What does Automotive Body and Related Repairers Do?
These skilled technicians are responsible for putting cars back together again after they have sustained structural damages. They replace broken components, straighten out bent metal, and repaint exterior surfaces. Most work in shop environments fixing passenger cars and trucks. Others may specialize in restoring older collectible vehicles to their original condition.
Automotive Body and Related Repairs Skills and Abilities
As an automotive professional it is important to have a basic understanding of mechanical and electrical systems. You must also be prepared to work directly with customers and manage business concerns as well. Detailed knowledge of metal working, materials, and painting is also critical to your success.The standard skills employers are looking for include:
- Basic mechanical aptitude
- Customers service experience
- Use of power tools
- Shop and industrial safety
- Excellent motor control and physical body strength
- Understanding of industry regulations
The best repair techs will also have good problem solving abilities. Unique situations may arise that will require unusual solutions. Those that are able adapt their various skills to changing circumstances will excel in this industry.
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Duties
Repair technicians must be able to review damage reports and create repair estimates. They work closely with the vehicle owners themselves and insurance companies to obtain authorization for work.When performing repairs they must often work directly with damaged metal components. They may cut away sections or straighten the existing pieces. Technicians fill in smaller dents with chemical compounds. They spend a lot of time sanding panels so that they are flattened and uniformed in shape. Direct working with the metals may include:
Paint work requires careful selection of matching colors. Repair techs must also disassemble exterior and interior components as part of their prep work. They apply several layers of paint with a spray gun accurately, and some will work with exterior fabrics like vinyl tops on luxury vehicles.
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Tools and Technology
A basic set of standard automotive hand tools is essential but these technicians will be especially reliant on tools that help them remove panels and body components. Trim removal tools, screw drivers, and pry bars are the most common.They also frequently use power tools for cutting and grinding, and many shops have air compressors to support the use of pneumatic tools. Paint is applied using a spray tool and all of these experts must be fully equipped with proper safety equipment at all times. Protective eye wear, gloves, face shields, boots, and work coveralls are mandatory for most jobs.
Education and Training for Automotive Body and Related Repairs
All that is required to enter the industry is a high school diploma. With enough time in an apprenticeship, it is possible to be successful in this career, but many also choose to obtain additional training at a community college or vocational school. Some may acquire an associate degree, but very few go on to obtain higher levels of education.
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Salary
The typical body repair worker will command a median annual salary of about $40,000. Starting out with little to no training, you can expect to earn only $25,000 through your apprenticeship. More experienced tradesmen can command as high as $70,000 a year in areas where their skills are in the highest demand. These peak salary conditions also assume plenty of overtime.
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Jobs by Geography
This general industry is present just about anywhere vehicles get damaged. This means that you can have great job security throughout the entire country, but in regions with higher concentration of vehicles, these experts will be the most needed. Most work in or near large cities. California, Texas, Florida and New York are the biggest concentration of automotive body repair experts.