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Auto-body/Collision & Repair Technology/Technician

CIP Code 47.0603

Damage resulting from everyday vehicle collisions can be repaired, and vehicles can be refinished to look and drive like new. Automotive body repairers, often called collision repair technicians, straighten bent bodies, remove dents, and replace crumpled parts that cannot be repaired. They work alone, with only general direction from supervisors, or as specialists on a repair team. In some shops, helpers or apprentices assist experienced repairers.

If the vehicle is heavily damaged, an automotive body repairer might start by realigning the frame. Unibody vehicles, which are designs built without frames, must be restored to precise factory specifications for the vehicle to operate correctly. For these vehicles, repairers use benchmark systems to accurately measure the amount each section is out of alignment, and operate hydraulic machinery to return the vehicle to its original shape. Once the frame is aligned, repairers can begin to repair or replace damaged body parts.

Body repairers also repair or replace the plastic body parts that are increasingly used on new vehicles. They remove damaged panels and identify the type and properties of the plastic used. Repairers replace plastic parts that are badly damaged or very difficult to repair. Some body repairers specialize in fixing fiberglass car bodies.

It is possible for body repairers to specialize in installing and repairing glass in automobiles and other vehicles. Automotive glass installers and repairers remove broken, cracked, or pitted windshields and window glass. Glass installers apply a moisture-proofing compound along the edges of the glass, place the glass in the vehicle, and install rubber strips around the sides of the windshield or window to make it secure and weatherproof.

Most automotive body repairers work a standard 40 hour week. More than 40 hours a week may be required when there is a backlog of repair work to be completed.

Collision repair programs may be offered in high school or in postsecondary vocational schools and community colleges. Courses in electronics, physics, chemistry, English, computers, and mathematics provide a good background for a career as an automotive body repairer. Most training programs combine classroom instruction and hands on practice. Trade and technical school programs typically award certificates to graduates after six months to a year of collision repair study. Some community colleges offer two year programs in collision repair. Automotive technology is rapidly becoming more sophisticated, and most employers prefer applicants who have completed a formal training program in automotive body repair or refinishing. Most new repairers complete a segment of this training on the job. Many repairers, particularly in urban areas, need a national certification to advance past entry level work.

Fully skilled automotive body repairers must have good reading ability and basic mathematics and computer skills. Restoring unibody automobiles to their original form requires repairers to follow instructions and diagrams in technical manuals and to make precise three dimensional measurements of the position of one body section relative to another. In addition, repairers should enjoy working with their hands and be able to pay attention to detail while they work.

Version C: Graduation Years 2016, 2017, 2018

Version D: Graduation Years 2019, 2020, 2021

Approved Secondary School Partners

A.W. Beattie Career CenterAllison Park2009-2010
Admiral Peary AVTSEbensburg2010-2011
Beaver County CTCMonaca2010-2011
Berks CTC - East CampusOley2010-2011
Berks CTC - West CampusLeesport2010-2011
Bethlehem AVTSBethlehem2010-2011
Brashear HSPittsburgh2010-2011
Bucks County Technical High SchoolFairless Hills2010-2011
Butler County AVTSButler2010-2011
Carbon Career & Technical InstituteJim Thorpe2011-2012
Career Institute of TechnologyEaston2009-2010
Central Career & Technical SchoolErie2010-2011
Central Montco Technical High SchoolPlymouth Meeting2010-2011
Central PA Institute of Science & TechPleasant Gap2010-2011
Central Westmoreland CTCNew Stanton2009-2010
Chester Co Tech College HS -  BrandywineDowningtown2010-2011
Chester Co Tech College HS - PickeringPhoenixville2010-2011
Chester Co Tech College HS-Pennocks BridgeWest Grove2010-2011
Clearfield County CTCClearfield2011-2012
Columbia-Montour AVTSBloomsburg2011-2012
Connellsville Area Career & Technical CenterConnellsville2010-2011
Crawford County CTCMeadville2011-2012
CTC of Lackawanna CountyScranton2011-2012
Cumberland-Perry AVTSMechanicsburg2011-2012
Dauphin County Technical SchoolHarrisburg2011-2012
Delaware County Technical HS-FolcroftFolcroft2010-2011
Eastern Center for Arts & TechnologyWillow Grove2009-2010
Eastern Westmoreland CTCLatrobe2010-2011
Edison HS/Fareira SkillsPhiladelphia2011-2012
Erie County Technical SchoolErie2010-2011
Fayette County AVTSUniontown2010-2011
Forbes Road CTCMonroeville2009-2010
Franklin County CTCChambersburg2010-2011
George Jr Republic HSGrove City2012-2013
Greater Altoona CTCAltoona2010-2011
Greater Johnstown CTCJohnstown2010-2011
Greater Johnstown SHSJohnstown2010-2011
Greene County CTCWaynesburg2010-2011
Hazleton Area Career CenterHazleton2010-2011
Huntingdon County CTCMill Creek2010-2011
Indiana County Technology CenterIndiana2011-2012
Jefferson County-Dubois AVTSReynoldsville2011-2012
Keystone Central CTCMill Hall2010-2011
Lancaster County CTC-Willow St CampusWillow Street2010-2011
Lawrence County CTCNew Castle2011-2012
Lebanon County CTCLebanon2011-2012
Lehigh Career & Technical InstituteSchnecksville2010-2011
Lenape TechFord City2011-2012
McKeesport Area Tech CtrMcKeesport2010-2011
Mercer County Career CenterMercer2011-2012
Middle Bucks Institute of TechnologyJamison2010-2011
Mifflin Co Academy of Science & TechnologyLewistown2014-2015
Mifflin-Juniata CTCLewistown2011-2012
Mon Valley CTCCharleroi2010-2011
Monroe Career & Technical InstituteBartonsville2011-2012
North Montco Tech Career CenterLansdale2010-2011
Northern Tier Career CenterTowanda2011-2012
Northern Westmoreland CTCNew Kensignton2015-2016
Northumberland County CTCCoal Township2010-2011
Parkway West CTCOakdale2009-2010
Randolph A. Phillip AVT HSPhiladelphia2011-2012
Reading-Muhlenberg CTCReading2009-2010
Schuylkill Technology Centers - SouthMar Lin2010-2011
Somerset County Technology CenterSomerset2011-2012
Steel Center AVTSJefferson Hills2009-2010
SUN Area Technical InstituteNew Berlin2009-2010
Susquehanna County CTCDimock2012-2013
Swenson Arts & Technology HSPhiladelphia2011-2012
The Workshop SchoolPhiladelphia2013-2014
Upper Bucks County AVTSPerkasie2011-2012
Venango Technology CenterOil City2010-2011
Warren County AVTSWarren2010-2011
West Side CTCKingston2011-2012
Western Area CTCCanonsburg2010-2011
Western Montgomery CTCLimerick2010-2011
Wilkes-Barre CTCWilkes-Barre2011-2012
York County School of TechnologyYork2010-2011