Automotive Body and Glass Repairers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- High school, trade and technical school, and community college programs in collision repair combine hands-on practice and technical instruction. Topics usually include electronics, repair cost estimation, and welding, all of which provide a strong educational foundation for a career as a body repairer.
- Training Required
- New workers typically begin their on-the-job training by helping an experienced body repairer with basic tasks, such as fixing minor dents. As they gain experience, they move on to more complex work, such as aligning car frames. Some body repairers may become trained in as little as 1 year, but they generally need 2 or 3 years of hands-on training to become fully independent body repairers.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 8% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Automotive body and glass repairers earn more money as they gain experience, and some may advance into management positions within body shops, especially those workers with 2- or 4-year degrees.
- Although not required, certification is recommended because it shows competence and usually brings higher pay. In some instances it is required for advancement beyond entry-level work.
- Median pay: How much do Automotive Body and Glass Repairers make?
- $40,370 Annual Salary
- $19.41 per hour
Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.
What do Automotive Body and Glass Repairers do?
Automotive body repairers typically do the following:
- Review damage reports, prepare cost estimates, and plan work
- Inspect cars for structural damage
- Remove damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, grilles, and trim
- Realign car frames and chassis to repair structural damage
- Hammer out or patch dents, dimples, and other minor body damage
- Fit, attach, and weld replacement parts into place
- Sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
- Apply new finish to restored body parts
Automotive glass installers and repairers typically do the following:
- Examine damaged glass or windshields and assess repairability
- Clean damaged areas and prepare the surfaces for repair
- Stabilize chips and cracks with clear resin
- Remove glass that cannot be repaired
- Check windshield frames for rust
- Clean windshield frames and prepare them for installation
- Apply urethane sealant to the windshield frames
- Install replacement glass
- Replace any parts removed prior to repairs
Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Repairs may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel. After a major collision, the underlying frame of a car can become weakened or compromised. Body repairers restore the structural integrity of car frames to manufacturer specifications.
Body repairers use pneumatic tools and plasma cutters to remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels. They also often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers for major structural repairs, such as aligning the body. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.
In some cases, body repairers complete an entire job by themselves. In other cases, especially in large shops, they use an assembly line approach in which they work as a team with each individual performing a specialized task.
Although body repairers sometimes prime and paint repaired parts, painting and coating workers generally perform these tasks.
Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customers location and perform their work in the field. They commonly use specialized tools such as vacuum pumps to fill windshield cracks and chips with a stabilizing resin. When windshields are badly damaged, they use knives to remove the damaged windshield, and then they secure the new windshield using a special urethane adhesive.
Careers for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers
- Auto body customizers
- Auto body repairers
- Auto body technicians
- Auto body workers
- Auto bumper straighteners
- Auto glass installers
- Auto glass mechanics
- Auto glass specialists
- Auto glass technicians
- Automotive body and related repairers
- Automotive body technicians
- Automotive glass installers and repairers
- Automotive glass technicians
- Automotive glaziers
- Body and frame repairers
- Body and frame technicians
- Body repairers, automotive
- Body shop workers
- Car refinishers
- Collision repair and refinish technicians
- Glass installers and repairers, automotive
- Installers, automotive glass
- Mechanics and repairers
- Technicians and technologists
- Truck body repairers
- Vehicle body sanders
- Windshield installers
- Windshield repair technicians