Skip to main content
Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Auto Body Collision Technology Programs

Recommended High School Level Background Courses

• General and Technical Writing
• Reading Comprehension (Technical Manuals)
• Communications
• Applied Math
• Personal Finance
• Intro to Applied Physics
• Computers (Strong skills is technical data searches)
• Any Industrial Tech Courses (emphasis on metals, auto, welding, and D.C. Electrical)
• Lifetime Fitness

Basic skills in the program and on the job

Strong reading skills are a benefit in this program as auto collision technicians regularly need to use service information to complete repairs. These technical manuals are written at a high reading level due to specifics of the repair instructions. In addition to the written information they reference many diagrams and service charts that must be correctly cross referenced. Service information generally requires using indexes to source the correct procedures for a specific vehicle as well as the specific system being repaired. The service information is often times in electronic format and as a result requires good computer skills.

Math is used on a regular basis in the auto body trade and requires good basic skills to succeed. Paint products are mixed utilizing ratios for mixing in grams, ounces, or other units of measurements. In order to be cost effective with the products these measurements will vary each time a product is mixed. The frame and unibody repair equipment works with metric measurement for repairs. The business end of the industry must properly calculate sales tax, parts discounts, labor rates, and calculate the estimates and billing correctly.

Everyone in the auto body industry needs to be able to explain technical repair procedures to customers, insurance company representatives, and other shop personal. As a result it is important to be able to explain technical repairs using every day terms and items to communicate the repair process.

Computers are used on a daily basis to access service information when repairing collision damaged vehicles. This requires a technician to be able to move through technical service repair software as well as search the internet for specific repair procedures. Paint mixing systems use digital scales linked to computers to help with paint mixing and color formula retrieval. Estimates for repair cost are all done using computer software and data bases for proper pricing. Digital imaging is a must in the industry and shops need to be able to communicate and transfer data electronically.

Students need to be good time managers to effectively complete auto collision repairs in a timely manner. Much of the learning is done with hands on skill building sessions advancing into customer vehicle repairs. It is important to stay organized and gain good disassembly and reassembly skills. The basic skills for body work and painting are taught first then advancing into collision repair theories in a systematic order.

Professional responsibilities

• Analyze vehicle damage and determine repair plan
• Secure needed parts and repair materials
• Disassemble vehicle in an organized manner
• Complete structural and mechanical repairs related to the collision damage
• Complete body repairs and priming procedures
• Refinish and detail vehicle finish as required
• Reassemble and perform final inspections including road testing vehicle
• Complete all required paperwork and insurance company procedures
• Operate the shop in a compliant manner as related to environmental laws and OSHA regulations

Career Options

• Collision Repair Technician
• Painter
• Paint Prep Technician
• Frame and Structural Repair Technician
• Body Technician
• Detailer
• Electrical and Mechanical Collision Technician
• Parts Specialist
• Production Manager
• Estimator
• Dismantler/Assembler

Skills covered in the Auto Body Collision Technology coursework

• Perform body panel repairs and replacements including minor structural damage
• Perform vehicle refinishing preparation, application, and paint detailing
• Dismantling and reassembly of vehicle body parts, trim, interior components, and non-structural glass
• Safe and professional work habits
• Perform minor mechanical and electrical collision related procedures
• Asses vehicle damage, develop a repair plan utilizing service information, and communicate the calculation of repair costs and procedures to the related parties

© 2022 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 507-453-2700.

Minnnesota State Logo - vertical

Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State