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Autobody Repair Technology

When vehicles need repair from auto accidents, vehicle owners turn to professionals to repair and refinish their automobiles. If you enjoy working on the exterior of vehicles, you might enjoy a career in auto body repair.

Is Auto Body Repair Technology for Me?

Career Overview

If you specialize in auto body repair technology, you might be known as an automotive body repairer, collision repair technician or auto body mechanic. You could work on different types of vehicles, like cars, buses or trucks. Your duties may include repairing dents, scratches, broken glass or other damaged sections of the vehicle.

As a professional in auto body repair technology, your potential employers include paint workshops, auto body repair shops, car lots, automobile rental companies and insurance companies. These employers may hire you as an auto body repair technician, auto detailer, auto body supply representative or shop supervisor. You could even work for yourself and become a body shop owner. You could also choose to specialize in an area such as fixing glass, which would make you an automotive glass repairer, automotive glass installer or auto glass technician.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of automotive body and glass repairers was expected to increase 13% between 2012 and 2022, which was considered average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, automotive body and related repairers earned a median annual salary of $38,850 Automotive glass installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $32,310 during the same year.

How Do I Work in Auto Body Repair Technology?

Training

If you're interested in a career in auto body repair technology, it's possible to enter this profession with only a high school diploma. However, many employers seek applicants with formal training in auto body repair or related studies. You can receive your training through certificate and associate degree programs in areas such as auto body technology or collision repair and refinishing. These types of programs are offered at most community and technical colleges.

Certificate programs last 1-2 years, and associate degree programs last two years. Studies in auto body repair technology can include automotive trim, metal and plastics repair, damage assessment, welding, finish work and painting. You might also learn about vehicle air conditioning and heating systems, automotive control assembly and cost estimating. As a graduate of an auto body repair technology program, you're familiar with the principal aspects of the automotive field, able to operate modern automotive technology and able to perform automobile restoration processes.

Certifications

Certification in auto body repair technology is not required, but earning a voluntary certification, such as that offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), can improve your chances for employment (www.ase.com). You can apply to become certified in collision repair and refinishing, among other areas. In order to qualify, you need to have at least two years of relevant experience and pass an exam.