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Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician Technical Diploma

Auto collision student sprays paint on a car's fender

Program Code: 314051

The high-tech vehicles on today's roadways call for highly-skilled vehicle repair and refinish technicians. The Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing Technician technical diploma program prepares students to repair and refinish damaged bodies and parts of automobiles and light trucks. Emphasis is on technical training for repairing and replacing vehicle panels and automotive glass; analyzing and straightening frame and unibody damage; welding, diagnosing electronics; repairing plastics and composite materials; and refinishing. Typical careers include auto collision repair technician, auto collision refinishing technician, frame and alignment technician, unibody repair specialist, and trim and glass installer. This program is ASE Certified to National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation Standards.

Follow Your Path

Some credits from this technical diploma apply toward the following associate degree(s):

Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

  • Auto Collision Repair Technician: Repairs damaged bodies of cars and light trucks; removes damaged panels and welds in new ones; removes and replaces accessories, glass, electrical parts, and interior trim; repairs or replaces plastic or composite parts; and straightens dents in sheet metal panels to restore the vehicle to pre-accident condition.
  • Auto Collision Refinishing Technician: Completes the refinishing phase of all repairs on cars, trucks, and fleet vehicles; does all stages of priming, sanding and sealing prior to the paint application; determines the type and color of paint to do the refinishing; is familiar with mixing, tinting, and shading; as well as the application of color for matching; and buffs, polishes, stripes, and details vehicle to complete the repair job.
  • Structural Repair Technician: Repairs unitized and full-frame vehicles by analyzing, measuring, and pulling the structure to the proper dimensions and replaces structural parts that are not repairable using proper structural part replacement techniques to return the vehicle to factory specifications.
  • Collision Mechanical Technician: Removes, re-installs, repairs and replaces heating and cooling brake, fuel, drivetrain, and steering and suspension components relative to collision damage; diagnose and correct vehicle wheel alignment.
  • Trim and Glass Installer: Removes, replaces, or repairs all types of glass or glass-related problems on vehicles.
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Requirements for Program Entry

  • Completed application.
  • High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to www.nwtc.edu/gettingstarted.)
  • High school background in mathematics, science, and technology education.
  • To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
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Curriculum
Curriculum: Students following the study plan below will complete the Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.
First Semester
Semester Total
16
Second Semester
Semester Total
13
Third Semester
Semester Total
12
Fourth Semester
Semester Total
12
Total Credits
53

Program Outcomes

  • Repair and replace non-structural body panels and parts.
  • Refinish non-structural and structural body panels and parts.
  • Diagnose and repair damaged vehicle structural panels and parts.
  • Perform collision repair welding and joining procedures.
  • Estimate collision repair costs.
  • Diagnose and repair body-related systems.
  • Diagnose and repair damaged body-related mechanical systems.
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Accreditation

NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) Certified Program | I-CAR Automotive Steel GMA (MIG) Welding Qualification Test Administrators. | I-CAR Industry Training Alliance Member | National Glass Association (NGA) continuing education provider.

Industry Credentials

All NWTC Auto Collision programs are ASE Certified to NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) Standards. Additionally, all instructional staff in the NWTC Auto Collision Programs are at a minimum, Master, ASE Certified Technicians.

Associations

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence | Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association | Bay Auto Body Association | National Auto Body Congress | Collision Repair Instructors Network

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit nwtc.edu/studyabroad.

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