auto body shops
· Automotive manufacturing
· Large dealerships with a body shop
It’s projected that there will be as much as a 4% increase in demand for collision repair professionals through the next decade. The average salary for this career is just under $60,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hourly rates range from about $12 per hour to over $34 per hour, depending on auto body shop experience, training, and their past collision repair positions.
Some auto repair and body shops pay repair techs based on incentives, which will be pre-determined by how long it takes to complete the repair tasks and the amount of work involved in each job.
What Training and Certification is Required?
In order to work in auto body repair, most shops require no formal training. Many who are new to the career will get hired at a collision center and learn everything on the job, including all aspects of body repair and replacement. They may also be trained in other skills and mechanical duties. Of course, if you do want to improve your salary expectations or your odds of finding a competitive position, formal training and collision repair certifications are available.
Technical, vocational, and community colleges offer body repair and mechanic training programs and technical skills programs, which will result in certification upon completion. There are also two-year associate degrees available in collision repair, where students will learn through both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Prospective techs that want to maximize their salary or career potential can also consider becoming certified or joining as a member through the following organizations:
Ø National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)
Ø National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
Ø Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
The Benefits of a Career in Body Collision Repair
The field of body collision repair is interesting and fast-paced. It also offers a number of other benefits for those who choose it, including:
· Faster-than-average career growth compared to the job market in general, along with steady work due to increased demand across the country and around the world.
· Increased selection of competitive pay and benefits, including more employers now offering health insurance, paid leave, and even retirement benefits for auto body experts. Some major dealerships and reputable private shops may even provide tuition assistance, disability coverage, and other benefits due to increased demand.
· A diverse, interesting career that is different every single day. One day you might be fixing a late-model Ford, and the next day you could be helping a customer restore their ’67 muscle car.
· Increasing salary rates as demand grows for more technicians. The industry is hurting for workers right now, so it really is a “technician’s choice” job market in most regions. The more training and certifications you have, the higher your salary expectations can be.
· Internships and apprenticeship opportunities in other areas of auto repair and service, including the chance to diversify and further develop your skills and become a total expert on all areas of auto repair, body work, collision damage, and more.
· A chance to work with your hands and see immediate results from the fruits of your labor. In many fields, you don’t see results from your work for weeks, months, or even years. In this field, you will get instant gratification when you complete a job.
· A job that is challenging and requires strategizing, quick thinking, and problem-solving skills. Collision and body repair are almost like a puzzle, at times, because once everything is fixed, you have to get it all lined up and back together in working order.
Work with Collision 1, Inc. For Your Future
If you’re ready to get started on a career as a body shop technician or collision repair expert, call Collision 1, Inc. today. Our network of collision repair body shops extends throughout the greater Seattle Puget Sound and includes shop locations in Seattle, Auburn, Bonney Lake, and Centralia, and we have plenty of room in our growing business for collision auto body repair experts that want to embark on a rewarding new career in the auto repair industry.
We’ll teach you all of the skills that you need to get to work faster, and can even help you find additional support and educational resources to take your training to the next level along the way.
There is a growing demand for vocational and technical careers right now, and the collision industry is no exception. If you like working with your hands and seeing instant results from your efforts, collision repair might be the perfect job for you. Call us today to learn more about our career opportunities and find out how you can get started now. Collision 1 Inc, 1 (800) 348-9085.