Are you interested in cars? Do you like working with your hands? Then begin a career as an auto body technician. In less than two years, you can earn San Juan College's Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Auto Body. Over the course of three semesters, you'll learn about refinishing, structural repair, custom-painting techniques, and more. Our expert instructors will make sure you have all the knowledge and skills you need to prepare for industry certifications. Start your journey into the growing field of auto body and collision repair today.
Why Enter an Auto Body Program?
There is always a large demand for collision repair technicians nationwide. That means you can find a steady job repairing and restoring damaged vehicles. You'll be able to work for car dealerships, auto body shops, insurance companies, and custom car shops. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for automotive body and glass repairers was $47,270 in May 2021.
With an auto body training program, you'll follow industry-based curriculums that will ensure you have the training you need to start your career. You'll learn important concepts in:
- Custom painting techniques
- Non-structural repair
- Structural repair
You may even choose to specialize in a specific area of collision repair to advance your career.
Why Study Auto Body Repair at San Juan College
Get a jumpstart on your auto body career by studying at SJC, where you can earn your Auto Body AAS in as little as three semesters. That means you can find an entry-level job in just two years. We'll help you develop the skills you need to graduate and advance your career.
Prepare for Certification
By completing the associate degree in auto body, you will be ready to take advanced certification courses at SJC. These classes will help you obtain Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) ProLevel® certificates. The I-CAR endorsements will help you to move up in your career and qualify for higher pay. You can earn the following certificates through your courses and additional training:
- I-CAR ProLevel 1 Estimating
- I-CAR ProLevel 1, 2, 3 Refinishing
- I-CAR ProLevel 1, 2, 3 Non-Structural
- I-CAR ProLevel 1 Steel Structural
Learn from the Best
At SJC, you'll study with expert instructors. Your auto body classes will be led by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified and I-CAR Platinum-certified instructors. They will ensure that you are learning the essential principles and skills you need to be job-ready.
Train in Our Body Shop
Learn in our 12,000-square-foot, well-equipped automotive shop. SJC is the only college in New Mexico, and one of the few in the Four Corners area, that is an I-CAR training site. That means you'll be working with some of the most up-to-date equipment that will help you work with newer cars. Cutting-edge equipment used for current training requirements include:
- Coachbuilding equipment
- Custom paint area
- Fully equipped sheet metal fabrication area
- Numerous Miller Multimatic welders
- Paint mixing room with a dedicated intermix system
- Prep booth
- Pro Spot I-4 inverter spot welder
- Pro Spot nitrogen plastic welder
- Pro Spot SP5 MIG welder
- Two frame racks with 3D measuring systems
- Two spray booths
- Virtual reality paint simulator
Affordable Auto Body Training Program
Because of SJC's low tuition rates, our Auto Body AAS is an excellent investment for your career. We provide scholarship opportunities to lower the cost of your degree and to help pay for the price of tools. Discover if you can get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships.
What You'll Learn in the Auto Body AAS
SJC's associate degree in auto body takes three semesters to complete. You'll learn about important core topics, including:
- 3D measuring systems
- Chemistry and composition of coatings
- Collision mitigation systems and Supplemental Restraint Systems (airbag systems)
- Color theory and adjustment
- Damage analyses and blueprinting
- Estimate writing
- Non-structural and structural repairs
- Pre- and post-scan operations
- Vehicle surface preparation and refinishing operations
- Welding and brazing procedures
Check Out Our Automotive Shop
Careers and Outcomes
Upon completing the associate degree in auto body, you'll be ready to work in body shops to fix and design cars. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment of automotive body repairers to grow 3% from 2021 to 2031, showing growth opportunities.
As an Auto Body AAS graduate, you'll be able to find work as:
- Auto damage adjuster
- Auto part paint jobber
- Car detailer
- Non-structural technician
- Parts specialist
- Prep technician
- Refinish technician
- Steel/aluminum technician
Graduates of SJC's auto body program have found employment at:
- 3D Auto Sports
- ABRA Auto Body & Glass
- Car Crafters
- Star Collision Center
- Webb Automotive Group
- West Star Aviation
- Ziems Ford Corners
In addition to tuition, you will spend approximately $1,200 for tools. Financial aid is available to qualified applicants for tuition and tools.
To enroll in the Associate of Applied Science in Auto Body, you must first apply to San Juan College. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!
If you are already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our Auto Body AAS and learn more about the program.