Whether they’re applying a shiny finish to add sparkle to an old car, or fixing structural damage from a collision, automotive body and related repairers bring damaged vehicles back to nearly-new condition. Auto body repairers restore the structural integrity of car bodies and frames. They use pneumatic tools and plasma cutters to remove damaged parts, and heavy-duty hydraulics for major structural repairs. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, wrenches, and screwdrivers. Most work in automotive repair and maintenance shops, though many also work at car dealerships. Some are self-employed. The work can be physically demanding— working in cramped positions, often in noisy body shops, these workers commonly suffer cuts and burns, so it’s important they follow safety procedures to avoid serious accidents. Most automotive body repairers work full time. When shops have a backlog of work to complete, overtime hours are common, including evenings and weekends. Though formal training in auto body repair is preferred, many candidates are hired without it, and learn on the job. Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is a standard credential that often brings higher pay and better job opportunities.
What they do:
Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
On the job, you would:
File, grind, sand, and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools 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.
Engineering and Technology
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Collision damage estimation software
Collision damage measurement software
Operating system software
Data base user interface and query software
Equipment management information software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed