OEMs: Body technician training annually severely below what is needed

April 19, 2017
The average technician is receiving roughly 11 hours of training per year, almost two full work weeks less than what they should be.

PITTSBURGH — The average technician is receiving roughly 11 hours of training per year, almost two full work weeks less than what they should be.

At the Collision Industry Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 19-20, the Education & Training Committee presented findings from recent surveys that outline a major training deficit in the collision repair industry.

“Our industry has a training issue,” said Jeff Peevy, president of the Automotive Management Institute and committee member. The point of the presentation was to share technician and OEM input on training received versus that needed, and show the large difference between the two numbers.

According to the committee’s survey, which continues to still be administered to collision technicians, the average body technician receives 11.7 hours of training annually. The most common reasons more training is not pursued is because the shop owner won’t pay for training, or training is not available in that shop’s area.

Domestic, European and Asian OEMs were also interviewed to give their perspective on the training necessary to keep up to speed on current vehicles.

According to domestic OEMs, the average steel structural technician needs 27.5 hours of training annually — per brand. European OEMs said these technicians needed 76 hours per year per brand; and the Asian OEMs said 20 hours of training per brand is needed annually.

The OEMs varied in which methods of training they found most effective, with domestic OEMs selecting online courses; European OEMs choosing hands-on courses; and Asian OEMs says classroom training is best.

Peevy gave an example of a potential training gap that may exist with this example:

The reality is that the 11.7 hour average annually for body techs most likely represents the top one-third of the industry, Peevy said. The bottom third is closer to two hours annually per year.

Peevy stressed the importance of continuing the conversation on training to take steps forward to correct the difference.

One way to move the needle forward is to attend NACE Automechanika 2017 in Chicago. Collision training courses — many from AMi instructors — covering a myriad of management and technical topics will be presented, along with a special education track from I-CAR. Sign up for NACE Automechanika today by clicking here!

Technicians are encouraged to continue taking the CIC Education & Training Committee survey at https://wwwsurveymonkey.com/r/bodyshopsurveys or in Spanish at https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/5sl7rvb

About the Author

Krista McNamara

Krista McNamara is the former Editorial Director for the Vehicle Repair Group at Endeavor Business Media. She oversaw five brands  — Motor Age, PTEN, Professional Distributor, ABRN and Aftermarket Business World. She worked in the automotive aftermarket industry for more than 15 years. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Best Body Shop and the 360-Degree-Concept

Spanesi ‘360-Degree-Concept’ Enables Kansas Body Shop to Complete High-Quality Repairs

How Fender Bender Operator of the Year, Morrow Collision Center, Achieves Their Spot-On Measurements

Learn how Fender Bender Operator of the Year, Morrison Collision Center, equipped their new collision facility with “sleek and modern” equipment and tools from Spanesi Americas...

ADAS Applications: What They Are & What They Do

Learn how ADAS utilizes sensors such as radar, sonar, lidar and cameras to perceive the world around the vehicle, and either provide critical information to the driver or take...

Banking on Bigger Profits with a Heavy-Duty Truck Paint Booth

The addition of a heavy-duty paint booth for oversized trucks & vehicles can open the door to new or expanded service opportunities.