This program is designed for students interested in pursuing employment in the field of Collision Repair. Students have the opportunity to gain entry-level skills required for this profession. These skills are acquired through classroom presentations, textbook readings, and hands-on experiences. Students use hand tools and power tools to perform the various hands-on training activities. The Collision Repair program covers instructional areas such as: safety instruction, estimating, customer relations, and frame and uni-body repair. Students are also instructed in metal straightening; welding and cutting; panel replacement and alignment; surface preparation; masking and painting. During the course, students are expected to develop job acquisition skills. The importance of safety, quality, productivity, and teamwork is emphasized in this program. Students in this program should have patience and attention to detail. Additionally, Collision Repair follows the I-CAR (Inter-Industry Curriculum of Automotive Repair); Certification Program. The program is ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified along with NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) Certification.
Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames. Exclude "Painters, Transportation Equipment" and "Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers". Operate machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes. Include painters in auto body repair facilities.
Most automotive body repairers work a standard 40-hour week, although some, including the self-employed, work more than 40 hours a week. Repairers work indoors in body shops that are noisy with the clatters of hammers against metal and the whine of power tools. Most shops are well ventilated, in order to disperse dust and paint fumes. Body repairers often work in awkward or cramped positions, and much of their work is strenuous and dirty. Hazards include cuts from sharp metal edges, burns from torches and heated metal, injuries from power tools, and fumes from paint. However, serious accidents usually are avoided when the shop is kept clean and orderly and safety practices are observed.
Employment of automotive body repairers is expected to grow as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014. The need to replace experienced repairers who transfer to other occupations or who retire or stop working for other reasons will account for the majority of job openings. Opportunities will be best for persons with formal training in automotive body repair and refinishing. Those without formal training in automotive body refinishing or collision repair will face competition for these jobs.
Demand for qualified body repairers will increase as the number of motor vehicles in operation continues to grow in line with the Nation’s population. With each rise in the number of motor vehicles in use, the number of vehicles damaged in accidents also will grow. New automobile designs increasingly have body parts made of steel alloys, aluminum, and plastics—materials that are more difficult to work with than are traditional steel body parts. In addition, new automotive designs of lighter weight are prone to greater collision damage than are older, heavier designs, so more time is consumed in repair.
However, increasing demand due to growth in the number of vehicles in operation will be somewhat tempered by improvements in the quality of vehicles and technological innovations that enhance safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Also, more body parts are simply being replaced rather than repaired. Larger shops also are instituting productivity enhancements, such as employing a team approach to repairs to decrease repair time and expand their volume of work. In addition, demand for automotive body repair services will be constrained as more vehicles are declared a total loss after accidents. In many such cases, the vehicles are not repaired because of the high cost of replacing the increasingly complex parts and electronic components and fixing the extensive damage that results when airbags deploy. Employment growth will continue to be concentrated in automotive body, paint, interior, and glass repair shops. Automobile dealers will employ a smaller portion of this occupation as the equipment needed for collision repair becomes more specialized and expensive to operate and maintain.
Experienced body repairers are rarely laid off during a general slowdown in the economy. Automotive repair business is not very sensitive to changes in economic conditions because major body damage must be repaired if a vehicle is to be restored to safe operating condition. However, repair of minor dents and crumpled fenders often can be deferred when drivers’ budgets become tight.
Penn College of Technology