A career as an Auto Body Repair Man

Career Goal- Auto Body Repair Man

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Career Overview

Repairers fix damaged parts on vehicles. They remove large dents in metal panels with a jack or prying bar. They knock out smaller dents with hand tools or special hammers.

Repairers can heat and press most types of plastic body panel back to its original shape by hand. They fill dents that cannot be popped out with metal or plastic fillers. They file or grind the filler to match the body shape. Repairers use special machines to straighten the frame and body sections of cars twisted in accidents.

For more extensive damage, restorers remove ruined sections and replace them with new parts. They use cutting tools to cut through and remove metal body parts. They weld new panels in place of damaged sections.

Repairers also do simple mechanical repairs. They change parts of the various systems on an automobile, such as brake, steering, electrical, exhaust, and suspension systems. They also work on airbags and restraint systems.

Career Skills and Interests

In this career field you would need to....


  • Understand spoken information.
  • Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
  • Understand written information.

Reason and Problem Solve

  • Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
  • Recognize the nature of a problem.
  • Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
  • Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.

Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things

  • Manage the time of self and others.

Work with People

  • Use several methods to learn or teach new things.

Work with Things

  • Determine the tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Repair machines or systems.
  • Determine the causes of technical problems and find solutions for them.
  • Install equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Perceive and Visualize

  • Imagine how something will look if it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.
  • Identify a pattern that is hidden in distracting material.

Career Working Conditions

Interpersonal Relationships

Have contact with others about half the time. Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of others. The materials and equipment they use must be handled correctly to keep the work place safe for everyone. Work as part of a team on complex repairs. As a result, are somewhat responsible for the work done by others. Communicate face-to-face and via the telephone daily with customers and coworkers.

Physical Work Conditions

Work indoors in a shop that usually has no heating or air conditioning. Wear protective clothing and equipment daily. This includes coveralls, safety glasses or goggles, and gloves. Are exposed daily to contaminants, such as fumes from paint and solvents. The use of protective masks and adequate ventilation may reduce exposure risk. Are always exposed to hazardous tools, equipment, and situations. There is some possibility of slight injury. However, injuries are reduced when safety equipment and procedures are used.

Work Performance

Must be very exact in their work. Errors could cause serious injury to customers. Perform all details of the job to make sure the vehicle is reliable and safe to operate. Repeat the same physical activities daily. Meet strict deadlines everyday.


Work more than 40 hours per week.

Career Wages and Outlook


Many auto body repairers' wages are based on an incentive system. Under this system, the employer guarantees auto body repairers a minimum weekly wage. The rest of their wage depends on the amount and type of work, and how fast they complete the work. The more difficult the work and the more work completed, the more the repairers earn.

Helpers and trainees usually are paid 30 to 60 percent of the earnings of skilled auto body repairers. A good median for a salary would be around $40,000

Auto body repairers who work full time usually receive benefits. Common benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance. Those who are self-employed must provide their own insurance.


Steady growth for this occupation will occur and several factors will contribute to this growth. There are more vehicles on the road leading to more accidents and more vehicles that need repair.

Other factors may slow the growth of this occupation. Cars have better sensor and safety equipment so there may be fewer accidents. Cars have more complex parts and equipment that are expensive to repair or replace. Thus, insurance companies sometimes choose not to fix heavily-damaged vehicles. Job prospects will be very good for people with formal training and certifications.

Career Related Occupations

-Automotive Mechanic

-Auto Glass Installer

-Vehicle Painters

Programs Of Study - Automotive Engineering Tech

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Program Overview

Automotive engineering technology programs prepare people to help engineers design vehicles such as cars and trucks.

Automotive engineering technology programs consists of......

  • Vehicular systems technology
  • Design and development testing
  • Prototype and operation testing
  • Inspection and maintenance procedures
  • Instrument calibration
  • Report writing

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science and Programming
  • English Composition
  • Physics
  • Pre-Calculus

Program Typical Course Work

A bachelor's degree program in this field typically includes courses in the following subjects....

  • Applied Differential and Integral Calculus
  • Applied Dynamics
  • Automotive Electronics and Instrumentation
  • Basic Electrical Science
  • Body and Frame Structure and Design
  • Brakes
  • Chemistry
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Fuels and Lubricants and Their Emissions
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Materials Testing
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics
  • Power Train
  • Statistics
  • Suspension and Steering
  • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Related Programs

  • Auto Painters
  • Auto Body Repair
  • Automotive Technology

Schools That Offer My Program Of Study

South Central College- SCC

Minnesota State University- MSU

College Choice, Minnesota State University- Mankato

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College Info

  • Size and Location - MSU is located in Mankato, Minnesota and there are about 13,000 undergraduate students that attend MSU.
  • Admission Requirements - To get into MSU you have to apply before the semester and pay $20. You need to have HS transcripts and your HS diploma.
  • College Expenses - Tuition, Books and other fees - $ 20 application fee, Around $20,000 for an average student to go to this school.
  • Financial Aid - Grants and Scholarships - The deadline to apply is in the spring before the fall semester. It helps to have your transcripts, and some letters of recommendation.
  • Housing - Dorms or Apartments - There are dorms right off campus. Someone could also live on the numerous apartments around campus. If a student lived close enough they could live at home.
  • Activities - Students have numerous activities to do at MSU but ill name a few, Soccer, Racketball, Track and Field, Football, Basketball, Hockey etc.

Informational Interview


1.What did you like? What didn't you like?

I liked hearing that I would get to work on cars and fix them to make them look great! And i guess I really didn't like doing anything! Which is good for me!

2. Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation?

I did find that if you don't wear a protective mask while sanding cars you could breathe in harmful chemicals, and same in the paint booth except that the person in there has a full suit with a respirator type mask on.

3. What advice did you receive?

I was told to make sure i come in and spend some time with the guys at the body shop to kind of gain experience and see what they really do. And this will be easy since my dad owns the business. I should do this occupation if I really enjoy this and want to make a living out of it. In this type of work you have to want to come to work every day and do your job.

4. Did you discover another occupation to explore?

I did not other than maybe something on the mechanics side of things.

5. How was the work environment?

It was pretty dusty but I cant complain because that's one of the most common things to complain about there. By the time you sweep the floor there is already a layer of dust on the floor. Other than that its pretty clean.

6. Do you think you would be happy in this occupation?

I think that I would be pretty happy in this occupation, I like cars, I like making them look good and this type of stuff has been my passion for many years now.

Plans To Reach My Goal

To reach my career goal I am planning on talking to some of my fathers employees at Fromm's Auto in Mankato and see what they have to say about this career field. Me and my dad also have a friend that lives near us who owns Brian's Body Shop and I may talk to him and get his input and see if he has liked it over the years. I would like to go to school for this and see if its something I would really like doing in the future and I know that its possible to have a career change but I guess ill have to wait and see.