Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Aircraft Powerplant Tech
- Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
- Alternative Fuel Vehicle Technologies
- Autobody Repair
- Automotive Mechanics
- Avionics Repair and Maintenance
- Diesel Mechanics
- Engine Machinist
- Heavy Vehicle and Truck Tech
- Marine Watercraft Repair and Maintenance
- Motorcycle Repair and Maintenance
- Small Engine Mechanics
- Vehicle Emissions Inspection
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
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.
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).
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.