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Ranking the Highest Paying Collision Repair Technician Salaries by State

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As long as there are cars on the road, there are bound to be accidents that cause damage to vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest data, more than 6 million car accidents occur each year in the United States.

There are even more car accidents causing damage that aren’t reported to police, from getting rear-ended in a parking lot to seemingly minor collisions that can still cause major automotive body damage. According to Allstate, the average driver will experience a collision once every 10 years.

Based on this data, we can see that the role of technicians who specialize in repairing collision-damaged vehicles is essential. If you have a passion for the automotive industry, enjoy working with your hands and have an eye for detail, a career as a collision repair technician may be for you. For those skilled in the trade, this can be a career path with exceptional income potential.1

How Much Do Collision Repair Technicians Make?

If you’ve ever considered a career in collision repair, you’ve probably wondered how much technicians make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median wage for automotive body and related repairers was $43,580 in May 2019.28 This means half of the collision repair technicians earned more and half earned less.

Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including employer, demand and cost of living in the area. While the number stated above is an average of the earnings of all collision repair technicians in the U.S., it can be helpful to look at the average salaries of technicians in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia as reported by BLS. This insight can help you to understand how salaries vary across the country so you can plan out your next career move.

Keep reading to get a closer look at the annual median salaries for automotive body and related repairers (median wages reported in May 2019):

Top 10 Annual Salaries for Collision Repair Technicians

1. Alaska: $56,480

CNBC ranks Alaska as the fifth-most expensive state to live in. Drivers here encounter hazards such as unpaved highways, dirt roads and icy roads in winter. Some routes are single-lane drives, and there are also wildlife crossings to watch out for, like moose walking into roads. Challenges like these can cause accidents and vehicle damage, creating a need for skilled collision repair techs.

2. California: $52,120

California is the second-most expensive place to live in the U.S., CNBC reports, but cost of living can vary significantly throughout the state. Driving hazards also vary depending on where you are. Due to accidents in situations ranging from rush hour traffic in Los Angeles to cars speeding down highways on road trips, collision repair technicians are needed throughout the state.

3. Connecticut: $49,220

Connecticut also lands in the top 10 of the most expensive states to live in, with CNBC ranking it No. 8. Connecticut drivers have consistently ranked low for safety in the country. In 2018, a safe driving report ranked Connecticut drivers as the worst in the country after the state's drivers were ranked 49th in 2017.

4. Hawaii: $48,660

Hawaii is the country's most expensive state to live in, CNBC reports, which means wages across positions tend to be higher for compensation. Known for its beauty and relaxed environment, Hawaii is a top tourist destination — but driving here can present some challenges, especially when drivers are traveling along roads increasing in elevation. Unfortunately, this increases the chances of an accident occurring.

5. Maryland: $48,480

Maryland is in the No. 7 spot for most expensive states to live, according to CNBC. It's also known for vehicle crashes, as it has had a long-standing history of driving issues, WAMU 88.5 reports. Drivers from Baltimore rank close to last for safety in a list of 200 U.S. cities — which means accidents are fairly common.

rear-end collision damage uti collision program Facebook

6. North Dakota: $48,320

A 2019 study ranked North Dakota drivers as the worst in the country, reports KVRR. The analysis found nearly 30% of drivers here have had some sort of road issue. Challenges include impaired driving, rural roads, and icy and snowy conditions in winter.

7. New Jersey: $48,020

New Jersey is the 10th most expensive place to live in the U.S., according to CNBC. Some challenges that drivers encounter in this state include curving roads and aggressive driving habits. In 2017, there were 270,231 reported car crashes in New Jersey, more than most years during the previous decade.

8. Massachusetts: $46,900

Massachusetts also has a higher-than-average cost of living, with CNBC ranking it the third-most expensive state to live. Collision repair technicians can find plenty of work in the state, TripSavvy reports. The state lacks a grid driving system and is pedestrian-heavy, which can present challenges to drivers.

9. Arizona: $46,160

Arizona has consistently landed on the top 10 list of states with the worst drivers. As the fifth largest city in the U.S., Phoenix is known for its rush-hour traffic and drivers with road rage, so it’s no wonder the state has high accident rates. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s annual crash facts report, there were 129,750 crashes in the city in 2019 alone. This means the need for collision repair technicians is high.

10. Idaho: $46,130

Drivers in Idaho are known for being on the aggressive side. In the Boise metro area, drivers are often in a hurry and this, combined with bumper-to-bumper traffic, only increases the likelihood of accidents. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, aggressive driving was a contributing factor in 51% of the motor vehicle crashes in 2017. This increases the need for collision repair techs who can repair the vehicles involved in these accidents.

Ranking All 50 States and the District of Columbia

RankingStateAnnual Median Wage
1Alaska$56,480
2California$52,120
3Connecticut$49,220
4Hawaii$48,660
5Maryland$48,480
6North Dakota$48,320
7New Jersey$48,020
8Massachusetts$46,900
9Arizona$46,160
10Idaho$46,130
11New York$45,900
12Rhode Island$45,720
13Montana$45,490
14Colorado$45,460
15Michigan$45,360
16North Carolina$45,260
17Virginia$45,080
18Washington$45,050
19Missouri$44,950
20Georgia$44,600
21Illinois$44,470
22Pennsylvania$44,440
23Wyoming$43,790
24District of Columbia$43,600
25Nevada$43,540
26New Hampshire$43,220
27Vermont$42,730
28Minnesota$42,370
29Kentucky$42,350
30Wisconsin$42,090
31Alabama$42,020
32Texas$41,920
33Nebraska$41,870
34Arkansas$41,270
35Iowa$41,240
36Louisiana$40,530
37Delaware$40,160
38Indiana$40,140
39South Dakota$39,390
40Maine$39,360
41Florida$39,310
42Mississippi$39,260
43Kansas$39,220
44South Carolina$38,740
45Oregon$38,670
46Ohio$38,610
47Utah$38,580
48Oklahoma$38,260
49Tennessee$37,940
50New Mexico$37,640
51West Virginia$37,500

Train for a Career as a Collision Repair Technician

Wherever there are cars on the road, accidents are bound to happen. This creates a need for collision repair techs who can step in and repair the damage.

If working on cars and trucks and restoring them to their original condition sounds like an appealing job, UTI can help you advance your career. UTI’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology program is designed to teach you the skills needed to reshape and restore a wide range of vehicles.

To learn more, visit our program page and request information to get in touch with an Admissions Representative today.

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