An individual with a job in auto body repair is responsible for repairing vehicles that have sustained damage due to automobile accidents or acts of nature. Auto body repair positions are found in a variety of industries. Auto body shops are the most common employers of auto body repairers. Auto body repair shops provide customers the service of repairing damage to the exterior of a vehicle. Used car dealerships often employ auto body repairers to assist in refurbishing vehicles to make them suitable for resale.
Auto repair workers can expect to perform many tasks. From actually repairing damaged vehicles, to completing the required paperwork. Many auto repair shops rely on teamwork to complete a job from start to finish.
The ultimate goal of auto repair shops is to restore a customer’s vehicle to the condition it was in before the damage was received. As an auto body repair worker, your role in this process is vital.
A career in auto body repair comes with varied responsibilities. Auto body repairers must have the ability to determine which specific parts or pieces of a vehicle that needs to be repaired or replaced. Auto body repairers must have the ability to provide an estimate to their customer or to insurance companies that will provide accurate information regarding the work that will be required to restore a vehicle. This includes listing each part that must be repaired or replaced, along with the amount of time that it will take to complete the task. In many cases, entry level auto body repair personnel will not have the responsibility of providing estimates, but will be more involved of the manual labor of repairing a damaged vehicle.
Commonly, auto body repairers will be required to remove damaged parts of the vehicle and replace them with repaired or new parts without damaging surrounding area. Auto body repair also requires the use of a paint booth. In many cases, portions of a vehicle must be repainted to match the undamaged exterior of the vehicle.
Damage sustained to vehicles can sometimes be repaired without removal of the part or piece. Auto body repair personnel will implement the use of various tools and supplies to assist in removing dents and dings. Knowledge of hand-tools and computerized automotive equipment is required.
Auto body repair jobs require a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing automotive world. Auto body repair workers are required to drive customer vehicles short distances to ensure that repairs are complete and the vehicle is suitably repaired.
Auto body repair careers require the ability to communicate effectively with customers and vendors. Having the ability to listen to what the customer or vendors are saying is vital in this field. Auto body repair careers also require excellent customer service skills. The ability to deal with customers and provide them the service that they require, results in a client that is satisfied and will likely return.
Training and Education Requirements
A high school diploma is generally required for employment in the auto body repair field. Auto body repair courses are offered at many technical colleges. Those with a technical training diploma often receive a higher starting salary than those with only a high school diploma.
On the job training is the most common form of training for auto body repairers. Employers often pair an inexperienced employee with an experienced repairer. Some auto body repair shops require their employees to attend company paid classes to expand their knowledge base. With on the job training, it can take up to four years to become well experienced.
Some auto body repair shops offer apprentice programs or internships. This allows those wishing to learn the trade to do so. These types of programs often are non-paying or very low paying. This is a great way of learning the trade from qualified professionals.
Auto Body Repair Salary and Wages
Auto body repair positions are generally hourly positions. An entry-level position will pay an average of $11.00 to $14.00 per hour. An experienced auto body repairer earns an average of between $13.00 and $17.00 per hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Auto body repair wages are largely dependent on regional factors. The state of the economy and demand for auto body repair service can affect the wages of auto body repairers.
Certifications are not generally required for auto body repair positions. Though, diplomas and technical certificates can aide in higher starting wages. Many employers offer training courses for which a certificate may be received upon successful completion.
Certifications can also be obtained by attending training courses offered by professional associations of which qualified auto body repair businesses are members.
Auto body repair employees are not required to become members of any professional associations. Many times the business itself will be a member of a professional organization; however, its employees are not required to become members. Many professional organizations offer certifications of the employees of its members.