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Become A Body Repairer

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Working As A 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

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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
$70,000
Show Salaries
$32,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pine
Highest Paying City
Rockville, MD
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Body Repairer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Body Repairer in the United States is $70,825 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $152,000.

Real Body Repairer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Ziggys Auto Body Inc. Jersey City, NJ Feb 04, 2011 $125,882
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Precision Auto Collision, Inc. Laguna Niguel, CA Jun 06, 2013 $64,459
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Fabricante Auto Body Lake Forest, CA Dec 20, 2012 $64,459
Automotive Body Repairer Kellys Body Shop Inc. Santa Ana, CA Oct 08, 2008 $62,610
Automotive Body and Mechanical Repairer Luckyway LLC Rockville, MD Aug 03, 2016 $61,754
Automotive Body Repairer Parkway Auto Body of Ewing, Inc. Trenton, NJ May 24, 2011 $57,242
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Henson and Son Autobody Escondido, CA Feb 13, 2008 $56,579
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Ocean Paint & Body Ship Oceanside, CA Mar 24, 2011 $55,493
Automotive Body Repairer Auto Dent Care Inc. Rockville, MD Mar 01, 2010 $55,368
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Britland Auto Body Shop Inc. Green Brook, NJ Aug 26, 2015 $51,987
Automotive Body and Related Repairers American Auto Body and Frame Norco, CA Nov 28, 2012 $51,043
Automotive Body and Related Repairers California Collision Center Banning, CA Sep 10, 2013 $51,043
Automotive Body and Related Repairer Proline Body & Chasis Elmwood Park, NJ May 30, 2009 $50,568
Automotive Body Repairer Golf Mill Motor Sales, Inc. Niles, IL Apr 03, 2009 $50,297
Automotive Body Repairer Us Auto Body, Inc. Baltimore, MD Dec 02, 2009 $46,457
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Nantucket Auto Body, Inc. Nantucket, MA Apr 07, 2016 $46,248
Automotive Body and Related Repairs Glass Cars Dallas, TX Oct 19, 2007 $46,155
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Carmaster Franklin Park, IL Dec 18, 2012 $45,914
Automotive Body and Related Repairs R&C Auto Rebuilders, Inc. South Plainfield, NJ Nov 20, 2009 $45,789
Automotive Body Repairer SS Gargage & Transport, LLC TN Apr 21, 2014 $45,789
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Nitro Collision Center Compton, CA Nov 12, 2010 $45,309
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Stankovich Auto Body Somerset, NJ Apr 19, 2010 $45,288
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Shivoham, Inc. Perth Amboy, NJ Dec 14, 2012 $40,581
Automotive Body Repairer 35 Auto Repair & Body Corp. NY Feb 11, 2010 $39,653
Automotive Body and Related Repairers Terry's Auto Body NJ Feb 04, 2010 $39,465
Automotive Body & Related Repair Sip Autobody Jersey City, NJ Dec 07, 2010 $38,443
Automotive Body Repairer Bishop Auto Body MIGO Inc. Bishop, CA Oct 16, 2007 $38,150
Automotive Body Repairer Bishop Auto Body MIGO Inc. Bishop, CA Oct 12, 2007 $38,150
Automotive Body Repairer Bishop Auto Body MIGO Inc. Bishop, CA Oct 11, 2007 $38,150
Automotive Body and Related Repairer Auto Pro Collision New York, NY Feb 23, 2010 $37,942

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Top Skills for A Body Repairer

  1. Automotive Vehicles
  2. Body Shops
  3. Repair Cost Estimates
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Replace, repair, and bump out damaged bodies and parts of automotive vehicles.
  • Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
  • Job duties included Taping, sanding and painting cars and trucks as well as minor automobile repairs when needed.
  • Attached fasteners, grommets, buckles, ornamental trim, and other accessories to cover or frame, using hand tools.
  • Cut openings in vehicle bodies for the installation of customized windows, using templates and power shears and chisels.

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Top 10 Best States for Body Repairers

  1. North Dakota
  2. Vermont
  3. Missouri
  4. South Dakota
  5. Nebraska
  6. Maine
  7. Colorado
  8. Kentucky
  9. Wyoming
  10. Arkansas
  • (8 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)

Body Repairer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.3%

Unknown

14.4%

Female

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Arabic

33.3%

Tagalog

33.3%

Spanish

33.3%

Body Repairer Education

Schools

Alabama State University

11.5%

Columbus State University

7.7%

Greenville Technical College

7.7%

Apex Technical School

7.7%

Shelton State Community College

7.7%

Carl Albert State College

3.8%

Northern Maine Community College

3.8%

Southwestern Illinois College

3.8%

Morningside College

3.8%

Allen University

3.8%

Interactive College of Technology

3.8%

Mid-Continent University

3.8%

ITT Technical Institute-Knoxville

3.8%

Williamsburg Technical College

3.8%

Tidewater Community College

3.8%

Delgado Community College

3.8%

New England Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Art Institute of Cincinnati

3.8%

Antelope Valley College

3.8%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

20.8%

Business

12.5%

Fine Arts

8.3%

General Studies

8.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.3%

Computer Science

6.3%

Management

4.2%

Drafting And Design

4.2%

Health Sciences And Services

4.2%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Apparel And Textiles

2.1%

International Business

2.1%

Psychology

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Management Science

2.1%

Medicine

2.1%

Precision Metal Working

2.1%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.1%

Engineering Technology

2.1%

Cosmetology

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

60.9%

Associate

20.3%

Bachelors

10.9%

Certificate

4.7%

License

1.6%

Diploma

1.6%
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