How to Become a Collision Repair Technician

auto body collision specialist buffing out fender

With so many cars and trucks on the road, accidents happen every day. When they do, collision repair technicians are there to assess the damage and bring the vehicle back to its original state. This type of work does not involve any engine repair, instead it focuses on the body of the vehicle. If you or somebody you know is interested in a career as a collision repair technician, there are several ways to get into the field.

What Does a Collision Repair Technician Do?

Collision repair technicians are trained to analyze, assess, and fix damaged vehicles. Their work can include repairing, replacing, and refinishing the outer body of the car but they can also be trained in fixing internal automotive structures. When they aren’t repairing collision damage, technicians may work on body customization or minor repairs, such as dents, scratches, or corrosion damage.

If you are interested in a rewarding a challenging career in auto body repair work check out these tips.

Some typical tasks include:

  • Pounding out dents
  • Straightening a vehicle’s frame
  • Using a welding torch to create high-strength bonds between metal
  • Replace damaged body panels, fenders, or doors
  • Applying the right paint color or performing touch ups using paint matching technology
What Education is Needed to Get Started?

While most auto body technicians only need a high school diploma and some training, enrolling in post-secondary programs and obtaining certifications only makes candidates more qualified to employers.  

There are several steps that can be taken in becoming a collision repair technician. By obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree in automotive technology, as a respective tech you will improve you job opportunities in this field. Programs can be found in several institutions, such as community colleges and vocational schools.

Once you have completed a formal training program, you will need to seek on-the-job training to gain needed skills to advance their career. By gaining real world experience, you will soon be able to prepare for certification and open more job opportunities.

Stand Out Certifications

The Universal Technical Institute is a 54 week program designed to train students to become familiar with the tools, equipment, and technology used in collision repair centers across the U.S. They will also work closely with five industry-leading manufacturers including 3M, Audatex, Axalta, Chief Automotive Technologies, and Information Services Inc.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers in-depth training and certification exams for people seeking credentials as collision repair technicians. Only two out of three test-takers pass on their first attempt, but to be ASE certified is impressive to many reputable auto repair shops.

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are proud to have six technicians on our team to ensure your car is road ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dent or a major collision repair job, we are happy to provide you with top-quality results with undeniable service. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your auto body needs.

The Anatomy of a Car Crush Zone

gray and red car in a collision

Collisions can happen to anyone and with new innovative technology car manufacturers are working to make their vehicles as safe as possible. One way they do this is by adapting their vehicles in the front and back with a series of crush zones, or crumple zones, that will help prevent any serious damage to the occupants inside. Auto engineers must consider many factors when designing safer cars, such as vehicle size and weight, frame stiffness, and any stresses the car will be subjected to in a crash.

What’s in a Crush Zone?

Specifics on what goes into a crush zone vary depending on the vehicle’s size and weight. Automakers must create a balance between having too much and too little impact resistance. Some designs can include frame segments that bend in areas or some that collapse into themselves. More innovative solutions use a variety of metals and materials that are engineered to take as much impact as possible to prevent harm to the passenger section.

Frontal Crush Zones

The main goal of frontal crush zones is to keep the shape of the cabin in order to protect the occupant’s space. Depending on the severity of the front-end accident, the car’s hood will experience the most damage. Cars have bumper reinforcements, that is what absorbs the energy of the impact. It is meant to absorb the impact and crumple, protecting the passengers inside and key mechanical components underneath the hood.

Rear Crush Zones

A rear collision is the most common type, making it clear that automakers must efficiently make this area an efficient crumple zone. To ensure the safety of the driver and everyone on the road, auto engineers will construct the rear bumpers with aluminum, steel, rubber, and plastic depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It’s crucial for the rear bumper to have bumper reinforcements as well to absorb the impact to keep it from damaging important elements of the car, such as the frame, as well as the vehicle’s occupants.

Avoid Collisions

Collisions are preventable and 80% of them are caused by simple driver distractions. That is why it is important to remember to put down that cell phone, pay attention to your surroundings, and to drive defensively. While crush zones can keep us safe, it is not a guarantee. Even so, the damage to repair can be costly and be a major pain to deal with.

Our experienced technicians at Ric’s Body & Paint are more than qualified to inspect your vehicle after your accident to efficiently and honestly restore your car back to its original shape. Contact us or visit our shop to learn how we can help!