Breaking the Mold is a series about NMCC students pursuing non-traditional career fields.
Presque Isle – NMCC auto collision repair student, Samantha Ramsey, has grown up fixing things and making them better. She credits her mechanical ability to her father, a “jack of all trades,” teaching her everything from vehicle maintenance to carpentry. Initially, Samantha believed a career in carpentry was in her future but realized that all her spare time was spent working on cars and decided to change direction.
Samantha states that her experience in the auto collision program has been “pretty amazing.” Her instructor, Jason Sargent, encouraged senior students to bring in their own projects to work on. Samantha brought in a 1971 Chevy truck to restore. The truck has history as Samantha’s father restored it years ago and now, Samantha’s working to bring it back to its’ former glory. She is enjoying the project, working with her hands, and seeing the results of her work. Samantha states, “It’s amazing to see the process from old to new and to see the outcome of your work.”
Samantha sees being a female in auto collision as a positive. She states that, “Women tend to have a good eye for color choice.” Vehicle color plays a large part in a restoration project’s result as selecting the correct color is important.
Samantha will graduate in May with an auto collision repair certificate. She has received a job offer in southern Maine but is undecided where she will begin her career. Her future includes working in auto collision and repair to learn as much as possible about the business to operate her own garage one day. Samantha’s dream is to be able to work solely on auto restorations.
Samantha’s advice to any females considering a career in auto collision and repair, “Don’t underestimate yourself and don’t let others bring you down. Don’t give up because if you think you can, then you can.”
AUTO COLLISION REPAIR PROGRAM
- File, grind, sand and smooth filled or repaired surfaces using power and hand tools
- Inspect repaired vehicles for proper functioning, completion of work, dimensional accuracy and overall appearance of paint job, and test-drive vehicles to ensure proper alignment and handling
- Fit and weld replacement parts into place using wrenches and welding equipment and grind down welds to smooth them using power grinders and other tools
- Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint spray guns and motorized sanders
- Follow supervisors’ instructions as to which parts to restore or replace and how much time the job should take
- Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
2020 National Average Pay: $21.80/hour; $45,350/year
Projected Job Openings 2020-2030: 15,200
Source: O’NET Online (2020)
NMCC 2020 nursing Graduate Success Rate: (Employed, Continuing Education, or both) 100%