Auto body technician training teaches students everything they need to know to be successful on the job. Auto body technicians restore, replace, and refinish vehicle frames and bodies, window glass, and windshields. Most auto body technicians work indoors well-lit and well-ventilated body shops. These service techs often work in awkward and cramped positions, and work can be physically demanding.
Auto body technician salary is competitive and the job outlook is positive. The key to qualifying for these jobs is to successfully complete a local or online auto body technician training program.
Auto Body Technician Career at a Glance
|2015 Median Pay||$40,970 per year
$19.69 per hour
|Typical Entry-Level Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||1-2 years on-the-job training|
|Number of Jobs, 2014||169,100|
|Job Outlook, 2014-24||9% (Faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2014-24||15,300|
Recommended Auto Body Tech Training
Duties and Responsibilities
Auto body technician training will teach you the skills you need to be successful. The training program will teach you how to complete the following auto body technician duties:
- Prepare cost estimates, plan work, and review damage reports
- Remove damaged parts, including, fenders, grilles, bumpers, hoods, and trim
- Inspect vehicles for structural damage
- Patch or hammer out dimples, dents, and other minor body damage
- Realign chassis and car frames to repair structural damage
- Weld, fit, and attach replacement parts into place
- Sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
- Apply new paint finish to restored body parts
New auto body technicians typically begin their on-the-job training by helping an experienced body repairer with basic tasks, such as fixing minor dents. As they gain experience, they move on to more difficult work, such as aligning car frames. Some body repairers may become trained in as little as 12 months, but they generally need 2 or 3 years of hands-on training to become fully independent body repairers.
Basic automotive glass installation and repair can be learned in as little as 6 months, but becoming fully independent can take up to 1 year of training.
Formally educated workers often require significantly less on-the-job training and typically advance to independent work more quickly than those who do not have the same level of education.
Throughout their careers, body repairers need to continue their education and training to keep up with rapidly changing automotive technology. Body repairers are expected to develop their skills by reading technical manuals and by attending classes and seminars. Many employers regularly send workers to advanced training programs, such as those offered by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR).
Auto Body Technician Salary
In May 2015, the median annual wages for auto body technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
- Vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics, installers and repairers – $40,160
- Automotive body and glass repairers – $39,890
- Automotive glass installers and repairers – $33,830
Auto Body Technician Jobs
The BLS has projected auto body technician jobs to grow by 9% over the next ten years. This growth is expected to create more than 15,000 new auto body technician jobs by 2024. Now is the perfect time to search for auto body technician training programs and enroll!
In 2014, auto body technicians held about 169,000 jobs. Approximately 66% worked in maintenance and repair shops and 17% worked in automobile dealers. About 1 in 10 auto body technicians were self employed in 2014.
Auto body technicians normally work indoors in noisy body shops. Most shops contain lots of dust and paint fumes, but are well ventilated to accommodate the technicians. Glass repairers and installers often travel to the customer location to repair damaged window glass or windshields.
Auto body technicians sometimes work in cramped and awkward positions, which can be physically demanding.
Critical-thinking skills. Auto body technicians must be able to determine necessary repair strategies after evaluating vehicle damage. In some cases they must decide if a vehicle is too damaged or “totaled,” and repair costs cannot be justified.
Customer-service skills. Auto body technician training may not teach students the social skills necessary on the job. Techs must discuss glass and auto body problems, along with repair options, with customers. Workers must be good listeners, courteous, and able to answer questions.
Detail oriented. Auto body technicians must pay close attention to detail. Restoring a damaged windshield or auto body to its original state requires close attention to detail and a keen eye to recognize the smallest imperfection.
Dexterity. Many auto body tech tasks, such as hammering out dents,using hand tools to install parts, and remove door panels, require good hand-eye coordination and a steady hand.
Mechanical skills. Auto body technicians must know which hydraulic, diagnostic, pneumatic, and other power tools and equipment are appropriate for certain repairs and procedures. They must know how to apply the correct methods and techniques necessary to repair modern vehicles.
Physical strength. Auto body technicians must sometimes life heavy materials, such as windshields and door panels.
Time-management skills. For many people, their vehicle is their primary mode of transportation. Auto body techs must be timely in their repairs.