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Job Prospects In Heavy Equipment Collision Repairs

Aug 19, 2008
Collision repair technicians or automotive body repairer's careers involve collision repairs, and repairs to damaged vehicle bodies and parts. Specialists in heavy equipment collision repair undergo specific training in order to gain the skill need to repair damage to individual sections of a range of automotive and heavy equipment. They have the expertise to a use a variety of tools to perform repairs at all levels. This would include using hammers and anvils for removing dents; using sophisticated hydraulic or pneumatic metal cutting tools, and using welding equipment to remove and replace damaged sections. Collision repair also includes complete restorations of all types of equipment.

A trainee collision repair technician requires to undergo instructional modules on computerized frame measuring, and covers computer technology for assessing frame changes on sustaining damage, shrinking and stretching metal including sheet metal, alignment work on hoods, deck lids and doors, spray painting technology and equipment, computerized paint mixing, frame straightening and alignment and many other related skills.

Collision repair training focuses on equipping candidates with sufficient knowledge and experience to suit the demands of the job market. The incumbent should be prepared to work as a heavy equipment repairer. Programs provide an opportunity for developing basic skills needed for auto body repairing and refinishing. They provide in-depth exposure to underlying theoretical and technical aspects of collision repair, and impart practical training so that adhering to proper repairing, and servicing procedures is assured.

Collision repairers need to possess good reading ability and have strong fundamentals in mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and percentage calculations along with computer skills and be able to interpret printed and digital technical manuals. Reasonably good physical abilities, like proper eye-hand co-ordination and motor skills are other attributes desirable for a career in collision repair.

Automotive technology these days are sophisticated and applicants who undergo formal training program in automotive body repair and refinishing have greater demand compared to those with just hands on experience. For rising to levels above entry-level workers, a national certification is usually required especially for working in urban areas.

Acquiring certification to become a certified collision repair technician is valuable as it opens the gateway to a range of job opportunities. To gain entry into this field, a GED or a high school diploma is generally sufficient. Many high schools or post secondary vocational schools also offer collision repair programs. Students who have studied physics, chemistry, electronics, computers, mathematics, and English are considered ideal for pursuing a career as a collision repair technician. A certified collision repair technician may comfortably fit into many positions like auto body technician, body shop/paint shop helper, fiberglass technician, automotive refinisher, sales positions in paint and automobile body supplies, auto body shop manager, insurance appraiser and many other positions related to this field.

A typical certification program is of two years with a one-year stint in apprenticeship. The usual workweek of a collision repair technician is forty hours. The remuneration varies according to the specific job, the size of the workshop, and the size of the town or city where the shop is located. During mid 2006 median earnings of automotive body and related repairers inclusive of incentive pay were at $16.92/hour. For such repairers working in automobile and equipment dealerships earning was approx. $18 an hour.
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