The Apprentice: Collision Repair Technician Alyssa Culver

People might say that looks aren’t everything, but Alyssa Culver would disagree. As an automotive collision repair technician, looks are her top priority.

It’s a fitting position for Culver. She is a woman that takes pride in her appearance, and she extends that same level of commitment to the vehicles she works on.

Her father, who is an automotive technician, introduced her to auto body repair as a child. It’s common for children of auto technicians to let their father’s work rub off on them, but Culver never took an interest in the mechanical side.

But when her father was doing body repairs, Culver was always there to lend a hand.

“My dad’s been doing the mechanic side for longer than I’ve been alive, and on the side, he would do a little bit of body repair and that’s what I would always migrate to when I would help him,” said Culver.

Her interest in automotive work waxed and waned as she grew older, but when it came time to consider what to do after high school, Culver’s father encouraged her to look into careers in collision repair.

She attended a job fair at the Universal Technical Institute campus in Houston where she first heard about the collision repair apprentice program.

The apprenticeship program places UTI students in a collision repair shop where they learn from industry experts and get hands-on training with legitimately damaged vehicles.

Its real work from day one, and learning at the pace of a professional shop can be challenging, but with the help of her instructors, Culver was able to quickly adapt to this unique learning environment.

***“My experience in the program overall was amazing! All the instructors were very willing to help and they always would put down everything they were doing just to help you do what you needed.”

While UTI cannot guarantee employment or salary, its apprenticeship program has helped students make quick career transitions.

Because of the in-depth experience she acquired as an apprentice, Culver was weeks away from graduation when she was offered a full-time job at Service King Collision Repair.

“I actually started a week or two before I graduated from UTI. As soon as I was done with school, the next day I was here full-time.”

Culver is grateful that she discovered her career path through UTI. She believes her role as a collision repair technician is about more than just fixing cars; it’s about making people happy.

“The most rewarding thing for me is probably seeing the finished job. I finally put the car together and it looks great and the customer’s happy, that makes me really happy.”


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