In the world of Collision Repair, employers prefer that auto body repair workers, complete a training program and they look for people who have strong communication and analytical skills. Most work as a team on complex repairs and many work longer than 40 hours a week. Workers are expected to be able to keep up on the latest trends, materials and techniques by reading technical manuals and attend related continuing education classes. Auto body repair specialists fix or replace damaged vehicle body parts and frames. They can heat and press most plastic body panels back into place, fill or pop out dents, cut, grind and file using fillers to create original body shapes, straighten body parts and frames using special machines as well as do basic mechanical repairs. Some specialize in specific repairs such as fiberglass car bodies. Those who end up working in small shops often are also the person who inspects damages and writes up estimates of repair costs.
Today's workers use a computer program to compare where the vehicle body should be as if it just left the factory, to any differences that may exist given the damage that occurred. These details begin the process as to what needs to be done to pull the affected parts back to where they should be. Once this is done, the sheet metal is smoothed out to be arrow dynamic and water tight. Next comes priming, painting and reassembly so the end results are easily seen and appreciated by the customer. Auto repair workers often share that it is a very satisfactory feeling to take a damaged vehicle, trouble shoot the repair, do a quality repair job and then watch the owner of the vehicle drive off with a buffed and beautiful automobile.
The Collision Repair shop at the CTE Center - Meridian Campus, was opened in school year 2011-12 with cutting edge industry standard equipment, which includes environmentally sound water-based paints and state-of-art exhaust and flush systems. Students engage in a-z repairs on 'practice" salvaged vehicles that are donated and eventually will be crushed. Advanced students after extensive safety training, learn to handle hazardous materials and master panel replacement, painting and refinishing, thermoplastic, fiberglass repair and estimating skills.
Program classes taught at the CTE center are:
Collision Repair I (a one-semester class, one period class--students also take a CTE 'package' class with it)
Collision Repair II (year-long class)
Collision Repair III (year-long class)
Also available - Program Brochures