Auto body technicians perform work on cars and light trucks that need repair, restoration or customized improvements. Their services range from replacing or fixing damaged parts to applying specialty features. People acquire basic automotive skills by working with cars as hobbyists, taking high school vocational classes or working alongside experienced auto body technicians. To become a certified auto body technician, formal training usually is required. College-level programs should include training in sheet metal welding, metal finishing and finishing materials preparation and application.

Western Region Schools

Students at Bates Technical College in Tacoma, Washington earn an Associate of Technology degree or a certificate of competency in auto body repair by completing 116 credits, including 15 general education requirements. Students also can earn a certificate of training in auto body refinishing. The automotive technology program at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California, offers certificates of proficiency, state licensing, an associate degree or automotive service excellence certification. At Utah Valley University in Orem, automotive technology students receive training in the duties of shop foreman and service adviser in addition to automotive technician training. Students can earn a one-year certificate, two-year diploma, Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Science or Bachelor of Science in technology management.

Midwest Schools

Hennepin Technical College offers its auto technician programs at its campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Auto body technician program options include a 64-credit diploma or two-year Associate in Applied Science. Occupational certifications also are available in related areas such as custom fabrication and finishing. The Auto/Diesel Institute of Michigan, a division of Baker College, Owosso, offers preparation for specialty and master mechanic certification. The Associate in Applied Science degree program offers students the opportunity to earn additional certifications in several areas of auto and diesel services. Texas State Technical College in Waco offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in auto collision and management technology or automotive technology and several certification programs in repair and refinishing.

Southeast Colleges

The Associate in Applied Science degree program in automotive technology at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford is fully accredited by both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors. Students may choose to follow tracks designed in cooperation with Ford and GM preparing them for employment as technicians with those companies. Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers an Associate in Applied Science in automotive systems technology. This program emphasizes new and emerging technologies in electrical systems. The NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, offers special training and certification in engine and vehicle modification, and the variety of tracks prepare students to work for specific car makers.

Northeast Schools

Alfred State College of Technology in Alfred, New York, is part of the State of New York (SUNY) college system. The school offers an Associate in Occupation Studies degree in auto body repair. Students who successfully complete the program may advance into the technology management bachelor's degree program or earn an accelerated second associate degree in automotive service technician, truck and diesel technician or motorsports technology. Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey, offers Associate in Applied Science degrees in automotive technology and General Motors automotive service education. School facilities include a National Automotive Technician Education Foundation certified lab.

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