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Discussion Starter #1
Since I know this is a large community, someone here must either be in, or know someone in, the auto body repair industry.

Since working on my first car (the '86 cougar) I have enjoyed doing things with cars, but have really lacked the education to do these things. It was always a thought to become something in the automotive industry. I wanted to sign up for the BOCES program in High School, but my father wouldn't let me saying my grades were too high for me to be a mechanic, so I feel like I am starting late in the race.

I have done some research on schools that offer auto body repair and are within my price range (mostly State University of New York schools) and have found 2 that I think are nice.

1) Hudson Valley Community College. (http://www.hvcc.edu/) or their course page at (http://www.hvcc.edu/academ/schools/eit/ats_ab/)
NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) Areas of Certification:
Mechanical and Electrical
Painting and Refinishing
Plastics and Adhesives
Structural Analysis and Damage Repair

2) Alfred State (http://www.alfredstate.edu/default.html) or their course page at (http://www.alfredstate.edu/academic.../prog_0453.html)
NATEF Areas of Certification:
Mechanical and Electrical
Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair
Painting and Refinishing
Plastics and Adhesives
Structural Analysis and Damage Repair

NATEF web site (http://www.natef.org/index.cfm)


I am just looking for some feedback about the industry from people who are in it, or people who have friends/family in it. Thanks.
 

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I am going into the auto repair industry, same type of thing, cheapo schools, although, I am gonna start with mechanics, and then when I get a job, take the autobody classes, it's a HUGE industry, and even if you don't have your own shop, you can almost always find work. Or at least do a little freelance, you know, people are ALWAYS wrecking their cars, count on it!
 

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I am not in that field but I just wanted to say I know a few people that go to Alfred State (none for auto stuff) that are very happy there. I personally didnt like the fact that it was sort of in the middle of no where but where I go to school now is more nowhere then that is so I have become used to that. It seemed like a good school. I visited twice for different occasions and it was pretty cool.

Something to remember when choosing a career path is to make sure you are happy doing it. It doesnt have to make a whole lot of money but if you are happy doing it then thats what counts. Then after happy, sure money wouldnt hurt either.

Good luck with what you decide.
 

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Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzy, tell me about being happy in your career path, working on cars is like therapy for me, lol. I will be very happy, I dunno what it is, I think it's in my blood, I mean, it goes back to my great grandfather, and great uncles. MY great grandpa actually owned the first electric company in eastern washington, powered the whole town of Ephrata washington with a generator he had, lol, and they were all general knowledge guys, your all around handymen, and it's just continued down the line!
 

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ive been considering something similar.. right now i am attending Grand Valley State in michigan, studying mechanical engineering. but ive always had a thing int he back of my mind telling me to become a mechanic, but my mom has been pushing me to do this instead cause shes always told me that "im too good to be a "blue collar" worker", even though my dad is, both my grandpas were, several of my uncles are, its in the family almost. i think she will just feel like she"failed" at parenting if i dont complete college. and i know the only way id be happy working after if i go through with mechanical engineering is if i were working on cool cars, not designing little sh!tboxes and such, and i understand you kinda work your way up there, but its more or less the reality of getting a good job in the auto industry with a future like that is very unlikely. i dont know what im going to do at this point, probably ride out the rest of the year here, since i'd have to live out here anyway cause i my lease doesnt expire until may. but i have a feeling im going to leave here and move back to detroit, get a place and save up and go to school around there and become a mechanic. i love to work with my hands and i love to work on cars. i dont know, its just something i really enjoy. we will see what happens... -greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
but my mom has been pushing me to do this instead cause shes always told me that "im too good to be a "blue collar" worker
My father was the same way, that's why I couldn't go to BOCES. In fact, he hates what I am doing now to my cougar. Tells me I am wasting my money and should get a lease. That would be a great idea, if he didnt make me have my own insurance! Last year I was paying $4,200/yr for BASIC liability... since November (my BD) I was able to sneak into a company that tech. shouldn't have accepted me (they so not insure cougars and many other "sporty" v-8's). Now, for a little more than basic liability, I pay $2,300 / year. If I lease a car, I must have complete coverage! After 1 year of paying that I couldv'e had my cougar and done about $2,000 in mods.

I am nervous to go away to school, since it would require a student loan. I hate borrowing money, espically large amounts of money. I have a friend who is actually the head mechanic at McDaniel Ford in NY and he told me stay as far away from the auto business as I can, so that kinda scares me. However I think I will really enjoy autobody. I have decided that an auto mechanic isnt for me, it's nice as a hobby, but I dont want to do that for the next 40 or so years.

Hudson Valley Community college is also in the same town (Troy NY) that one of my best friends is currently attending school at (he goes to R.P.I.). If I decide to go there at least I'll know someone there.

Thanks for all the feedback guys!!!!!!
 

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My father-in law has been doing Paint & Body his whole life.. He is excellent in what he does.. and ASE certified in all aspects of the industry.. He is one of only a few people that is certified to do frame and unibody grafting.. it's an up and down industry.. he does OK most of the time.. but over the last couple months, he's had his motorhome repossesd, and he would have lost his house if I didn't help him out.. It's an OK field.. just have something to fall back on in the slow times..

Keep in mind.. this could just be local conditions ( in Colorado)..

P.S. Unless you are two inches away from losing your license... you're getting screwed on insurance.. try a national company like Geico or Progressive to save some money.. never hurts to get a quote.. keep in mind.. you sometimes get what you pay for.. and dealing with one of these companies if you ever have a claim can be a pain sometimes.. but the savings may be worth it.
 

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P.S. Unless you are two inches away from losing your license... you're getting screwed on insurance.. try a national company like Geico or Progressive to save some money.. never hurts to get a quote.. keep in mind.. you sometimes get what you pay for.. and dealing with one of these companies if you ever have a claim can be a pain sometimes.. but the savings may be worth it.
I live in Nassau County NY, and I am a 22 yr old male. That is the BEST price I can get. GEICO actually wanted more. I just can't wait until I am 25!
 

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hey mdj have you ever thought of somewhere like UTI or Sequoia Institute? i think ill be going into UTI come this summer. ive been out of hs for 2 years now(2002) and have done nothing but work work work at the same resturant for 3 years now. albeit im a server and asst. manager but thats not what i want to do. i love working on my car, like putting mods to make it faster/look better but i hate to do repairs on the tbird cause its a PITA. i was going to attend a computer tech school but i am too impatient with computers to ever make it in that world. i dont know, just the feeling after i get after i install something that makes all the frustration and cussing all worth it, and i think that feeling is what working on cars is all about. and besides, my parents say theyll pay for it.
 

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Yeah, it can be an up and down field, that's why I am starting out in mechanincs, and gathering all that knowledge. If you are gonna work on cars, work on ALL aspects, like internal, external, suspension. You name it, you should learn how to fix it, and skills like welding, getting experience on all types of tools, is the only best way to ensure you have an edge. I'm gonna be doin that.
 

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Your dad should've let you do what you wanted to, I had an average of 3.8 GPA and still went for an auto tech, but anywho, this is my 2nd year in college for an auto tech, next year I will be transfering to Ferris State University to get the Automotive management degree, personally I enjoy working on the cars a lot. I suggest you get a part time job at a local shop and see how everything goes and see if it's for you. if you want to specialize in one of the automotive fields, I suggest going for driveability or electrical, which are the highest paid and require problem solving, and probably the cleanest automotive job out there.
 
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