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Autobody Repair Technician: Employment & Career Info

Learn about a career as an autobody repair technician. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Career Defined for an Autobody Repair Technician

Autobody repair technicians determine the extent of vehicle damage on cars and light trucks. They evaluate which autobody parts need repair and which need replacement. Working with metal, plastic and fiberglass, they use a variety of equipment, including hydraulic devices, pneumatic metal-cutting guns, media blasters, hot-air welding guns and hand tools. Using this equipment, they may straighten alignments, remove and replace parts, fix dents and re-paint damaged areas. Autobody repair technicians may work alone, under supervision or in assembly-line style, with each worker responsible for different parts of the repair.

Education High school diploma or GED to start, training and associate degree programs available
Certification Credentials through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
Job Skills Mechanical and technical skills, reading and math, problem-solving, physical strength
Median Salary (2015) $40,970 for automotive body and related repairers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% for automotive body and related repairers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Because no two damaged cars are alike and because of advances in autobody construction, competent repair of accident damage generally takes years of training. Some workers may be able to enter the field with a GED or high school diploma and begin making small repairs; however, to advance, repair technicians usually need to complete a 6-month trade or technical school training program, or a 2-year degree program from a community or technical college. Students in formal training programs to become autobody repair technicians take courses relating to electronics, physics and mathematics. According to O*Net Online in 2016, 44% of autobody repair techs had a high school diploma, and 28% had completed enough college coursework for a certificate, but did not hold degrees.

Certification Requirements

Advanced certification is available through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (www.natef.org), in partnership with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (www.asecert.org).

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that autobody repair technicians needed the following traits:

  • Strong mechanical and technical skills in the field
  • Reading and math skills to follow complex written instructions
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to work on a team
  • Physical strength, manual dexterity and good color vision

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, employment growth in autobody repair, also known as automotive body repair, was projected to increase at a rate of 9% from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, automotive body and related repairers earned a median salary of $40,970.

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