Automotive Schools Near Me
If you like the idea of taking banged up vehicles and making them good as new, then a career as an auto body technician might be for you. Becoming an Automotive Collision Technology Technician leads to a career that is rewarding and provides good options for your future. As an auto body technician, you can work at an independent garage, at a dealership, or start your own business. So how do you get there? We’ll go over your options for how to become an auto body technician, how long it will take, and how much it will cost.
Step 1: High School Diploma or GED
Most auto repair shops require a high school diploma or GED, and it’s a prerequisite for the auto body school training that you’ll want to get. If you’re currently in high school, look into a trades training program at your school or dual enrollment with a technical college. These are options for jumpstarting your automotive repair technician career at little or no cost to you.
Step 2: Trade School
Select a trade school near you that offers an automotive collision specialist program. While it’s not necessary for every job, if you’re reading this article, you already know that putting effort into your career will give a solid foundation and will increase your earning potential in the years to come. You will be a much more desirable applicant when you have completed trade school, and you will have the necessary foundation to earn auto body certifications.
In the Lake Technical College Autobody school, you’ll learn the following:
- Basic auto body skills
- Welding, painting, and estimating
- Metal straightening, plastic repair, panel and structural component replacement
- Hands-on training using state-of-the-art industry equipment and paint systems
- Hands-on training using Chief EZ Liner and Garmat paint booth systems
- Use of mechanical and laser measuring systems, hydraulic straightening equipment and MIG welding
- National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and I-CAR Certified materials
The program at Lake Technical College is NATEF certified, and our faculty are PPG, DuPont, Chief and I-CAR certified.
Check out the following video to see Lake Tech instructors and students at work in the garage.
Step 3: ASE & I-CAR Certification
ASE Certification in Automotive Collision Repair is an industry standard for mechanics and auto body technicians. I-CAR is a highly sought after certification specific to the auto body industry. At Lake Technical College, you’ll prepare for I-CAR and ASE Certification and take the requisite exams as part of your Auto Body Training program. Check with the Auto Body School you are interested in to find out what certifications are included in the program.
The ASE certification is offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to auto body technicians who can demonstrate their knowledge through a series of exams. You can register and take the exams online. However, becoming a certified technician also requires hands on experience. Once you are certified, you will need to renew your certification with further testing every 5 years.
The I-CAR certification was created by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. This international non-profit organization provides certification to several professions in the auto body industry including insurance appraisers. I-CAR is considered an unbiased authority in automotive service training and certification, and offers a Platinum Certification for highly advanced auto body technicians in addition to the initial certification. They also certify auto body shops with highly qualified technicians as Gold-Class I-CAR shops. Both the technician and shop certifications require continuous training and periodic renewal to maintain I-CAR certification.
Step 4: Continuing Education
In the automotive collision repair field, there always advances in technology coming out, as well ongoing opportunities for you to specialize your craft and increase earning potential. Follow your interests, and consider specializing in areas such as hybrid repair and custom car painting.
Furthermore, you can continue your higher education once you finish auto body school. Some programs allow you to transfer credits to a two-year or four-year college degree. Lake Tech offers transfer credits through an articulation agreement with Lake Sumter State College. Students completing the program receive 24 college credits towards the Industrial Management Technology A.S. degree at Lake Sumter State College.
Career as an Automotive Collision Technician
Upon completing the Automotive Collision Technology program at Lake Tech, you’ll be eligible for the following positions:
- Body tech
- Painter tech
- Frame tech
- Service writer estimator
- Insurance appraiser
- Paint supply rep
- Shop manager
- Auto body parts manager
- Auto body instructor
Automotive Collision School FAQ’s
Autobody school takes 1-2 years to complete, depending on your state requirements and the school. At Lake Technical college, the Auto Body program takes 1.5 years to complete, with 47 weeks of coursework and 1,400 hours included.
The Automotive Collision Technology Technician program at Lake Tech costs just over $4,000. Compare this to the national cost for auto body school, which is between $6,000 and $20,000. Train with top instructors for a fraction of the cost of other schools.
Nationally, the average salary for an auto body shop manager is $73,300. The average salary for a body shop manager in Orlando, FL is $67,800 per year.
Based on the quality of instructors, the support that students receive throughout the program, and the high pass rate and placement rate, Lake Technical College has the best automotive program in Central Florida.
Auto Body School
If you are looking for an Auto Body School near Orlando, FL, train with the best instructors in the industry at the Automotive Collision Technology Technician program at Lake Tech. At just a fraction of the cost of many other programs, we support you so that you can graduate on time and begin your career as an automotive body specialist with hands on skills you need to succeed. Fill out an application to get started or call us today at (352) 589-2250.