Auto Body Technician
How to Become an

Auto Body Technician

The complete career guide to be an Auto Body Technician: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $44,590
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

An auto body technician repairs cars when they have been damaged due to accidents such as everyday collisions, and other incidents. Using various tools, you will take out the old parts, replace them and repair other imperfections like scratches, dents and scrapes.

Recommended Schools

What is an Auto Body Technician?


As an auto body technician, you will need to carry out a wide range of tasks including the following:

  • Ensures that all maintenance and repairs are conducted in keeping with all laws and regulations regarding thinners, paints and related hazardous materials.
  • Repair or replace internal and external parts of a motor vehicle like instrumental panels, carpets and floorboard insulation as well as seat frame assemblies.
  • Uses protective gear like a respirator, as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.
  • Engage in routine shop maintenance and keep all tools and equipment in their proper state of repair.
  • Keep track of any federal, state or local laws and policies that would affect the auto body shop functioning, like how to dispose hazardous waste.

Day In The Life

Most of your day will comprise of utilizing spray-painting equipment, work aids and tools to repair and paint surfaces of various vehicles making it look brand new. You will carry out inspections of motor vehicles and determine the degree of damage, whether the panels need to be prepped for paint or the cracked windshield needs to be replaced.

If you need to remove and replace parts beyond repair like bumpers, you will use pneumatic tools like metal cutting guns. Common hand tools like pliers or hammers are generally used for minor repairs. While most of the work will be carried out entirely by you, in bigger shops you may work with a team of repair technicians with specialized jobs.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

You can expect to work a 40-hour week for five days with the occasional overtime during weekends. The work environment is typically indoors at a garage, body shop or warehouse space that is well-ventilated, since much of the repairs expose you to dust and fumes. The work can be physically challenging and result in you standing and walking, crouching, bending, lifting 1-15 pounds, working in other awkward or cramped positions.

Growth Of The Job

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this profession will see a 6% increase between 2014-2024 due to the availability of advanced technology and new employment potential at repair shops. Positions in this field have extremely promising earning potential with a rewarding benefits package, including paid time off, most insurance and 401 (k) match. To advance in your career, you will move to supervisory roles, become self-employed or take on the job of an automobile damage appraiser for insurance agencies.

Typical Employers

You can find employment with auto body repair shops, automobile or trunk dealerships, custom shops and companies that have vehicle fleets. Seek work opportunities with ABRA Auto Body and Glass, Cox Automotive, Southern Auto Group, Gerber Collision and Glass, Mills Automotive Group, Lee Auto Malls, AUTONATION, Caliber Collision and Dent Wizard International.

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How To Become an Auto Body Technician

Most individuals taking on this profession possess at least a high school diploma or GED, while some complete relevant training programs. There are several trade or technical schools and community college programs that provide applied experience in collision repair and body repair work. However, many are trained on the job with training courses ranging between a few weeks to months, depending on the type of techniques and tools used. This training occurs by shadowing and helping an experienced worker with their day-to-day routine.

While some workers will display good skills with less than one year of training, others will take four years to be fully qualified in the field. Gaining an industry certification will also give you a competitive edge over other candidates in the market, especially from the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification is important because it gives credibility and showcases your skill level as a repair technician.

Besides training and academic credentials, there are certain traits that can prove useful when taking on work as an auto body technician – the first is having a valid driver’s license and a clean record. Being able to pay close attention to detail is crucial as a small imperfection can make a difference in any repair project. A good hand-eye coordination is also a must since many tasks involve moving door panels, fixing dents and using various tools to install or dismantle automobile parts.

Auto Body Technician Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Auto Body Technician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Auto Body Technician's can make an average annual salary of $44,590, or $21 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $32,020 or $15 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #458 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Auto Body Technicians

  • 0.2%   Doctorate
  • 0.2%   Masters
  • 2.1%   Bachelors
  • 7.1%   Associates
  • 19%   College
  • 50.5%   High School
  • 21%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Auto Body Technician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 13,800 jobs for a total of 163,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #231 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Auto Body Technicians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Automotive body, paint, interior, and glass repair 89,500 7,600 8%
Automobile dealers 29,200 3,800 4%
Self-employed workers 10,200 700 1%

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