HISTORY – The changing role of the collision repair technician

Dismiss the old image of a technician using a large hammer to beat out a dent in sheet metal. Yes, collision repair technicians still remove dents and work with their hands, but there is so much more complexity to the job than there was a few decades ago or even just a few years ago. Today’s collision repair technicians are highly trained and highly skilled. All the advances in technology and repair techniques have increased the proficiency level needed to be a collision repair professional, creating the need for highly specialized training and credentialing. Good reading and basic mathematical skills are a requirement, as technicians must consistently refer to technical manuals and make precise measurements.

Today's vehicles are made of more than just ordinary steel. Many automobile manufacturers now use new high-strength steel, aluminum, and plastic, which present special challenges for the repair process. Many parts are now designed to “fail safely,” meaning that the parts are designed to fail in such a way to absorb energy during a collision, rather than transfer that energy to the vehicle occupants. Given the different designs of the vehicles, the different materials used, and different fastening methods, collision repair technicians must develop appropriate repair methods for each job, using their broad, yet detailed, knowledge of collision repair techniques.


Collision repair technicians work with computerized systems and high-tech equipment, as well as with their hands. What can you expect from a collision career?

COLLISION INDUSTRY OUTLOOK – Increased need for safety means an increased demand for specialized techs. The average age of technicians is quickly approaching 50 years old, meaning that many are preparing to retire, creating numerous job vacancies.