Automotive Body

Installation,Maintenance,and Repair

How to Become an Automotive Body

Most employers prefer to hire repair technicians who have completed a formal training program in automotive body repair or refinishing. Still, many new repair technicians begin work without formal training. Industry certification is increasingly important.

Education and Training

High school, trade and technical school, and community college programs in collision repair combine hands-on practice and classroom instruction. Topics usually include electronics, physics, and mathematics, which provide a strong educational foundation for a career as a repair technician. Although not required, postsecondary education often provides the best preparation.


Certification is recommended because it shows competence and usually brings higher pay. In some instances however it is required for advancement beyond entry-level work.

Important Qualities

  • Critical-thinking skills. Repair technicians must be able to evaluate vehicle damage and determine necessary repair strategies for each vehicle they work on. In some cases, they must decide if a vehicle is “totaled,” or too damaged to justify the cost of repair.
  • Customer-service skills. Repair technicians must discuss auto body and glass problems, along with options to fix them, with customers. Because self-employed workers depend on repeat clients for business, they must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.