Automobile Collision Repairers
Automobile collision repairers hold about 142,060 jobs in the United States, not including approximately 17,550 glass specialists. Most work for body shops specializing in body repairs and painting, including private shops and shops operated by automobile dealers. Others work for organizations that maintain their own vehicle fleets, such as trucking companies and automobile rental companies. About 9 percent of automobile collision repairers are self-employed, operating small shops in cities large and small.
The best way to start out in the field of automobile collision repair is, first, to attend one of the many postsecondary training programs available throughout the country and, second, to obtain certification. Trade and technical schools usually provide job placement assistance for their graduates. Schools often have contacts with local employers who seek highly skilled entry-level employees. Often, employers post job openings at nearby trade schools with accredited programs. Many entry-level technicians that are hired have been selected from career or technical school programs.
Internship programs can provide students with valuable contacts who will be able to refer the student to future employers and provide a recommendation to potential employers once they have completed their training. Many students may even be hired by the company at which they interned.
With today's complex automobile components and new materials requiring hundreds of hours of study and practice to master, employers encourage their employees to advance in responsibility by learning new systems and repair procedures. A repair shop's reputation will only go as far as its employees are skilled. Those with good communication and planning skills may advance to shop supervisor or service manager at larger repair shops or dealerships. Those who have mastered collision repair may go on to teaching at postsecondary schools or work for certification agencies.
Tips for Entry
Visit https://collisionrepaircareers.org to search for potential employers in your area.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become certified in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.
Join unions to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.