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Automotive Body and Related Repairers
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Description: what do they do?
Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
Also known as:
Automotive Painter, Auto Body Repairman, Body and Frame Man, Auto Body Technician, Body Man, Autobody Technician, Body Technician, Auto Body Repairer, Auto Body Repair Technician, Auto Body Man

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: 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.
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Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
N/A
2016 Employment
N/A
2026 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
160,400
2016 Employment
174,100
2026 Employment
9%
Percent change
17,100
Annual projected job openings
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Automotive Body and Related Repairers in United States
LocationUSUnited States
10%N/A$25,470
25%N/A$32,530
MedianN/A$41,970
75%N/A$55,930
90%N/A$70,670


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • More than 1 year on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Plan work procedures.
  • Read work orders or descriptions of problems to determine repairs or modifications needed.
  • Inspect completed work to ensure proper functioning.
  • Smooth surfaces of objects or equipment.
  • Apply protective coverings to objects or surfaces near work areas.
  • Operate welding equipment.
  • Install vehicle parts or accessories.
  • Paint surfaces or equipment.
  • Install machine or equipment replacement parts.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Remove dents from equipment, materials, tools or structures.
  • Remove parts or components from vehicles.
  • Cut materials according to specifications or needs.
  • Prepare compounds or solutions to be used for repairs.
  • Adjust vehicle components according to specifications.
  • Confer with customers or users to assess problems.
  • Measure distances or dimensions.
  • Replace vehicle glass.
  • Clean work areas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
  • 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.
  • Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.
  • 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.
  • Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.
  • Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.
  • File, grind, sand, and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.
  • Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.
  • Position dolly blocks against surfaces of dented areas and beat opposite surfaces to remove dents, using hammers.
  • Mix polyester resins and hardeners to be used in restoring damaged areas.
  • Read specifications or confer with customers to determine the desired custom modifications for altering the appearance of vehicles.
  • Adjust or align headlights, wheels, and brake systems.
  • Cut and tape plastic separating film to outside repair areas to avoid damaging surrounding surfaces during repair procedure and remove tape and wash surfaces after repairs are complete.
  • Remove small pits and dimples in body metal, using pick hammers and punches.
  • Fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns, adhesive brushes, and mallets.
  • Measure and mark vinyl material and cut material to size for roof installation, using rules, straightedges, and hand shears.
  • Replace damaged glass on vehicles.
  • Remove damaged panels, and identify the family and properties of the plastic used on a vehicle.
  • Soak fiberglass matting in resin mixtures and apply layers of matting over repair areas to specified thicknesses.
  • Clean work areas, using air hoses, to remove damaged material and discarded fiberglass strips used in repair procedures.
  • Cut openings in vehicle bodies for the installation of customized windows, using templates and power shears or chisels.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.