What Are Career Opportunities in the Collision Industry?

UTI Profile Image Universal Technical Institute Aug 9, 2019 ·

Considering a career in collision repair? If you love working with your hands, have an eye for detail and are passionate about cars, this could be the perfect industry for you. Experienced, well-trained technicians benefit from exciting opportunities throughout their careers.

Universal Technical Institute’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program1 teaches you the skills to reshape and restore a wide range of vehicles. Our curriculum is developed with I-CAR, the provider of collision repair training standards as defined by car manufacturers, insurance companies and employers in the industry.

When it comes to learning about potential career opportunities in the collision industry, there’s no one better to consult than I-CAR itself. Read along as Bill Stage, I-CAR’s business development principal, shares what it takes to become a successful collision repair technician, what the future of the industry looks like, the potential career trajectory for an experienced technician and more.

What is the Role of a Collision Repair Technician?

According to Bill, “A collision repair technician’s role is to help repair a collision-damaged vehicle utilizing proper repair procedures, parts and paint.”

Accidents happen on roadways every day, and trained technicians are needed to fix the damage. A collision repair technician’s job is to repair these vehicles so they look and drive like new.

Every accident is different, which means the damage technicians come across always presents a new set of challenges. For this reason, it’s important for collision repair technicians to be trained and well-versed in different repair techniques required to fix whatever jobs may come their way.

The Importance of Training

The role of a collision repair technician is complex. These professionals must have a particular set of skills, which requires the completion of a training program that will expose them to the types of scenarios they’ll experience in the field.

According to Bill, “Training is very important in the collision repair field because vehicles are continually changing and being upgraded with new construction materials and techniques, and new technology. The most important quality of a training program is that it stays current with the technical information in the industry.”

Ongoing changes and advancements in technology have increased the skill level required of collision repair professionals. Vehicles on the road today are more complex than ever, so it’s important for aspiring collision professionals to complete a training program that meets the industry standard.

The best way to prepare for a career in this field is to take advantage of a school that teaches the I-CAR Professional Development Program. Developed in conjunction with I-CAR, UTI’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology program can prepare you for an entry-level position in the collision industry.

Benefits of Becoming a Collision Repair Technician

According to Bill, “The collision repair industry is a dynamic industry, constantly changing with new material and technology being applied to vehicles.”

“Many of the new systems are electronic, requiring knowledge of computer systems and applications. Today’s vehicles must be repaired following specific repair procedures, requiring an individual with research skills and the ability to read and comprehend these procedures,” he continues.

Benefits of being a member of this industry include:

  • Fulfillment: As a technician, you’ll see your work progress each day with a keen sense of accomplishment.
  • Income potential: The industry offers technicians the ability to help control their income as they become skilled and productive.
  • Industry demand: There is a shortage of skilled technicians and managers in the industry, offering the possibility of advancement.

Qualities of a Successful Collision Repair Technician

Succeeding as a collision repair technician requires a specific set of skills and qualities in addition to training. According to Bill, these include:

  • Self-discipline
  • Ability to research electronic data
  • Follow instructions
  • Be a team player
  • Ability to read and interpret data properly
  • Show up on time and work hard
  • Be courteous to others in the shop
  • Great customer service

Collision Industry Jobs

An education in collision repair doesn’t have to lead to just one career path. There are many different collision repair industry jobs! 

According to Bill, a collision repair technician can continue in training and education to pursue a variety of different positions, including:

  • Non-structural technician
  • Steel/aluminum structural technician
  • Refinish technician
  • Estimator
  • Auto physical damage appraiser
  • Various types of management, including production manager, office manager, general manager and regional manager2

When it comes to career advancement, Bill shares that the best way to advance is to work hard and learn as much about your current position as possible. “Hone your skills to be the best at what you do. Explore your career options, identify one or two you would like to pursue, and begin training for those positions,” he says.

Collision Repair Industry Outlook 

The collision repair industry has become much more complex over time. According to Bill, “A technician today needs to do research before beginning to repair a vehicle to obtain the proper repair procedures. The damage estimate needs to be complete following a technique called blueprinting.”

Here are some quick facts about collision industry trends, according to I-CAR:

  • Nearly half of entry-level technicians hired are selected from career or technical school programs.
  • Virtually all businesses that have hired from a collision repair school program would do it again, meaning they value these programs.

Bill goes on to share that the job outlook is bright for collision repair technicians. “We are currently experiencing a severe shortage of technicians. The increased complexity of vehicle design will assure continued growth.” The time is right to train for a career in this industry!

Want to pursue a career in collision repair? At Universal Technical Institute, we have the training to get you there. Learn more on our Collision Repair & Refinish Technology program page.

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