Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology Training Program

Body shops and auto collision repair centers throughout the U.S. are expected to add more than 15,000 jobs to the workforce between 2014 and 2024. Numerous schools across the country offer formal collision repair training for aspiring members of the industry, and NATEF-accredited programs are among the most respected and reliable of all auto body training schools.

Thinking about becoming an auto body technician yourself? Here's some info about NATEF collision repair training schools and how your education can lead to a solid career.

What is NATEF?

NATEF, which stands for National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, is an independent non-profit organization whose mission it is to improve the quality of auto mechanic and collision repair training programs nationwide. NATEF officials examine instructional resources and program structure to ensure that collision repair and mechanic schools can give students the skills necessary to succeed once they graduate into the working world.

What are the Benefits of Attending Auto Body Schools?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals who attend training programs at collision repair schools tend to move on to positions of independence and greater responsibility quicker than those who jump straight into the job search without formal training. Here's a short list of subjects you're likely to study in your auto body technician training program:

  • Painting and refinishing
  • Structural analysis and repair
  • Damage estimating
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Plastic and adhesives repair
  • Suspension and alignment
  • Airbrushing techniques
  • Welding

Depending on the program you choose, another benefit may be the ability to take a portion of the credits you earned in auto body school and transfer them into a bachelor's degree program at a public or private university. If you're hoping to further your education after a few years as an auto body technician, make sure to look for collision repair schools that offer their training as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree plan, rather than a certificate or diploma.

How Much Does an Auto Body Technician Make?

Data published by the BLS show that the mean annual auto body technician salary was $43,870 nationwide in 2014, with the average for workers at dealership service centers coming in a couple thousand dollars higher. Some of the largest salaries by industry in the nation belonged to collision techs who worked for car manufacturers -- auto body repairers in that industry reported mean annual wages of $60,170 in 2014.

There are quite a range of auto body technician salaries across the country, as well. A survey of postings on employment site Indeed.com showed the following job totals at each salary level in February 2016:

  • $30,000-$34,999: 244
  • $35,000-$39,999: 386
  • $40,000-$44,999: 338
  • $45,000-$49,999: 256
  • $50,000+: 261

Auto body techs with specialized expertise or extensive experience on the job tend to make more money per year on average. BLS stats don't contain reports for each level of education or income, but 2014 data indicate that the top 25 percent of earners in the industry took home $53,370 or more -- around $10,000 per year greater than the national average -- while the top 10 percent of auto body technician salaries all came in above $68,590 the same year.

How Can You Enroll in Auto Body Schools?

If you think you're ready to find a collision repair training program in your area, it's always a good idea to reach out and speak to a few schools individually before settling on one. Browse through our listings below to get an idea of what's out there, then get in touch and find out how you can get started on the path to a sturdy career in auto body repair.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed February 28, 2016: Automotive Body and Related Repairers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes493021.htm; Automotive Body and Glass Repairers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Installation-Maintenance-and-Repair/Automotive-body-and-glass-repairers.htm;
  2. About NATEF, National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, accessed February 28, 2016, http://www.natef.org/About-NATEF.aspx
  3. School pages, accessed February 28, 2016: Automotive Collision Technician Program, Ohio Technical College, http://www.ohiotech.edu/auto-collision-technician-program/; Auto Collision Repair Technology, Southeast Community College, https://www.southeast.edu/autocollisionrepair/;
  4. Auto Body Repair Technician Jobs, Indeed.com, accessed February 28, 2016, http://www.indeed.com/q-AUTO-BODY-REPAIR-TECHNICIAN-jobs.html

Schools offering Collision Repair Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            2 PROGRAMS FOUND
            • Automotive programs include Automotive Technology, Collision Repair and Refinishing, Diesel Technology, and Heavy Equipment.
            • ASE-Certified Instructors with professional experience help students prepare for a career as an Auto Technician.
            • Students get hands-on training, work under the hood, and learn how to diagnose and fix problems using the proper tools.
            • Lincoln’s Career Services department can help connect graduating students to industry contacts.
            Campus VISIT SCHOOL
            2 PROGRAMS FOUND
            At UTI, you won’t just train for a career. You’ll train for success. The hands-on training and high-tech skills you’ll get at UTI will put you on the fast track to a rewarding career as a professional technician.* Across the nation, you’ll find UTI-trained technicians working in great jobs with top manufacturers, dealerships and repair shops.
            Campus REQUEST INFO
            4 PROGRAMS FOUND
            National Aviation Academy is a nationally recognized Aviation Maintenance training school, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Our programs prepare students for certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A & P) Certification is required to perform maintenance and repairs on aircraft from small Cessna Props, to the largest jet airplanes. In simple terms, we are an airplane mechanic school, although we typically stick with the aviation mechanic school or aviation maintenance technician school terminology.
            Campus REQUEST INFO
            1 PROGRAMS FOUND
            • Has helped individuals get the training they need for the careers they want for over 45 years.
            • Provides career training programs designed to prepare students for some of today’s most popular skilled trade careers.
            • Career assistance services are available for students and alumni, including resume and cover letter help, networking, and interviewing skills.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2000.
            Campus VISIT SCHOOL
            1 PROGRAMS FOUND
            • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Campus VISIT SCHOOL