Simply put, a collision repair technician is a type of auto mechanic but who specializes in fixing up vehicles that have suffered an accident, or a collision. Professional collision repair technicians will repair vehicles that have minor collision issues, such as impurities in the body and dents that have occurred, as well as major overhauls that might include fabricating or replacing the entire body panel on a totaled vehicle.
The majority of technicians are employed by small private repair shops specializing in collisions or large chain establishments, though many do open their own shops and work for themselves.
Technicians make use of a variety of different techniques and tools in order to get the job done. Depending on what they need to do, they might need to smooth out pieces, shape them, level them or hammer them out. If a dent cannot be hammered out, they might use a special kind of putty and apply it repeatedly into the body, sanding them down so that it is the right shape of the vehicle body.
If the fenders or doors are too rusted or damaged, then the collision repair technician would need to use raw materials to fabricate his own new pieces. He will take careful measurements of the piece in question and then cut out exact templates concisely. From there, new sheets needs to be riveted and welded into place with the rough edges sanded down for protection.
Frames that are warped will need more intensive metalwork than usual so that the technician can ensure that it is both properly aligned and as stable as it needs to be. When the body is in the shape that it needs to be in, then he can send off the car to be painted to complete the task at hand.
Of course, technicians do not just rebuild vehicles; they are equipped to handle other kinds of typical mechanic work along with that. For instance, a collision repair technician can check out the electrical lines, brakes, fuel lines and steering columns and repair them, which drastically reduces how long the car needs to stay in the shop. Most technicians will also be able to temper, seal and replace windshields after a car crash that destroys them.
Employers generally have different requirements for hiring technicians. High school graduates with mechanic experience may be able to get a job at the entry level, but those with post-secondary training often have the best chances of all applicants. The best experience to get include six month and two year vocational schools. After an auto body shop hires someone to be a technician, they may have a formal apprenticeship or a casual experience learning about the job.
Some workers might want to get certification to make themselves seem more appealing when finding a job. There are some organizations that offer technicians the chance to be certified after passing some exams and having two years of experience. Experienced technicians can easily advance to a master technician position with this in hand.