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Career profile Automotive Repair Technician

Also known as Auto Body Man, Auto Body Repair Technician (Auto Body Repair Tech), Auto Body Repairman, Automotive Body Technician (Auto Body Tech), Body Man, Body Technician (Body Tech), Collision Repair Technician (Collision Repair Tech), Collision Technician (Collision Tech), Frame Man, Refinish Technician (Refinish Tech)

Automotive Repair Technician

Also known as Auto Body Man, Auto Body Repair Technician (Auto Body Repair Tech), Auto Body Repairman

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$28,090 - $77,210 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Repairing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • File, grind, sand, and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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What does an Automotive Repair Technician do?

Automotive Repair Technicians repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

What kind of tasks does an Automotive Repair Technician perform regularly?

Automotive Repair Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • File, grind, sand, and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.
  • Follow supervisors' instructions as to which parts to restore or replace and how much time the job should take.
  • Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.
  • Chain or clamp frames and sections to alignment machines that use hydraulic pressure to align damaged components.
  • Position dolly blocks against surfaces of dented areas and beat opposite surfaces to remove dents, using hammers.
  • Cut and tape plastic separating film to outside repair areas to avoid damaging surrounding surfaces during repair procedure and remove tape and wash surfaces after repairs are complete.
  • Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.
  • Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
  • Remove small pits and dimples in body metal, using pick hammers and punches.
  • Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.
  • Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • Fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns, adhesive brushes, and mallets.
  • Mix polyester resins and hardeners to be used in restoring damaged areas.
  • Adjust or align headlights, wheels, and brake systems.
  • Replace damaged glass on vehicles.
  • Remove damaged panels, and identify the family and properties of the plastic used on a vehicle.
  • Apply heat to plastic panels, using hot-air welding guns or immersion in hot water, and press the softened panels back into shape by hand.
  • Clean work areas, using air hoses, to remove damaged material and discarded fiberglass strips used in repair procedures.
  • Soak fiberglass matting in resin mixtures and apply layers of matting over repair areas to specified thicknesses.

The above responsibilities are specific to Automotive Repair Technicians. More generally, Automotive Repair Technicians are involved in several broader types of 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 watercraft.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

What is an Automotive Repair Technician salary?

The median salary for an Automotive Repair Technician is $45,350, and the average salary is $49,430. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Automotive Repair Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Automotive Repair Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Automotive Repair Technicians earn less than $28,090 per year, 25% earn less than $35,170, 75% earn less than $59,560, and 90% earn less than $77,210.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Automotive Repair Technicians is expected to change by 5.3%, and there should be roughly 15,200 open positions for Automotive Repair Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$45,350
Typical salary range
$28,090 - $77,210
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.3%

What personality traits are common among Automotive Repair Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Automotive Repair Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Automotive Repair Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Automotive Repair Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Automotive Repair Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Automotive Repair Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Automotive Repair Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Automotive Repair Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Automotive Repair Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

What education and training do Automotive Repair Technicians need?

Working as an Automotive Repair Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Automotive Repair Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Automotive Repair Technicians

  • 22.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 47.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 18.7% completed some college coursework
  • 8.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 2.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Automotive Repair Technicians

Automotive Repair Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, customer and personal service, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Automotive Repair Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Important Abilities needed by Automotive Repair Technicians

Automotive Repair Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Automotive Repair Technicians need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, manual dexterity, and visualization in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Automotive Repair Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Critical Skills needed by Automotive Repair Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Automotive Repair Technicians frequently use skills like repairing, troubleshooting, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Automotive Repair Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.