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Car lovers of all stripes can turn their love for automobiles into a thriving career. Whether you want to repair engines, do routine maintenance, or fix damaged vehicles, there are plenty of money making opportunities for those with the right skills. Although some positions offer on-the-job training, many employers seek applicants with some type of postsecondary technical skills training.

Florida auto body repair technician programs prepare students for rewarding careers in the collision repair and refinishing industry. These programs are generally offered at vocational and technical colleges, and completion typically results in the award of a diploma or certificate. At some schools, credits may be applied toward earning an Associate's degree. Certificate programs generally take less than two years to complete, while Associate's degrees usually require two years of full-time study.

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Auto Body Repair Technician Schools in Florida

Auto body repair technicians in Florida are not required to be licensed but may wish to pursue a postsecondary education to advance their career to the next level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that many employers prefer hiring technicians with postsecondary training, which also may be needed for promotions beyond entry-level positions.

  • Lake Technical College: Formerly known as Lake County Area Vocational Technical Center, Lake Technical College serves students throughout Central Florida. Located in Tavares, this public institution offers real world career training through vocational and technical programs as well as high school diploma equivalency courses. In addition to the auto body repair program, Lake Tech teaches programs in business, health science, hospitality, manufacturing, information technology, and more. Online classes are also available for some academic areas. The auto body repair program can be completed in just 47 weeks.
  • Fort Meyers Technical College: Boasting a beautifully manicured 30-acre campus, Fort Meyers Technical College provides career training in over 30 different occupational disciplines. The school was founded in 1966 and is governed by the rules of The School District of Lee County. There are 2 campuses, the Main Campus and the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy, both located in Fort Meyers. The Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing program lasts 13 months and prepares students to earn their ASE certification through the Refinishing B-2 Test. The school also offers related programs in automotive and marine service technologies.
  • South Florida State College: Founded in 1965, South Florida State College (SFSC) held its first classes in an old hotel and used a former grocery store as its library. The school now boasts 4 campuses and a staff of over 400 people, with the main campus located in Avon Park. SFSC offers a variety of academic programs leading to Bachelor's degrees, Associate's degrees, occupational certificates, and diplomas. The Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing program may be completed in four terms, resulting in an occupational certificate. Related programs include auto service technology and commercial vehicle driving.
  • Hillsborough Community College: Hillsborough Community College (HCC) serves the Tampa Bay area with 5 primary locations, 3 satellite campuses, and a continuing education center. The school offers academic majors in more than 30 disciplines. In addition to degree programs, HCC also offers career training, certificate programs, and short-term training opportunities. The Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing program prepares students to sit for their ASE certification exams, although graduation is not dependent upon passing them. Students may apply the credits they earn toward an Associate's degree in industrial management.

Florida Auto Body Repair Technician Programs

In Florida, auto body repair technician programs can be found at a number of schools located throughout the state. In addition to the cost and length of these programs, students should consider whether a program's curriculum and training facilities meet their individual needs. Students are advised to visit several locations prior to making a final decision on attendance.

Since auto body repair technicians in Florida are not required to be licensed, curriculum varies slightly between schools. However, many schools prepare students to sit for ASE certification exams. Thus, many of the same issues are covered in the lab and classroom in order to prepare for these exams. Typical courses at Florida auto body repair technician programs include:

  • Automotive Refinishing
  • Paint and Body Helper
  • Paint and Body Assistant
  • Auto Collision Estimator
  • Automobile Body Repairer
  • Auto Collision Estimator
  • Frame and Body Repairman

As with most service based careers, technical skill only provides one part of the recipe for success. Auto body repair technicians in Florida must also be able to communicate effectively with customers and colleagues. Some artistic ability, critical thinking skills, and a keen eye for detail are also imperative.

Additional Requirements for Auto Body Technicians in Florida

Auto body repair technicians are not required to be individually licensed, although obtaining industry recognized certifications may improve career and earnings prospects. The State of Florida does require all automotive repair shops and self-employed auto body repair technicians to register their business on a two-year basis.

Sources:

  1. Automotive Body and Glass Repairers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015-16 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-body-and-glass-repairers
  2. Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing, Ft. Meyers Technical College, https://www.fortmyerstech.edu/content.php?program=90
  3. Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing, Hillsborough Community College, https://www.hccfl.edu/auto-collision.aspx
  4. Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing, Lake Technical College, http://www.laketech.org/programs/automotive-collision-repair-and-refinishing
  5. Collision Repair and Refinishing - OC, South Florida State College, http://www.southflorida.edu/current-students/degrees-programs/academics/automotive-programs/collision-repair-refinishing-3210
  6. Motor Vehicle Repair, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Consumer-Services/Consumer-Resources/Consumer-Protection/Motor-Vehicle-Repair
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More Florida Auto Body Repair Schools

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Fort Lauderdale
Bachelors
43,700
Lake Worth
Bachelors
30,520
Tampa
Associates
27,061
Jacksonville
Bachelors
24,078
Fort Pierce
Bachelors
18,244
Sanford
Bachelors
17,706
Cocoa
Bachelors
15,825
Gainesville
Bachelors
15,404
Daytona Beach
Bachelors
12,706
Ocala
Bachelors
7,375
Orlando
N/A
2,909
Coconut Creek
N/A
2,737
Avon Park
Bachelors
2,722
Orlando
N/A
2,489
Marianna
Bachelors
2,231
Hollywood
N/A
1,612
Miami Lakes
N/A
971
Davie
N/A
936
Tampa
N/A
924
Kissimmee
N/A
900
Sarasota
N/A
885
Tallahassee
N/A
877
Bradenton
N/A
829
Saint Petersburg
N/A
783
Clearwater
N/A
766
Fort Myers
N/A
736
Eustis
N/A
643
Winter Haven
N/A
642
Naples
N/A
619
Tampa
N/A
613
Miami
N/A
581
Milton
N/A
578
Miami
N/A
578
Pensacola
N/A
539
Saint Augustine
N/A
418
Panama City
N/A
413
Lakeland
N/A
407
Leisure City
N/A
345
West Palm Beach
Bachelors
345
Immokalee
N/A
324
Inverness
N/A
288
Tampa
N/A
257
Chipley
N/A
241
New Port Richey
N/A
212
Port Charlotte
N/A
194
Fort Walton Beach
N/A
182
Live Oak
N/A
164
Starke
N/A
163
DeFuniak Springs
N/A
157
Miami
N/A
84
Hialeah
N/A
67

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Automotive Body Repairers

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Florida. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Automotive Body Repairers

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Automotive Body Repairers relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Jacksonville830 $39,290
Cape Coral-Fort Myers320 $36,110
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin110 $46,160
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach260 $36,400
Gainesville130 $45,370
Homosassa Springs60 $46,380
Lakeland-Winter Haven180 $43,680
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach3000 $39,240
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island200 $68,980
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton270 $40,010
Ocala210 $40,070
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford1400 $42,020
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville290 $37,510
Panama City80 $39,380
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent210 $41,860
Port St. Lucie220 $35,500
Punta GordaN/A $38,120
Sebastian-Vero Beach80 $40,270
Sebring40 $48,910
Tallahassee210 $51,250
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater1290 $40,790

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