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Become An Auto Body Repairer

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Working As An Auto Body Repairer

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $54,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Auto Body Repairer Do

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.

Duties

Automotive body repairers typically do the following:

  • Review damage reports, prepare cost estimates, and plan work
  • Inspect cars for structural damage
  • Remove damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, grilles, and trim
  • Realign car frames and chassis to repair structural damage
  • Hammer out or patch dents, dimples, and other minor body damage
  • Fit, attach, and weld replacement parts into place
  • Sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
  • Apply new finish to restored body parts

Automotive glass installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Examine damaged windshields and assess reparability
  • Clean damaged areas and prepare the surfaces for repair
  • Stabilize chips and cracks with clear resin
  • Remove glass that cannot be repaired
  • Check windshield frames for rust
  • Clean windshield frames and prepare them for installation
  • Apply urethane sealant to the windshield frames
  • Install replacement glass
  • Replace any parts removed prior to repairs

Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Repairs may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel. After a major collision, the underlying frame of a car can become weakened or compromised. Body repairers restore the structural integrity of car frames to manufacturer specifications.

Body repairers use many tools for their work. They use pneumatic tools and plasma cutters to remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels. They also often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers for major structural repairs, such as aligning the body. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.

In some cases, body repairers complete an entire job by themselves. In other cases, especially in large shops, they use an assembly line approach in which they work as a team with each individual performing a specialized task.

Although body repairers sometimes prime and paint repaired parts, painting and coating workers generally perform these tasks.

Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer’s location and perform their work in the field. They commonly use specialized tools such as vacuum pumps to fill windshield cracks and chips with a stabilizing resin. When windshields are badly damaged, they use knives to remove the damaged windshield, and then they secure the new windshield using a special urethane adhesive.

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How To Become An Auto Body Repairer

Most employers prefer to hire automotive body and glass repairers who have completed a formal training program in automotive body or glass repair. Still, many new body and glass repairers begin work without formal training. Industry certification is increasingly important.

Education

High school, trade and technical school, and community college programs in collision repair combine hands-on practice and technical instruction. Topics usually include electronics, repair cost estimation, and welding, all of which provide a strong educational foundation for a career as a body repairer. Although not required, postsecondary education often provides the best preparation.

Trade and technical school programs typically award certificates after 6 months to 1 year of study. Some community colleges offer 2-year programs in collision repair. Many of these schools also offer certificates for individual courses, so students can take classes part time or as needed.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification is recommended because it shows competence and usually brings higher pay. In some instances it is required for advancement beyond entry-level work.

Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a standard credential for body repairers. In addition, many vehicle and paint manufacturers have product certification programs that train body repairers in specific technologies and repair methods.

A few states require a license to perform automotive glass installation and repair. Check with your state for more information.

Training

New workers 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 complex work, such as aligning car frames. Some body repairers may become trained in as little as 1 year, 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 a 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).

Advancement

Automotive body and glass repairers earn more money as they gain experience, and some may advance into management positions within body shops, especially those workers with 2- or 4-year degrees.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must be able to evaluate vehicle damage and determine necessary repair strategies. In some cases, they must decide if a vehicle is “totaled,” or too damaged to justify the cost of repair.

Customer-service skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must discuss auto body and glass problems, along with options to fix them, with customers. Workers must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.

Detail oriented. Automotive body and glass repairers must pay close attention to detail. Restoring a damaged auto body or windshield to its original state requires workers to have a keen eye for even the smallest imperfection. 

Dexterity. Many body repairers’ tasks, such as removing door panels, hammering out dents, and using hand tools to install parts, require a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Body repairers must know which diagnostic, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other power equipment and tools are appropriate for certain procedures and repairs. They must know how to apply the correct techniques and methods necessary to repair modern automobiles.

Physical strength. Automotive body and glass repairers must sometimes lift heavy parts, such as door panels and windshields.

Time-management skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must be timely in their repairs. For many people, their automobile is their primary mode of transportation.

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Average Yearly Salary
$54,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$54,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CARUSO
Highest Paying City
Newburgh, NY
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does an Auto Body Repairer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Auto Body Repairer in the United States is $54,513 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $111,000.

Real Auto Body Repairer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Supervisor, Auto Body Repairers Premier Collision Center Inc. Nanuet, NY May 02, 2008 $58,603
Auto Body Repairer FLX Enterprises, Inc. Jun 17, 2009 $48,251
Auto Body Repair/Finish S and E Auto Repair Hollywood, FL Feb 01, 2011 $48,231
Auto Body Repair/Finish S and E Auto Repair Hollywood, FL Sep 09, 2008 $48,231
Auto Body Repairer and Painter European Paint & Body III Boca Raton, FL Mar 07, 2011 $48,210
Auto Body Repairer V&G Auto Center Inc. NY Sep 15, 2015 $47,507
Auto Body Repairer V&G Auto Center Inc. NY Sep 10, 2015 $47,507
Auto Body Repairer A'n'j Body and Fender Works Edison, NJ Apr 06, 2009 $47,166
Auto Body Repairer Unicar Auto Body Pasadena, CA Aug 26, 2010 $45,351
Auto Body Repairer Mirageautobodypaint Parksdale, CA Apr 07, 2009 $45,309
Auto Body Repairer Auto Glen Collision NY Oct 14, 2015 $44,720
Auto Body Repairer Mirageautobodypaint Parksdale, CA Mar 11, 2010 $44,328
Auto Body Repairer The Rental Company of Ny, Inc. Floral Park, NY Jun 11, 2015 $43,680
Auto Body Repairer Park Auto Body Inc. Elmwood Park, NJ Jul 19, 2010 $43,201 -
$43,827
Auto Body Repairer Body Works NY Dec 02, 2009 $41,364
Auto Body Repairer Caruso's Automotive Plainfield, NJ Sep 18, 2008 $40,843
Auto Body Repairer Caruso's Automotive Plainfield, NJ Dec 10, 2009 $40,843
Auto Body Repair C K Auto Body, Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Oct 15, 2009 $40,697
Auto Body Repair State Surplus Auto Sales, Inc. Newark, NJ Dec 02, 2009 $39,465
Auto Body Repair State Surplus Auto Sales, Inc. Newark, NJ Dec 10, 2009 $39,465
Auto Body Repairer, Combination Proline Body & Chassis LLC. Elmwood Park, NJ May 22, 2009 $37,942
Auto Body Repairer Vision Auto Repair, Inc. Islandia, NY Jul 16, 2015 $37,586
Auto Body Repairer Beckmann/Lawlor DBA Matts Auto Body Salt Point, NY Jul 13, 2010 $36,733
Auto Body Repairer Keri Motors, Inc. Westbury, NY Mar 12, 2010 $34,081
Auto Body Repairer First Class Auto Center Inc. NY Jan 31, 2008 $33,747
Auto Body Repairer First Class Auto Center Inc. NY Dec 09, 2010 $33,747
Auto Body Repairer Carriage Crafters, Inc. College Park, MD Feb 15, 2008 $33,642

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Top Skills for An Auto Body Repairer

  1. Mechanical Repairs
  2. Auto Body Parts
  3. Auto-Body Repair
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Make mechanical repairs of all types to transportation, construction and heavy equipment.
  • Sub-contracted auto-body repair/paint services for dealers and private customers.
  • Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts.
  • Repair parts with tools,oilchanges,change of brake pads,repainting damaged car parts
  • Perform oil changes, change brakes and other simple parts.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Auto Body Repairers

  1. North Dakota
  2. North Carolina
  3. Arizona
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Alaska
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Washington
  8. Michigan
  9. New Jersey
  10. Illinois
  • (3 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)

Auto Body Repairer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.6%

Unknown

15.6%

Female

8.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

19.0%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.0%

Arabic

25.0%

Auto Body Repairer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.5%

Lincoln College of Technology - Grand Prairie

7.7%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

7.7%

Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences

7.7%

The Academy

7.7%

Dakota County Technical College

3.8%

Baton Rouge Community College

3.8%

Neumann University

3.8%

Gustavus Adolphus College

3.8%

Pima Community College

3.8%

Richland Community College

3.8%

State Technical College of Missouri

3.8%

College of Lake County

3.8%

Greene County Career Center

3.8%

Brooklyn Institute of Business Technology

3.8%

Everest College - Henderson

3.8%

Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center

3.8%

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

3.8%

College of DuPage

3.8%

Tarrant County College District

3.8%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

25.3%

Business

11.6%

Criminal Justice

10.5%

General Studies

7.4%

Industrial Technology

4.2%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Management

3.2%

Precision Metal Working

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.2%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

Engineering

3.2%

Accounting

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Drafting And Design

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Computer Technical Support

2.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Fine Arts

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

53.1%

Bachelors

17.2%

Associate

13.3%

Certificate

8.6%

Diploma

3.9%

Masters

2.3%

License

1.6%
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