Calgary Board of Education
Career and Technology Centre (CTC) at Central Memorial High School
2336 53 Ave. S.W., Calgary AB T3E 1L2 | Grades 10-12 Career & Technology courses t | 403-243-4500 
auto body
  • program overview
  • program delivery
  • course information
  • student expectations
students inspecting an engine

program overview

Auto Body is a unique type of trade environment that allows for multiple career or hobby pathways. The Auto Body courses offered will provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience and practical hands on skills in the following areas:

  • Hand tools
  • Pneumatic tools
  • Sheet metal fabrication including bending, shrinking, stretching, and cutting
  • Sheet metal welding utilizing Metal Inert Gas welders.
  • Plastic and Fibreglass part work
  • Bodywork
  • Preparation for painting including final sanding, application of primers and masking
  • Refinishing of automobiles using up to date guns and water based materials.
  • Final Detail for delivery

The majority of the teaching is done in an industry-standard auto body shop setting. Theory lessons compliment the terms and procedures students will use in the shop environment. As the student works through projects and the confidence in their skills develop. The program adapts and provides different learning opportunities. New technologies continue to emerge in industry and the training offered will continue to evolve. Through learning and experience in auto body, students will become aware of related career opportunities or hobby skills in this field.

Read about the Auto Body Program:

car with bodywork

program delivery

In the Explore group, students work on one vehicle panel (hood, fender, and/or door). They create the heavy damage that they will repair before going through the metal repair, body filler, primer and custom paint stages. At the end of the course this panel is theirs to keep and take home. Students also do other projects to break up the focus on their major panel. Students are also taught to clean and detail a vehicle for the customers that come into the facility for that service.
In the Specialized group, customer work becomes a major project in the course. The students learn to estimate damage and repair multiple panels in a short amount of time. It is at this level that other projects highlight other important areas in auto body.  Such as: Plastic Bumpers, custom panel fabrication and professional paint jobs. After customer work has been completed, simple short repairs may be allowed on student vehicles.
In the Credentialed group, Customer work is the focus of the course. The course goes more into depth about structural integrity of automobiles, damage analysis, glass and heavy damage repair. At this level students take a complete car and repair it in a short amount of time. Projects at this level include structural welding of automotive sheet, metal, building replacement panels and custom paint jobs. After customer work has been completed, repairs to a complete student vehicle may be allowed.
In the Auto Body Apprenticeship group, Customer work is paramount along with direct instruction through post-secondary module work.  Focus will be directed at the modules required for study and the skills that come with them. Students will prepare themselves for the writing of the first year auto body apprenticeship exam.
Each program consists of a number of single credit courses, each taking a varied amount of time to complete. There is some flexibility should students gain proficiency at an accelerated rate, and they can achieve extra credit with additional project work.

students inspecting an engine

course information

There are four course levels with increasing amount of skill development; Explore, Specialized, Credentialed and Auto Body Pre-apprenticeship. In most cases, a student will earn 6 credits at the Explore level and 10 credits in each of the Specialized and Credentialed levels. Auto Body Apprenticeship is only available after the Exploratory and Specialized courses have been completed or with a teacher recommendation.

  • Awareness: To create an appreciation of the auto body industry.
  • Communication: To develop communication skills when relating to customers, employees and employers.
  • Personal Skills: To promote self-esteem, confidence, and automotive experience through skill development in the auto body industry.
  • Applied Technology: To develop proficiency in the use of materials and various tools within a class setting and career technology for employment in an auto body or refinishing shop setting.

A theory component will be included with each module. The mark for that module has a theory percentage included.

1. Explore Level

Students will have the opportunity to grow their knowledge of Auto Body through use of in class theory, direct hands on instruction and experience. Students will be able to complete a selection of the following 10 courses. This course selection is based on the personal learning plan of the student.

HCS 3000:      Workplace Safety Systems
MEC1015:       Mechanics Tools and Materials
MEC2010:       Detail
MEC1160:       Structures and Materials
MEC1170:       Metal Forming and Finishing
MEC1165:       Mechanics Welding Fundamentals
MEC1190:       Surface Preparation 1
MEC1010:       Modes and Mechanisms
MEC1020:       Vehicle Service and Care
MEC1910:       Mech Project A

2. Specialized Level

Students will have the opportunity to work on real customer vehicles while doing course required projects. Theory and hands on skills will continue to provide improvement in Auto Body experience. Students have the following 10 courses to complete. Course selection is based on the personal learning plan of the student.

MEC3010:       Workplace Safety Systems
MEC3160:       Repair Estimation
MEC2180:       Trim Replacement
MEC2220:       Interior Repairs
MEC2020:       Vehicle Maintenance
MEC3010:       Buying and Selling a Vehicle
MEC3020:       Appraisal
MEC2170:       Metal Repair
MEC2190:       Surface Preparation 2
MEC2200:       Refinishing 1

3. Credential Level

Students will have the opportunity to work on real customer vehicles. Students can complete a selection of the following 11 courses. Course selection is based on the personal learning plan of the student.

MEC3170:       Damage Analysis
MEC3180:       Damage Repair 1
MEC3190:       Damage Repair 2
MEC3210:       Plastic and Fibreglass
MEC3220:       Glass
MEC3200:       Refinishing 2
MEC3230:       Refinishing 3
MEC2210:       Touch Up
MEC2910:       Mech Project B
MEC2920:       Mech Project C
MEC2930:       Mech Project D

Students will have the opportunity to work on real customer vehicles and do the requirements for the first year Auto Body Apprenticeship course. Students must have completed the Explore and Specialized pathways before attempting the selection of the following courses:

ABA3900:        Apprenticeship Safety
ABA3400:        Batteries, Trim and Tools
ABA3405:        Component Maintenance
ABA3410:        Substrates
ABA3415:        Fillers
ABA3420:        Surface Preparation
ABA3425:        Masking
ABA3430:        Undercoating
ABA3425:        ABA Practicum A
ABA3440:        ABA Practicum B
ABA3445:        ABA Practicum C


students inspecting an engine

student expectations

safety | students will be required to follow and apply safe working procedures to maintain shop privileges. Briefly, this includes wearing coveralls and safety glasses at all times, following safety procedures for the use of tools, and safe handling and disposition of all materials. For example, primer is not sprayed in the shop area but is confined to the paint booth for health and safety reasons. Unsafe practices endanger everyone and will not be tolerated.

teamwork | students are also expected to learn how to work well with others in a team setting, focus on their tasks at hand and follow instructions from teacher and trade staff. Regular attendance and punctuality are critical as that emulates an industry site environment in auto body.

supplies | see fees and waivers