Report Unveils Hidden Factors Behind The US Collision Repair Technician Deficit

Jun 29, 2023

Trade students are dropping out of school once they secure employment. The Autobody Source reports on this trend and why both schools and collision repair businesses are concerned.

The white-collar workforce faces an existential crisis as computer-facing jobs are threatened by the emergence of more sophisticated AI. All of a sudden, trade jobs in industries like collision repair have become a silver lining for people looking for some sense of job stability.

The Autobody Source found, however, that the industry is facing some issues of its own as many aspiring technicians fail to complete their training owing to a number of factors that compel them to seek early employment.

"Students: How to Stay the Course," an article that was brought about by a dialogue between corporations involved in collision repair and trade school officials, aims to highlight this issue so both stakeholders might find a solution to ensure that the next generation of technicians get the training they deserve.

More information can be found at

The Autobody Source's report identified the factors that cause students to stop their studies after only four months: in some cases, they ask for employment prematurely; in others, automotive shops offer them jobs despite knowing they are not yet fully certified.


While many Americans proceed to earn college degrees after high school, fewer individuals consider the lucrative opportunities offered by trade jobs. However, demand for such professionals is growing—about 100,000 new-entrant collision technicians will be needed between 2021 and 2025, as per the TechForce Foundation.

The Autobody Source noted that trade schools play a crucial role in making sure that there will be enough supply of talent to meet that demand.


Hands-on experience is one of the key advantages of going to trade school, as students can work part-time while finishing their course. During the dialogue, school officials urged collision repair shops to be more flexible with schedules so part-timers are not forced to choose between earning their certificate or earning a living. They added that shop owners should actively encourage students to complete their certification, as this will ultimately give them more qualified full-time employees down the line.

"It would be best for these shops to encourage students to complete their training and get the thirty I-CAR certifications they can obtain here first, and then reassure them they'll be considered for hire. Or allow the student to complete their hours of work on-site without interfering with the class schedule," one school official was quoted as saying.


The group of businesses emphasized the need for better alignment between schools, students, and shops. Moreover, it said that while students can quickly learn technical skills, developing soft skills and professional ethics will take longer to master.

The group also said that students and career shifters may bring a "defensiveness" from their previous jobs, making it harder for them to understand the rigors of the collision repair industry. It further stated that by finishing their courses, students have a greater chance of finding success, especially if they have no previous background in the automotive industry.

Interested parties may join the discussion about this critical issue in the field of collision repair at

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