Autobody technicians make body repairs to cars, trucks and other motor vehicles using traditional hand tools and a range of specialty body repair tools such as MIG welders, spot welders, blocks, hammers and spray guns. These repairs are accomplished by inspecting and determining the repair work needed, developing appropriate methods for each job and applying a broad knowledge of automotive construction and repair techniques.
Autobody technicians use frame machines with computerized, laser and mechanical measuring systems to restore damaged frames and sections to their original shape and location. Less serious dents are straightened with hydraulic jacks or body hand tools. In addition, they remove badly damaged sections of body panels and weld and adhesive bond new sections in to replace them.
A career in autobody repair can cover a number of different areas, such as paint and refinishing, body work and frame work, although paint is considered a separate trade. Knowledge of this profession is applicable to many other areas of the automotive sector, and there is a high demand for skilled employees throughout the industry.
Traits & Talents
If you are interested in cars and good with your hands you might enjoy a career in autobody repair. Physical fitness and strength, manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude are obvious traits of an autobody technician. Less evident characteristics which are also required include good analytical and problem-solving skills, good eyesight and colour vision, and an interest in computer and electrical work.
As dealing with customers is a standard and important part of the job, autobody technicians require good interpersonal communication and customer relation skills to talk to customers about repair requirements and cost estimates. As the industry is constantly changing, autobody technicians must be prepared to continue to educate themselves throughout their career to keep up with advances in technology and equipment.
Autobody technicians can work for car dealerships, independent garages or specialty repair shops. In smaller shops, workers often do both the body repairing and the painting, while in larger shops they may specialize in one type of repair. The industry provides steady work, indoors and away from the elements, and exposure to noise, fumes and other hazards is controlled by strict safety regulations. A career in autobody repair offers a variety of challenges as each damaged vehicle presents a different set of problems. The majority of technicians work alone under the general direction of a supervisor.
- Automotive Painter or Refinisher
- Automotive Damage Appraiser
- Automotive Restoration