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Auto Body TechnicianPark Place Mercedes
“Just about everything I do at work involves the skills I learned in Eastfield’s Auto Body program: how to replace and repair panels, set everything up, take a frame apart and put it back together again.
“Everything in this business is hands-on, so I really liked that aspect of my education. People can tell you what to do all day long, but until you actually do it, you’re not learning much. This program actually teaches you to do things. Taking Auto Body classes is also a good way to decide if this is what you really want to do, because it’s not for everybody. If you take a few classes, it won’t take long for you to see if you’re going to be successful.
“In my opinion, the kind of person who will make a successful auto body technician is someone who really likes hands-on work and has good problem-solving skills — that’s about 90 percent of this business. No two cars, even if they’re the same model, get wrecked the same way. You’ve got to figure out the best way to fix a particular car and be able to address the little problems that always seem to pop up.
“A successful technician also isn’t afraid to ask for help; nobody knows everything. It’s not like an auto mechanic who has the diagnostic computer to help figure out the problem. You have to figure it out by yourself, usually with some help.
“I’ve been in this business for about four years; I started a year after I graduated from high school. I had toured the Eastfield campus in high school, maybe even junior high, and saw and really liked what they were doing in the Auto Body lab. My dad also works at an auto paint store, English Color Paint Supply, so I had some insight into the business.
“I like this work because every day is different. No two cars are damaged the same way, and there are always new problems to solve. If there ever were a day where nothing went wrong and there were no issues to solve, that would be a boring day!”
Jason Davis has been at his current job for about a year. He went through Eastfield’s Auto Body program from 2001 to 2003 and lacks just a few courses to finish an associate degree in Auto Body Technology.