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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology

Majors Overview November 19, 2013

An Associate of Applied Science can be earned after completing collision repair and refinishing technology degree programs. Students enrolled in these programs will be trained to perform structural and cosmetic repairs to vehicles that are extremely or mildly damaged; this prepares students to transfer to 4-year institutes or for entry-level careers in automotive technology management.

A.A.S. in Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology

Students enrolled in Associate of Applied Science Degree Programs, in Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology, are taught about removal of dents from sheet metal, repair of plastic paneling and trim, replacement of broken glass, and straightening of frames. They can also expect to become adept at refinishing – a process that involves the application of many layers of paint to the body panels of an automobile. Students can also gain expertise in diagnosing problems with vehicles’ electrical systems and making repair estimates. Correspondingly, they learn about the use of equipment and topic areas such as safety and welding.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria, in many instances, only require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Passage of assessment exams may also be expected of students seeking admission to some programs.


While coursework in a 2-year AAS program mainly focuses on procedures related to auto body repair, programs may also include courses in English, computer technology and math. Coursework may also cover topic areas in shop management, with Core coursework often including:

•Paint blending
•Metal inert gas welding
•Structural repair
•Surface preparation
•Electrical systems
•Topcoat and undercoat application

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete these programs can seek entry-level jobs with auto body repair shops, auto manufacturers, insurance companies and car dealerships. They could choose from various job titles such as:

•Manufacturer sales representative
•Collision center manager
•Insurance adjuster
•Collision repair technician
•Automotive refinishing technician

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of collision repair and refinishing technology associate degree programs are allowed to transfer credits earned to 4-year programs, in automotive technology management or automotive technology. Coursework in bachelor’s degree programs may include topic areas such as customer service management, staff supervision and vehicle diagnostics.

These graduates can also seek professional certification after they gain a year’s work experience and qualify for the certification exam administered by the Automotive Service Excellence’s (ASE). The passage of all four exams related to collision repair and refinish will allow a candidate to assume the title of ASE Master Collision Repair Technician. These voluntary professional certifications can help enhance the career prospects of interested individuals (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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