Automotive Body and Related Repairers

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Also known as:
Auto Body Customizer, Auto Body Technician, Auto Body Worker, Auto Bumper Straightener, Body and Frame Technician, Body Shop Worker, Car Refinisher, Truck Body Repairer, Vehicle Body Sander

ABOUT AUTOMOTIVE BODY OR RELATED REPAIRER CAREERS
Video transcript

Automotive body repairers are modern-day magicians. They have the power to restore a wrecked car so completely that it looks and operate like new. Sometimes, bent frames must be straightened using powerful machines. Hoods, fenders and other body panels are then removed and repaired using hammer, anvils and other special tools. When a dent cannot be pounded out, body repairers may use patching compound than can be that can be filed or smoothed to match the rest of the panel, or replace the damaged part.

In smaller shops, the repairer may also paint the repaired pieces. You can learn the necessary skills on the job. But as the materials used in automobiles become more varied, repair techniques become more complex. All of which makes the formal training offered by trade school and similar institutions increasingly desirable. The job can be dirty and noisy, but it is rarely boring. After all, each wreck that comes in presents a new set of challenges.

SNAPSHOT
Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Soak fiberglass matting in resin mixtures and apply layers of matting over repair areas to specified thicknesses.

Chain or clamp frames and sections to alignment machines that use hydraulic pressure to align damaged components.

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.

Fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns, adhesive brushes, and mallets.

Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.

Clean work areas, using air hoses, to remove damaged material and discarded fiberglass strips used in repair procedures.

Adjust or align headlights, wheels, and brake systems.

Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.

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.

Replace damaged glass on vehicles.

Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
TOP SKILLS
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.