Car buffs looking to break into the auto collision repair industry can now get their training during evening classes at Daytona State College beginning in January 2016.
The new night courses leading to a vocational certificate in Auto Body and Collision Repairwill be offered at Daytona State’s Advanced Technology College (ATC) off Williamson Blvd.in Daytona Beach.
“Through our advisory committee network, graduates are being placed at dealerships and independent repair facilities from New Smyrna Beach to DeLand and Bunnell,” said program manager Gene Deyo. “For anyone interested in cars and trucks, the collision repair industry offers an excellent opportunity to work with your hands on all different types of vehicles, doing what you love, with the potential for very good earnings.”
The one-year program is open to high school, college-level and adult students, particularly those interested in preparing for I-CAR and ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)certification tests, including the ASE B2 exam (painting and refinishing), which is included with tuition and can be taken on site at the ATC.
Students will receive hands-on training in areas that include unibody and frame damage analysis, refinishing, collision repair, welding repair, metal straightening and body filling, modern painting processes and more.
The program is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Financial aid and scholarships are available.
Deyo said 90 percent of program graduates land jobs with local dealerships and independent repair facilities. Nationally, average wages for collision repair experts range from $26,000 annually for entry-level workers to $70,000 and higher for those with experience.
“Our Advisory Committee members report paying wages of $75,000 to $100,000 for topnotch painters and body repair technicians,” said Deyo. At the same time, there’s a lack of trained technicians – a worsening trend as boomers in the trade retire, he adds.
For more information, contact Deyo at (386) 506-4169 or DeyoE@DaytonaState.edu.