Graduate Success Story: Dameron Ashton

I first became interested in Bridgerland Technical College when I was in High School. I really liked that they offered courses for high school students tuition-free. Originally, I wanted to pursue a career in auto mechanics and took several classes in Automotive Service at BTECH. During my last semester of high school, I decided to try something different and signed up for a class in Auto Collision.

At the beginning of the class we were shown a documentary that detailed how a Ford Mustang was made from start to finish. I was amazed with the process and became immediately intrigued with auto collision repair and custom painting. It was interesting to learn how cars are built and repaired in order to be safe for occupants.

After high school, I felt that I should get a degree to be a dentist. I started going to Utah State and the more I went, the more the whole aspect of “college” didn’t make any sense. I had to take a lot of classes, spend a lot of money, and go for a number of years in order to be a dentist. I always thought to myself; “Why do I need to take so many of these classes in order to be a dentist?” I still thought about auto collision repair and one day, it clicked! I wanted to work in the auto collision industry! I knew that I wanted to go to BTECH and finish Auto Collision.

All of the classes at BTECH were geared toward teaching me exactly what I needed to be effective and successful in the auto collision industry. No wasted time. I could finish in less than a year, and thanks to financial aid my tuition and books were paid for. I incurred no debt to complete my training!

During the classes I learned a lot about how a car acts in a collision, where the energy of the collision goes, how it moves through the car, and what to look for in writing an estimate and repairing vehicles. I took the I-CAR classes and learned about all aspects of collision. Some of the things covered were: welding, frame repair, metal work, body work, priming and blocking, painting, polishing, reassembly, and detailing—just to name a few.

The instructors were knowledgeable and showed us how to follow through on a job. It really gave me a jump start to being effective in the auto industry.  We had a couple of times where we were able to work on some classic vehicles and learn about restorations and what it takes to do that.

When I completed the course, my instructor give me a work reference at a local company. I applied for the job and was hired. I started my first job in a body shop right after I graduated from BTECH. I worked there for some time, then in 2003 I applied for a job at Ultimate Collision Repair in Las Vegas, Nevada. I got the job, relocated, and have been here for almost 5 years. I am currently the production manager and use the things I learned in Auto Collision on a daily basis.

In an ever-growing industry, it is important to be certain and right on point when it comes to collision repair. BTECH taught me the skills I needed to provide quality repair service to my customers and insurance companies. I take pride in my work and it is fulfilling to know that I make a difference in my profession. Looking back, I know this is the best career for me and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I love my career in the auto collision industry. Thanks BTECH!