(WACO, Texas) – Jacob Pevia hears about it when he visits auto collision and repair shops of all sizes in Texas: more workers are needed.
Pevia, an instructor in Texas State Technical College’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program in Waco, is also a part-time instructor for the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. Part of that role involves leading hands-on events for auto collision and repair workers.
“With every one of them, they find out I work at TSTC and they ask if we have students from their area,” he said.
Pevia said there is a need for workers particularly on the collision side of auto repair.
“There needs to be more exposure about the technology,” he said. “A lot of kids don’t think about it.”
Texas had about 11,400 automotive body and related repairers making an annual mean wage of $50,940 as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas have the largest concentration of workers in the state, according to the agency.
The projected employment nationwide of automotive body and related repairers by 2030 is more than 161,000, according to the labor statistics bureau.
Dylan Noon, of Burleson, is working on an Associate of Applied Science degree in Auto Collision and Management Technology – Refinishing Specialization and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Auto Collision and Management Technology – Repair Specialization.
One of his favorite lessons involved sheet metal fabrication, during which he learned how to make a quarter-panel out of a flat piece of metal.
“It helps with the industry,” he said. “They need more technicians in collision and refinishing. We need more people to fix them (vehicles).”
Noon has been around cars, primarily hot rods, since he was 14.
After graduation, he wants to work in a restoration shop focusing on hot rods.
Hayden Lipscomb, of Lockhart, is pursuing a certificate of completion in Auto Collision Repair and is scheduled to graduate next spring.
“I love it,” Lipscomb said. “It’s probably the best thing I’m good at.”
Lipscomb said he enjoys the real-world applications of his training at TSTC.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Every day I come to class and learn something new.”
He said a can-do attitude goes a long way in the program. He added that doing homework and asking questions can help students succeed in the program.
After graduation, he wants to work at Tesla.
“I won’t have trouble finding a job because I came to TSTC,” Lipscomb said.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Auto Collision and Management Technology – Repair Specialization Co-Op, Auto Collision and Management Technology – Repair Specialization, and Auto Collision and Management Technology – Refinishing Specialization, along with certificates of completion Auto Collision Refinishing and Auto Collision Repair and an occupational skills achievement award in Basic Auto Collision.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.