There are many specializations in the field of Auto mechanics. This is one of the lesser known of them. The process begins at a vocational training center, community college or high school with a basic certification program lasting anywhere from six-months to one-year. Beyond that, there are secondary degrees and advanced certifications that can take up to 3 additional years or more and these often involve some specialization areas. This leads up to the gold standard, the master certification that involves four separate certifications and can take from four to five years to complete.
Often those who successfully complete certification will continue to become an automotive mechanic, or to specialize in a motor sports certification, or any number of different certifications available. All of these have their own requirements; that said, you should research each one thoroughly before choosing a path. The minimum generally needed certification is the ASE certification. This will require two years in the field and the passage of an exam. This is the first of the four certifications involved in the master certification program. Look below for a full analysis of an auto body repair salary and what to expect.
This is one of the major segments of the automotive service industry. While job growth over all is expected to be slow, employment prospects for individuals with proven certifications and qualifications are rated as excellent. This is due primarily to the demand for replacement worker for retiree's. There are forces that are changing the landscape for this profession. Advanced technology is reducing the need for extensive body repairs with the increasing use of plastic body parts and other modular technologies. Higher insurance deductibles also discourage traditional repairs. However, this means that there is a greater concentration on higher value work requiring advanced experience and training.
There has been a lot of change and consolidation in the automotive industry in the United States in recent years. Most of those have had an impact on the repair sector and the auto body industry in particular. There has been a trend toward commoditizing the cost of vehicle maintenance and repair. This has lead to wage pressure downward. However, this also means that skilled experienced auto body tech will be in demand for luxury car and specialty vehicle work. The trend is toward fewer, higher value jobs and there for entry-level jobs will be increasingly more difficult to find. Conversely, there is also the new independent warranty service providers who market to the used car owner market. This will absorb the job loss in the new car market and continue to provide employment for newcomers to the field.