Becoming an automotive body and glass repairer is an excellent way to break into an industry that has extremely high rates of retention. Though the economy may go up and down, everyone needs to repair their vehicles at some point or another. The median pay of an automotive body and glass repairer is $37,580 or $18.07 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is quite good for a position that only requires a high school diploma or equivalent.
High School or GED
What Do Automotive Body and Glass Repairers Do?
Automotive body and glass repair comprises a huge amount of aspects of automotive repair, which means that it does require significant on-the-job training. A repair person will review reports about automotive damage and then create a cost estimate sheet for the person that is getting their vehicle repaired. They will be required to have extensive planning skills so that they can make comprehensive estimates that are accurate on both a cost and time basis. Once the estimates are done, the actual equipment will need to be ordered and repair will need to begin.
Repair personnel need to be able to remove damaged parts from a vehicle and then repair the damage that is there. They will need to replace parts, path the body, replace glass, weld replacement parts and more. They will also need to weatherproof windows and windshields, and they will need to prime surfaces and repair them. They may also need to apply finish and paint to restored body parts. Essentially, they should be able to do practically anything to repair the body and glass on a vehicle.
How to Become an Automotive Body and Glass Repairer
The best form of training for an automotive body and glass repairer is technical training which can be acquired at trade schools and community college. These schools will go over the skills that are essential for a repair person to be able to work on actual automobiles. The repair work required to fix a vehicle requires many essential tools that simply are not accessible to most people. A trade school will be able to train a prospective repair person on these tools and the methods by which they are used.
Postsecondary education is usually the best type of education, but students may also enter into apprenticeship. However, unlike other trades apprenticeship is not as common in this field as technical training. There are some programs that only go about six months to a year, and other programs that offer full 2-year degrees. 2-year degree programs can offer more flexibility later on if the person chooses to switch positions.
Advancement Opportunities for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers
The main goal for many automotive body and glass repairers is to eventually run their own shop or their own business. To this end, one of the most valuable things a person could do is obtain a 2-year degree in the business and then a 4-year business degree. This could enable a person to learn as much about repair as possible and then also learn about the basics of running their own business successfully. Those that do not want to be business owners may simply acquire a degree so they can run a shop as a supervisor. As noted by the Department of Business Regulation, opening a shop usually requires a license.