Automotive Collision Repair & Refinish

With over 250 million cars on the road, many of them lasting longer than ever before, there will be a constant need for Collision Repair due to accidents and aging. Jobs in the Automotive Collision Repair & Refinish industry are expected to grow at a better-than-average rate over the next 5-10 years. Job seekers with industry certification and formal training in this program will have an advantage over competing applicants for jobs. 

Program Description

First-year students in this program will learn the basics of repairing and refinishing collision damaged vehicles. First-year students will learn metal finishing, plastic repair, MIG Welding, filler application, and basic refinishing procedures.

Second-year students will focus on a much more in-depth side of the collision industry. Students will learn structural and frame repair, 3D measuring, waterborne paint technology, estimating, and advanced refinishing techniques.

Students from the LISD TECH Center Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing program compete in the SkillsUSA competition yearly. Historically, students have done very well in the competition qualifying for state and national leadership events.

To Be Successful

Many students in this program usually have an artistic side, a strong attention to detail, and a love of cars. Students need basic math and reading skills, self-discipline, a good work ethic, the ability to work in a team, think critically and a dedication to completing assigned tasks.

Textbook reading level: College level

Student Organization



  • Linear measurement to 1/16" and 1 mm
  • Add and subtract whole numbers and fractions of an inch
  • Multiply and divide fractions and whole numbers
  • Understand basic ratios


  • Pay close attention to various details and follow written and verbal instructions
  • Work independently
  • Multitask-oriented (able to do more than one thing at a time)
  • Seek help when needed
  • Accept constructive criticism
  • Adhere to professional standards of dress and behavior
  • Maintain good attendance and positive attitude
  • Program interest

Program Specific

  • Good visual and tactile skills
  • Tolerant to dust, paint fumes, and noise
  • Tolerant to climate changes within shop settings (hot and cold)
  • Enjoy hands-on work
  • Lift 50 lbs. or more
  • Stand for long periods of time
  • Work in awkward positions
  • Handle paint and chemicals in a safe manner
  • Obtain a driver's license to operate customer vehicles
  • Read industry-standard materials including manuals, guidebooks, and diagnostic reports
  • Work safely around power tools and equipment

Note: Additional education may be required.

  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Refinishing Technician
  • Body Shop Manager
  • Estimator
  • Detailer

*The LISD TECH Center recommends the academic credit listed. Credit can only be awarded by local districts. The academic credit listed below is for completion of 2 years.

  • 1.0 4th Math
  • 1.0 Visual, Performing, & Applied Arts
  • 1.0 3rd Science (in lieu of)
  • 1.0 World Languages (in lieu of)
  • 1.0 Online Learning Experience

*College credit can only be awarded by the college or university. Certain requirements must be met outside of completing the program.

  • Davenport University
  • Jackson College
  • Siena Heights University
  • Washtenaw Community College


  • I-CAR
  • State Certificate

Kortney Thumme head shotInstructor

Kortney Thumme worked as an auto body technician for 8 years and a teacher for another 5 years in Saginaw, MI, before bringing his skills to the LISD TECH Center. His students have excelled at the SkillsUSA State Conference, bringing back gold medals and advancing to nationals in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. Mr. Thumme is a Universal Technical Institute graduate and is ASE, ICAR, PPG, and BASF certified.

Contact Me

Tim Burch head shot

Teacher Assistant

Tim Burch brings over 30 years of experience as an auto body technician to the Automotive Collision Repair & Refinish program.  A graduate of Addison Community Schools, Tim got his start in the industry as a student in the Automotive Collision program at the TECH Center.  His experience includes working with customers to determine their needs for repairs on their vehicles, thoroughly checking automobiles for defects and malfunctions, as well as rebuilding bodies of both diesel and petrol fueled cars.  Tim is excited to share his knowledge with students to help them learn the automobile collision industry.  In his spare time, Tim enjoys going to auctions and spending time with his family.

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