If you have traveled on the highway, you might have come across accidents involving two or more vehicles that have collided with each other. Such vehicles are either disposed of as scrap or sent for repairs, depending on the extent of damage caused by the crash. An automobile body repairer’s job is to work on damaged cars, make modifications to improve appearance and lend it an entirely new look. A career in auto body repair technology can be fascinating if you have a flair for fixing things and an eye for the design of cars.
The following article will help you understand the distinguishing characteristics of a career in auto body repair technology.
Job Qualifications And Training
Companies that hire auto body repair technologists typically prefer candidates with prior training in the field. They supplement the knowledge of newly recruited technicians with a well defined, on-the-job training. Additionally, the technicians are expected to lay efforts on constant updating of their skills as new vehicles are introduced. It is advisable for them to spend personal time reading technical manuals, and attending seminars and classes.
The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a certification in repairs, which though a voluntary program is considered as a standard of achievement for automotive body repairers. The institute conducts four tests, twice a year. A work experience of two years is an essential criterion to qualify for the test.
Due to the rapid improvement in technology, vast differences exist in the make, spare parts, build and quality of material used by manufacturers in the production of cars. Therefore, in addition to the practical training provided by employers, new technicians are also encouraged to attend supplementary courses organized by various auto manufacturers.
To be a talented automotive body repairer, reading, arithmetic and computer skills are essential. To restore the body of an automobile, a repairer should be able to understand diagrams so that the correct positioning of a certain part can be measured with respect to the other parts. New repairers are expected to fix dents and other minor problems, after which they start working on more complex problems such as straightening and realignment of body parts.
Nature Of The Job
The different job opportunities in this field range from painting and glass replacement to specializing in only one type of repair. For instance, a technician can focus on fiberglass car body repair that is usually done only in bigger shops. Other jobs include fixing of large dents using anvils, heating of plastic to attach it back to the car, and the filing and grinding of machines to lend it a desired shape. After gaining a few years of experience, some auto body repairers also take up management jobs that involve tasks such as supervising technicians, purchasing of supplies, hiring, keeping track of income, expenses, and payment of bills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2002, automotive body repairers made a median hourly wage of $15.71 including incentives.
Future Of The Job
The number of job positions in this field is expected to increase through the year 2012. To meet the demand, auto body repair jobs may have to be contracted out to repairers from other fields or retired automobile designers working in other areas. Repairers who have undergone formal training and certification will benefit from the enriching job opportunities expected to arise. Other than simple repairing jobs, the redefining aspect of automobile technology will be a sought after skill to counter the increasing demands for new and innovative designs. The big shops will look at increasing their ability to provide quality service to more customers as a team is would be recruited to cater to the varying needs of different customer profiles, to decrease the repair time and improve overall efficiency.
As the number of vehicles on the road increase, so will the need to repair and add new features to them. The auto repairing industry is here to stay, and if you vie to be in an innovative and challenging field, the auto body repair industry is the right career option for you.