Something in your car may be broken, but the collision repair and refinishing industry certainly isn’t. With more cars on American roadways than ever before, this industry is constantly growing. Whether a car has a dent from a hailstorm, shopping cart or fender bender, collision repair technicians can take care of the small stuff — not to mention bigger damage from serious crashes.
Collision Repair also includes refinishing – and that can mean an opportunity for skilled artists to create some truly unique, eye-popping custom jobs that turn heads on the road. To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December, collision repair students at Lincoln Tech’s Melrose Park campus brought a galaxy far, far away to the hood of a refurbished 1995 Pontiac Grand Am.
And at Lincoln Tech in East Windsor students rebuilt two damaged cars and turned them into tributes-on-wheels for beloved superheroes Batman and Superman. It doesn’t take super powers to become a standout Collision Repair and Refinishing technician – it just takes the skills you build at Lincoln Tech!
The Shifting Landscape of Collision Repair Careers
In recent years, the collision repair industry has seen some drastic changes. Tommy Curtis of Lincoln Tech in Nashville explains that dealerships and manufacturers are now the controlling players in the repair industry. They are buying out many smaller independent shops, or driving them out of business entirely. This means that graduates need to have specialized knowledge of a particular manufacturer’s makes and models.
Curtis took the path from student to instructor at Lincoln Tech. He knows the industry inside and out, and he has seen firsthand the amazing opportunities it offers.
“As a young adult I could not have made a better career choice than attending the Lincoln Tech Collision Repair and Refinishing program,” he says. “The program gave me the fundamentals and the training to go into the business and be successful from the very first day. Looking back over my career for the past 35 years, everything positive in my profession started with Lincoln Tech.”
It is estimated that in the next seven years, more than 35,000 jobs will be available in this field around the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Hiring Managers are Saying
Another man who knows the industry well is Greg Gambrel, the Service Manager at Church Brothers Collision Repair in Indianapolis. “This collision industry, for the most part, has become a specialized trade area,” said Gambrel. “There’s room for great growth for anyone who is willing to put in their time and effort, and Lincoln Tech gives them an edge to do that faster.”
Because Lincoln Tech schools follow the industry-standard i-CAR curriculum, employers know Lincoln Tech graduates have the highest level of technical knowledge available. According to Gambrel, this curriculum helps the students further their careers once they get into the industry, as they will be one step ahead due to their education and its perfect blend of classroom instruction and hands-on work.
If you are ready to make a positive change in your career and start fixing all the broken parts, Lincoln Tech has five campuses in the United States that specialize in the collision repair and refinishing program. You can choose from a home base in Denver, Colorado; East Windsor, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; Melrose Park, Illinois or Nashville, Tennessee.