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Auto Collision Repair | Auto Career Education | College of Marin

Career Options

  • Auto Body Technician
  • Auto Repair Technician
  • Body Work Specialist
  • Insurance Estimator/Adjuster
  • Owner/Operator/Manager (Independent or Dealer)
  • Painting Specialist
  • Service Technician

Career Profile

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames and windshields.

Typically, employers prefer to hire automotive body and glass repairers who have completed a formal training program; industry certification is becoming increasingly important.

Automotive Body Repairers:

  • Work indoors in body shops, which are often noisy
  • Often work directly with customers at shops and require good customer service skills
  • Sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions
  • Do work that can be physically demanding
  • Are able to provide estimates for work
  • Having a good eye for detail
  • Use a wide range of tools and equipment to assess and repair cars

Plan your Education

View the classes you need to take to complete your certificate or degree in Auto Collision Repair at College of Marin.

Available Certificates and Degrees

Certificate of Achievement, Master Collision Repair – 43 units

  • Time to Complete: Can be done in 5 semesters.
  • Estimated Cost: $2,156 in tuition and fees.

Certificate of Achievement, Structural and Nonstructural Damage Repair – 20 units

  • Time to Complete: Can be done in 3 semesters.
  • Estimated Cost: $974 in tuition and fees.

Certificate of Achievement, Electric Vehicle Specialist – 22 units

  • Time to Complete: Can be done in 3 semesters.
  • Estimated Cost: $1,066 in tuition and fees.

Certificate of Achievement, Painting and Refinishing – 21 units

  • Time to Complete: Can be done in 2 semesters.
  • Estimated Cost: $1,002 in tuition and fees.

Associate Degree, Master Collision Repair, 43 units + general education

  • Time to Complete: Can be done in 5-6 semesters (two years for full-time students).
  • Transferable to California State University.

Why College of Marin?

  • State-of-the-Art Automotive Facility: College of Marin has over $9 million invested in providing the most up-to-date training environment.
  • Agency ASE Certification for technicians is included as part of the program, an important industry certification.
  • Affordable: College of Marin classes are open to all and cost only $46 per unit for California residents. Financial aid and student support services are available to those who qualify.
  • High-Quality Instruction for High Wage Industries: Career programs at College of Marin prepare students for high-wage and high-demand careers at a fraction of the expense of private programs. Our graduates enter the workforce having the ability to be innovative critical thinkers along with the comprehensive work skills needed to be connected directly to real-world needs. Our instructors are highly experienced industry professionals recognized as experts in their respective fields who understand their industry’s needs and trends.
  • Small Class Size: Most classes have 10-22 students. This low student-to-teacher ratio allows instructors to work individually with students as needed while covering material in-depth.
  • Accessible: Class meeting times and locations are convenient to the working student’s schedule.


Questions? Contact Counseling:

  • (415) 485-9432
  • (415) 485-9430

Automotive Dept.

  • Auto Collision Repair – Ron Palmer (415) 457-8811 x8532
  • Auto Technology – Nick Fara (415) 457-8811 x8531

Automotive Technology Advisory Committee

Ron Davis, San Rafael High School | Ken DeMartini, Japan Auto Repair, San Rafael | Jon Fowkes, Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Oakland | Mike Gomez, Gomez Automotive, San Rafael | Dave Hulbert, City of San Rafael, Fleet Manager | Geoff Lakritz, Novato Toyota, Novato | Dave Maffei, PG&E, San Rafael | Brian Scott | Dan Silin, Terra Linda High School | Dave Wendt, Napa Auto Parts, Novato | Arthur R. Yee, Excelsior Auto Clinic, Novato | Mike Grant, Marin County Office of Education

Gainful Employment
For more information about College of Marin graduation and completion rates, the median debt of students who have completed our programs, and other important gainful employment information, please visit

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to earn the certificate?

The most advanced certificate, Master Collision Repair, takes 5 semesters. Other certificates can be done in 2-3 semesters.

Are there any pre-requisites?

No, there are no requirements or prerequisites. However, good working English is essential.

Can I take classes in the evening?

Yes, classes are available in the evenings, great for working students.

How do I get a high paying job in auto repair and technology?
  • Going through the program and flourishing is what gets you a high paid job.
  • The range varies greatly, typically $15-$30/hr for entry-level, can go up and is often commission-based. A top technician in a dealership will make over $100K/year plus benefits. Mid-level jobs typically earn $23-24/hr.
Can I work on my friends or (if I’m already working) a customer’s car?

No. Students are only allowed to work on school cars or their own car. COM has a very strict policy about this, due to liability concerns.

How do I get started?

To get started, you need to enroll at College of Marin and should meet with a career counselor (who can help you with planning your education, direct you to financial alternatives, and more!)