• Careers and Employment Outlook

    What does an auto body technician do?
    Auto body technicians' work has variety and challenge-each damaged vehicle presents a different problem. Technicians must develop appropriate methods for each job using their broad knowledge of automotive construction and repair techniques. Technicians usually work alone, or in some shops, they may be assisted by helpers or apprentices.

    Employers prefer to hire persons who have completed formal training programs in auto body repair. Formal training is highly desirable because advances in technology in recent years have greatly changed the structure, the components, and even the materials used in vehicles. As a result, many new skills are required. Formal training in auto body repair can enhance the chances for employment and a speedy promotion to a journeyman position.

    Auto body technicians straighten bent bodies, remove dents, and replace crumbled parts that are beyond repair. Usually, they can repair all types of vehicles which include cars, small and large trucks, buses, or tractor trailers.

    Auto body technicians use special machines to restore damaged metal frames and body sections to their original shape and location. The technicians remove badly damaged sections of body panels with pneumatic metal-cutting gun or acetylene torch and weld in new sections to replace them. Technicians also repair and replace the plastic body parts used on newer model vehicles. They remove the damaged panels and determine the type of plastic from which they are made. Technicians replace plastic parts which are badly damaged or more difficult to repair. In large shops, technicians may specialize in one type of repair.