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Auto Body Technician Directly to the right of this help icon you will see this work indoors icon that represents where Auto Body Technician work most of the time. If the person in the icon is standing outside the building then the work is mostly outside. A person inside respresents mostly insde work and two people (one inside and one outside) represent the work has a bit of both. By clicking the Details buttons to the left will open the page and allow you to read more about becoming a Auto Body Technician. After you have spent some time reading and you would like to find out what schools are offering training for Auto Body Technician click the Yes, use this career in my Journey button.

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Automotive

Auto Body Technician

work indoors

Auto body technicians repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures and body parts, and interior and exterior finishes. Duties and responsibilities vary in different branches of the trade in Alberta.

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  • Related School SubjectsDetails

    Math; Science; English; Shop; Physical Education

  • Field of StudyDetails

    Auto body preppers; repairers; refinishers and technicians; are employed by auto body repair shops; automobile and truck dealerships; custom shops; and sometimes by companies with vehicle fleets.

  • DutiesDetails

    In Alberta, auto body personnel may become auto body:

    • Preppers.
    • Refinishers.
    • Repairers.
    • Technicians.

    Preppers get the vehicle ready to be restored. They figure out what products were already used, and which products should be used next.

    They usually work on:

    • Collision repair.
    • Put anti-rust products on vehicles.
    • Mix repair chemicals and materials as needed.
    • Apply products in the correct order.
    • Make sure right chemicals are mixed together so the repair lasts.
    • Remove and install.
      • Hoods.
      • Deck lids.
      • Fenders.
      • Trim.
      • Doors.
      • Glass.
      • Interior parts.

    Refinishers write damage reports, figure out what products were already used, and which products should be used next.

    They usually work on:

    • Collision repair.
    • Repair minor damage before getting vehicle ready for new paint.
    • Mix repair chemicals.
    • Remove and install hoods, deck lids, fenders, trim, doors, glass and interior parts.
    • Match colours accurately.
    • Apply products in the correct order.

    Repairers write damage reports, repair auto frames and work with metal and plastic parts:

    They usually work on:

    • Repair air bags and seat belts.
    • Cut away damaged parts, and weld in new parts.
    • Remove and install hoods, deck lids, fenders, trim, doors, glass and interior parts.
    • Make sure all parts are installed properly so the vehicle is like new.
    • Test drive vehicles to make sure they have been repaired properly.

    Technicians do everything already listed, but can specialize in any of those areas.

    Some jobs include:

    • The use of frame machines to straighten bent frames.
    • Remove roof, rear body panels, airbags, seat belts, and other parts and attach new metal or plastic parts as needed.
    • Cover bumpers and windows before using a spray gun to spray primer and paint.
    • Repair or replace dashboard, seats, carpets, window trim, etc.
    • Make sure all parts are installed properly so the vehicle is like new.
    • Test drive vehicles to make sure they have been repaired properly.
  • Working ConditionsDetails

    Location:

    • Indoors
      • Noisy shop.
      • Exposure to fumes and dust in shop.
      • Exposure to sharp metals and power tools.

    Hours:

    • Regular Work Schedule (Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm).

    Heavy Lifting:

    • Up to 25 kilograms.
  • PersonalDetails

    People working in this trade need the following characteristics:

    • Able to handle heavy tools and parts.
    • Work well with hands.
    • Creative.
    • Patience and an eye for detail.
    • Good colour vision.
    • Willing to learn new skills.
    • Good customer service skills.
    • Safe work habits.
    • Accuracy in work.
  • EducationDetails

    Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

    To work in this trade in Alberta, at least ONE of these must be true:

    • You are a registered apprentice.
    • You are an Alberta-certified journeyperson.
    • You have a recognized related trade certificate.

    To register as an Alberta apprentice you need to have:

    • English Language Arts 10-2 or equivalent.
    • Math 10-2 or equivalent.
    • Science 10 or equivalent.
      • Or bee to pass the entrance exam.
    • An employer willing to train you.

    Apprenticeship terms:

    Preppers:

    • 1st year: 1600 work hours + 4 weeks classroom training.
    • 2nd year: 1800 work hours.

    Refinishers:

    • 1st year: 1600 work hours + 4 weeks classroom training.
    • 2nd year: 1600 work hours + 6 weeks classroom training.
    • May take exam in final year to earn Red Seal and work throughout most of Canada.

    Repairers:

    • 1st year: 1600 work hours + 4 weeks classroom training.
    • 2nd year: 1500 work hours + 7 weeks classroom training.
    • 3rd year: 1500 work hours + 7 weeks classroom training.

    Technicians:

    • 1st year: 1600 work hours + 4 weeks classroom training.
    • 2nd year: 1600 work hours + 6 weeks classroom training.
    • 3rd year: 1500 work hours + 7 weeks classroom training.
    • 4th year: 1500 work hours + 7 weeks classroom training.
    • May take exam in final year to earn Red Seal and work throughout most of Canada.
  • Programs OfferedDetails

    Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

    For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

    Pre-employment programs for prospective apprentices and continuing education programs for journeypersons may be offered on an as needed basis by the institution(s) listed above or other schools.

  • AdvancementDetails

    Job Opportunities in this trade include:

    • Supervisory positions.
    • Start your own businesses.
    • Become automobile damage appraisers for insurance companies.
      • Most people in this trade (80%) work on auto body repair.
    • If you have supervisory or management experience in this trade, you may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

    Job openings are affected by:

    • Current employment rates.
    • People leaving existing positions.
    • Creation of new positions that never existed before.
    • size of the occupation.

    Future Trends in this category:

    • More than 4,500 Albertans work in this category.
    • Expect an annual above average growth of 2.9 per cent from 2013 to 2017 in Alberta.
    • Forecast about 131 new positions created each year.
    • Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
  • SalaryDetails

    Journeyperson wage rates vary depending on the region but generally range from $17 to $26 an hour plus benefits for auto body preppers, and from $19 to $35 an hour plus benefits for auto body refinishers, repairers and technicians (2010 estimates).

    Apprentice auto body preppers and refinishers earn at least 55 per cent of the journeyperson wage in their place of employment in the first year and 70 per cent in the second.

    Apprentice auto body repairers earn at least 55 per cent of the journeyperson wage in their place of employment in the first year, 70 per cent in the second and 80 per cent in the third.

    Apprentice auto body technicians earn at least 55 per cent of the journeyperson wage in their place of employment in the first year, 70 per cent in the second , 75 per cent in the third and 80 per cent in the fourth year.

    According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Motor Vehicle Body Repairers group earned on average from $20.87 to $30.94 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $27.02 an hour.

  • Other SourcesDetails