Auto Body Repair Schools
The average American has an automobile accident once every seven years, which means that having somebody who can repair a vehicle is a must. Auto body repair schools teach the skills necessary to restore body damage, broken glass, and other essential fixes for automobiles of all types.
Courses to Expect
When you enroll in one of these schools, you can expect to get a lot of hands on experience repairing automobiles. Many colleges offer individuals needing repairs to offer their car as training for students at a reduced rate. In addition to the actual maintenance and repair work, classroom studies include courses on mathematics, appraisal, engineering, and other mechanical essentials. Most auto body repair degrees are two year associates degrees, although some schools offer certificate and diploma programs that only take one year to complete. Both a degree and a certificate will qualify you for a full time career in this field.
Preparation for School
Before attending a school to receive training in auto body repair, you should do what you can to familiarize yourself with vehicles and their repair. Shop classes in high school are a good way to start, as are part time jobs in garages or repair shops. Other high school courses that can be useful include math up to trigonometry, computer sciences, and physics. Taking other classes such as English, psychology, and the basics of business will give you the communication skills and business savvy needed to deal with customers and to run a repair garage of your own if desired.
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Top 10 Schools
The auto body repair schools listed below represent the best programs to learn the trade, based on the success levels of graduates and the qualifications of the faculty members.
Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, New Hampshire
Ashworth College in Norcross, Georgia
Penn Foster Career School in Scranton, Pennsylvania
New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, Rhode Island
Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan
Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan
Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio
Attending a school in this field can cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per year in tuition and fees, plus an additional $250 to $400 in textbooks and supplies. You can get financial aid through the traditional federal channels such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also get some help through joining groups such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA). Your home state might have societies or groups dedicated to the training of auto body technicians as well, and many of these groups offer scholarships and other financial aid.
Auto body schools offer essential technical training as well as preparation for the world of business. Once you receive your certificate or degree, you can expect to find work in almost any garage or to go into business for yourself.