Automotive Body and Related Repairers
49-3021.00

Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

Sample of reported job titles: 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)

Occupation-Specific Information

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.
  • Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
  • Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.
  • Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.
  • 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.
  • Mix polyester resins and hardeners to be used in restoring damaged areas.
  • Fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns, adhesive brushes, and mallets.
  • 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.
  • Read specifications or confer with customers to determine the desired custom modifications for altering the appearance of vehicles.
  • Cut openings in vehicle bodies for the installation of customized windows, using templates and power shears or chisels.
  • Measure and mark vinyl material and cut material to size for roof installation, using rules, straightedges, and hand shears.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • 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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 95% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 66% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 50% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 57% responded “Very important results.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 54% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 56% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Contact With Others — 39% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 47% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 41% responded “Very serious.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 25% responded “Very high responsibility.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 42%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 35%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 23%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Interests

Interest code: R
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$22.73 hourly, $47,270 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
153,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
15,200
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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