Clinton Township Campus Builds New Facility to House New Auto Body Programs

August 03, 2009

Baker College of Clinton Township recently broke ground for a new facility to house its new auto body technician certificate and associate degree programs. The 13,253 square foot building, located on Baker’s technical campus at 34401 South Gratiot Ave., will be completed by September 28, the beginning of fall quarter classes.

“To my knowledge, there are only four post secondary auto body programs offered in Michigan,” said Cliff Carson, Baker College of Clinton Township automotive service technology program director and interim auto body program director. “As people tend to keep their vehicles longer, there will be an increasing need for qualified auto body technicians, especially in southeast Michigan, where there is a large concentration of the population.”

The new facility will house a classroom, a tool room, a storage room, offices, locker rooms, a wash and final detail room, a frame-straightening bay, a welding room, a vehicle preparation deck, and a Garmat custom-built downdraft, solvent, waterbase paint-ready spray booth. The area will accommodate up to 14 vehicles. The new auto body technician programs at Baker’s Clinton Township campus will prepare students for a career in auto body repair, painting and detailing. They will be instructed in the proper use of specialized tools and equipment to remove dents and other damage from body panels or entirely replace the panels. In heavy damage, the frame and/or uni body must also be repaired. The damaged area or the entire vehicle is then painted. Another part of the curriculum will include instruction in the repair of mechanical systems.

Upon graduation, students will be qualified to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam for auto body. Graduates will find employment in dealerships and independent repair facilities.

“According to state and federal statistics, there will be a 5 percent state and 10 percent national growth rate in the auto body technician job offerings,” said Carson.

The salary for graduates of the auto body program ranges from $13 per hour to $50 per hour for experienced technicians.

“Our auto body technician program offers individuals the opportunity to develop their skills and gain hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art facility,” said Carson. “After graduation, they will look forward to a career in a rapidly growing field.”

As the auto body technician program grows, Baker’s Clinton Township campus may add custom painting, restoration and customization classes to the roster.

“And, since we will have a dedicated welding room,” said Carson, “future plans might include a stand-alone welding technology class.”

The Baker College System