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Collision Repair Technician Frequently Asked Questions

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Ever thought about becoming an auto body technician? The collision repair industry is full of exciting opportunities for those who have a passion for cars and enjoy hands-on work. Skilled technicians are in demand, and now is a great time to start training for a career you love.

If you’re considering a career as an auto body technician, you’ve come to the right place. Here are answers to 5 commonly asked questions about collision repair:

What do auto body technicians do?

Auto body technicians (also known as collision repair technicians) repair collision damaged vehicles 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.

How do I get certified in auto body repair?

Certification is an important element in preparing for a career in collision repair. Receiving specialized education from a trade school like Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is often a requirement for becoming an auto body repair technician.1 Having certifications can prepare you to perform your job well, which can make you a candidate when applying for jobs.

Due to UTI’s relationship with I-CAR, the provider of collision repair training standards as defined by the industry, students can receive valuable certifications as they complete their training. Graduates earn recognition of their high level of training as I-CAR ProLevel individuals and receive I-CAR certificates for:

  • Non-Structural Technician Level 1
  • Steel Structural Technician Level 1
  • Aluminum Structural Technician Level 1
  • Refinish Technician Level 2

Graduates who achieve the Axalta Cromax® Pro Certified Refinish certification receive Refinish Technician Level 3 status to become Platinum individuals. Additional industry certifications include:

  • Safety & Pollution Prevention (S/P2)
  • 3M Plastics and Composite Repair Systems
  • Chief Velocity Certification
  • EPA 609 A/C Certification
  • Lean Efficiency Certificate

How long is auto body collision school?

In Universal Technical Institute’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program, you can prepare for a career as a collision repair technician in 51 to 54 weeks. A new session of the CRRT program starts every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the campus, giving you the opportunity to get going and prepare for your career. There’s no waiting until “next semester”!

UTI’s fast-paced, hands-on training will walk you through core concepts you need to know in order to succeed in the industry, including:

  • How to paint vehicles using waterborne products from Axalta
  • Weld steel with a MIG or spot welding equipment and MIG weld aluminum
  • Repair plastic or composite materials using nitrogen welding equipment
  • Manipulate and shape metal using custom equipment

Where should I go to learn auto body repair?

When it comes to where to learn auto body repair, it’s important to choose an accredited school that is well respected in the industry. Attending a school with a positive, long-standing reputation ensures you will gain the knowledge and skills the industry says matters most.

UTI students train with the tools, equipment and technology used in collision repair centers across the country. From the tools used in the shop to the materials for refinishing, the CRRT program was created in conjunction with leading manufacturers so you can train on the brands used in the workforce, including 3M, Audatex, Axalta, Information Services Inc. and Chief Automotive Technologies. The CRRT program is available at three UTI campuses:

How much does a collision repair technician make?

Salary is an important factor to consider when choosing a profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for automotive body and related repairers was $42,73025 in May 2018.

When it comes to advancing in the field, many shops want to promote from within. Having additional skills and education can give you an advantage and open doors to exciting opportunities. As the complexity of vehicle design increases, so will the need for technicians trained on the latest tools and technology. If you’re debating when you should start your training, there’s no better time than now!

Want to learn more about collision repair at UTI? Check out our Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program page and request more information today. Our team is here to help!

Want to Learn More About the Collision Technology Program?

If you're interested in learning how you can register for the Collision Technology program Just click the link below or call (800) 834-7308 to speak with one of our friendly Admissions Representatives.