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Collision repair technicians, commonly referred to as auto body mechanics, repair collision damaged vehicles using the correct repair procedures, paint and parts. When accidents happen on the roadways, these technicians are called upon to repair vehicles and restore them to their original condition.
A career as a collision repair technician may be perfect for those who love cars, have an eye for detail and enjoy working with their hands. This is an exciting career path that can lead to opportunities to advance in the field. Just like any career, however, it comes with its own set of challenges, which means collision repair techs must have a specific set of skills.
If you’re thinking about becoming a collision repair technician, it’s important to understand what it takes to succeed in the field. Here at Universal Technical Institute, we’ve found that some of the most successful technicians share similar traits that help them to do their job well.
Read along as we share seven common traits shared by collision repair technicians, which can help to determine if this is the right career path for you.
Collision repair technicians have an in-depth understanding of vehicle structures and repair techniques. They are knowledgeable about the characteristics of plastics, compounds and metal used in vehicle construction, which informs their decisions when it comes to the repair techniques, materials and tools used to get the job done.
In certain cases, collision repair technicians will have to rely on their industry knowledge and judgment to determine whether or not a damaged vehicle can be restored to safe condition. In order to make this call, they must be able to spot damage to important structural components. If the vehicle is able to be restored, it’s their job to outline and execute the repair.
Many collision repair technicians choose to earn I-CAR certifications, which serve as a testament to their technical knowledge and ability. With I-CAR training, technicians can improve their accuracy, touch times and cycle times—giving them a competitive advantage when going into the workforce.
Collision repair techs are often known for their creative eye and the ability to make what might be old and broken good as new. When working on their vehicles, they can often picture what the end product will look like.
UTI collision repair instructor Frank Cutajar always has a vision for how his cars will look when he’s done working on them. When he’s not busy teaching and mentoring his students, he works on his ’63 Coupe DeVille—a car he bought for $5500 and stripped down to metal, did all of the body work and plans to paint. He shares that his vision for the car is for it to have a true classic look, but with a modern twist. Having a creative vision is a sign of a true collision repair technician.
Any successful collision repair technician will tell you that it’s all in the details. The repairs these technicians complete are very complex and intricate, which requires good hand-eye coordination and an eye for precision. If one part is misaligned
even the slightest amount, it can throw off the entire repair.
Collision repair techs take a meticulous approach to their work and are very perceptive when it comes to examining vehicles for damage. They understand the important role they play in getting their customers back on the road safely and are committed to
excellence in everything they do.
One of the most important skills of collision repair technicians is the ability to problem solve. Each repair that comes their way is unique, and it doesn’t necessarily come with a manual to follow. This requires technicians to innovate and use
their knowledge, training and expertise to create the best possible solution.
Collision repair technicians see problems as opportunities. They enjoy the challenge that comes with the repairs they complete, as it introduces variety into their day-to-day routine. It’s safe to say that no two days on the job are the same!
There’s no denying that collision repair is hard work. This career isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding for those who have a passion for cars. The most successful technicians are always on time, focused, efficient and professional,
which helps them to make a great impression on customers and their employer.
Having a good work ethic speaks volumes in this industry, and can lead to exciting opportunities for advancement. For example, many collision repair technicians advance to higher roles such as production manager, in which they oversee the process to ensure
technicians are performing safe and efficient repairs.
In addition to their mechanical work, collision repair technicians communicate directly with customers. This requires strong interpersonal skills as they discuss repairs and explain why certain types of work must be done.
Oftentimes, customers who have been in accidents are in the midst of a stressful time. The role of a technician is to handle the repair in a calm and friendly way, providing them with as must information as possible so they feel confident and in the know
throughout the process. A sign of a great technician is the ability to earn their customers’ trust.
Additionally, technicians who have great customer service skills are often able to advance in the field and take on roles with higher responsibilities, whether it’s in estimating or body shop management.
Last but certainly not least, great collision repair technicians are passionate and take pride in their work. Many collision repair technicians have had an interest in cars from a young age and turned this into a full-time career. Their passion for working
on cars and helping others is what drives their career forward and motivates them to work hard and go above and beyond for their customers.
Think you have what it takes to become a collision repair technician? Universal Technical Institute has the training you need to get there. To learn more, visit our Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program page and request more information today.
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.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.