If you enjoy working with cars, have a talent for mechanics, and enjoy hands-on work, you might want to consider pursuing a career in collision repair. With automobile accidents occurring every day, it is a field that will always be in demand. If you are looking for a career that offers stability, a reasonable salary, consistency, and an ability to create, automobile service is an ideal avenue for you.
Make sure that you understand the components of the car and how to work with it. When you get a certification in automotive collision repair, you have the opportunity to work in a trade that is always looking for specialists. If you start in an entry level repair position, the automotive industry has a seemingly infinite list of advancement opportunities in many different aspects of auto service maintenance as well as estimators who calculate damage repair costs.
Although some accidents are severe enough that the car may be totaled, if it is salvageable, a collision technician will replace the auto parts, components and body panels necessary to mend it.
The pay scale for auto service is comparable to most trades, though it can vary based on the region of the country that you are in. The industry is in high demand. Many of the technicians who have invested their entire lives into this business are ultimately retiring and moving on to pursue other interests.
Accidents and car damage do not stop because the owner of the auto body shop has retired, so it can be beneficial to take advantage of these possible opportunities. In most cases, collision repair technicians specialize in restoring a car to its original condition after an accident.
Although some car frame damages are severe enough that the car may be totaled, if it is salvageable, a collision repair technician will replace the parts, components and body panels necessary to fix it. In some instances, this type also may require that extensive body work be done, including filler material for cracks and dents.
When you pursue a degree in collision repair and auto body work, this is one of the fields you will study. The key to successful body work is to be sure that you are comfortable working with the compound first. You need to be able to work with the bonding agent. Once you spread it evenly on the surface of the dent, it will fill in any low spots. Once the surface is smooth and cured, you can sand it down to a smooth, finished body line. After sanding and smoothing the body work, you may need to evaluate the benefits of a new paint job.
If the car is still factory paint, you should be able to mix it to a matching color fairly easily. Apply a thin primer coat to the car before the new paint job. The primer will give an even base coat that will allow it to take the color easier. Some of the things that you should focus on when you look for certification as a collision repair technician are the mechanical as well as the cosmetic damage.
There are many facets to the career, including the potential for rebuilding an engine or fixing the suspension. When you understand how to maximize this knowledge, you can have the cars back on the road in no-time. Many trade schools and smaller community schools offer training and certification programs in automotive, collision damage repair and automotive body work.
Read magazines on auto body repair news. Work with the local community trade school to get the education that you need. Find a shop that is willing to sponsor you and you can set up and break into the industry. There are as many as seven to ten predefined roles for automotive collision, so you should talk with a local shop about what is available before you settle on a final specialty path.
- Wrecked Car: Owned by the author