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Automotive Collision Repair Technology

Automotive Collision Repair Technology - AAS-T

Train for a career as an automotive collision repair technician, automotive glass specialist, painter, or body shop manager. BTC’s Auto Collision Repair program will prepare you for all aspects of automotive body repair, using the latest technological processes and equipment. You’ll learn trade-specific skills, including how to repair and refinish damaged vehicles.

BTC’s Auto Collision Repair program will give you the hands-on instruction that employers such as independent collision repair shops, detailing shops, automotive manufacturers, and automotive recyclers are looking for.

The Auto Collision Repair Technology program is an I-CAR Industry Training Alliance member.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email for more information.

Employment Information

94% BTC graduate placement rate

$40,602 starting annual wage
$51,792 annual average wage
$75,462 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program admits students in fall quarter.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

ACCUPLACER Classic (valid for 5 years from testing date):
  • Reading Comprehension score of 71 or RDG 085 with a grade of C or higher
  • Sentence Skills score of 71 or ENGL 092 with a grade of C or higher
  • Arithmetic score of 38 or MATH 090 or ABE 050 with a grade of C or higher
ACCUPLACER Next-Generation (starting January 23, 2019):
  • Reading score of 247 or RDG 085 with a grade of C or higher
  • Writing score of 245 or ENGL 092 with a grade of C or higher
  • Arithmetic score of 230 or MATH 090 or ABE 050 with a grade of C or higher

ENGL& 101 and MATH& 107 or higher are requirements for AAS-T graduation. To place into these classes, higher scores are needed (please see classes tab).

  • A driver’s license is not required to enroll in the program.
  • Driving citations will not restrict, or prevent students from enrolling in the Automotive Collision Repair Technology Program; however, citations may prevent some internship and/or employment opportunities.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 113

  • Quarter 1

  • CRT 101Introduction to Shop Safety3 CR
  • CRT 102Automotive Refinishing Basics10 CR
  • CRT 103New Technology and Exterior Trim3 CR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • CRT 121Removable Panels & Glass3 CR
  • CRT 122Non-Structural Body Repair8 CR
  • CRT 123Auto Collision Exterior Lighting & Plastics4 CR
  • MATH& 141Precalculus I5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • CRT 131Ferrous Auto Collision Welding4 CR
  • CRT 132Non-Ferrous Auto Collision Welding5 CR
  • CRT 133Alternative Exterior Panel Replacement4 CR
  • CMST& 101Introduction to Communications5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • CRT 201Advanced Collision Concepts 15 CR
  • CRT 202Admin Industry Simulation6 CR
  • CRT 203Non-Structural Industry Simulation6 CR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • CRT 221Advanced Collision Concepts 25 CR
  • CRT 222Structural Industry Simulation6 CR
  • CRT 223Refinish Industry Simulation6 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • CRT 231Final Industry Certification2 CR
  • CRT 232Weld Certification Aluminum3 CR
  • CRT 233Weld Certification Steel3 CR
  • CRT 234Field-Based Experience7 CR

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Automotive Collision Repair Technology AAS-T Degree Program will be able to:

  • Use basic industry tools, equipment and hazardous materials safely.
  • Diagnose and repair basic non-structural auto body damage to I-CAR standards.
  • Assess damaged vehicles and perform structural auto body repairs to I-CAR standards.
  • Diagnose and repair various types of plastic and composites used in the automotive industry.
  • Refinish various substrates to pre-accident condition.
  • Obtain I-CAR aluminum welding certification.
  • Obtain I-CAR steel welding certification.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities in the automotive collision repair industry are expected to grow along with the demand for qualified auto body technicians. Due to rapid changes in technology getting formal skills training in automotive body repair will better qualify and individual for employment.

About 94% of BTC Auto Collision Repair students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $51,792, with an earning potential of about $75,462 per year.*

Program graduates can work as automotive body technicians for independent auto body repair shops, automobile or truck dealers or companies who specialize in body repairs and painting. Opportunities may also exist to work for organizations that maintain their own motor vehicles, such as trucking companies and automobile rental companies, automotive dealerships, automotive manufacturing plants, automotive recyclers, automotive parts and plastics supply shops, independent collision repair shops, detailing shops, aircraft detail and repair shops, boat manufacturers, and industrial manufacturing plants.

Potential positions include automotive repair technician, automotive glass specialist, automotive painter, auto body supply salesperson or body shop manager.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Andrew Riggs
Andrew Riggs