Career Profile: Auto Body Repairer (French version available)
Every day, accidents happen on roads all over Canada. They might be minor and barely dent or scratch the vehicles involved, or they might badly damage cars or trucks. For many kinds of accidents, auto body repairers help restore vehicles so that they look good and help protect the people inside the vehicle, as well as the engine and other parts that make the vehicle work. If you enjoy repair work, this job could be a good choice for you.
Driving can have many small and large dangers. Minor accidents might involve a bit of scraped paint from a car door or a small dent in a bumper from running into a pole or a fence. Major accidents could involve crushed front or back ends of vehicles, broken bumpers, or more. Repairing the damage is important, especially with Canadian weather. Rust can easily form at places where the metal is buckled or the paint is gone, which can leave delicate mechanical parts exposed and cause the vehicle to fall apart quickly.
Auto body repairers can help preserve vehicles for many years. Most people in this trade work in automotive garages, where they might be part of a large group of workers in the same field. Some repairers might start their own business in this trade, but the equipment and facilities can be too expensive for one person to afford.
When an accident happens, the first task for an auto body repairer is to assess the damage and decide what to do. Often a part will need to be replaced, and the repairer will need to do that job or assign it to someone else. Sometimes, it may be possible to hammer a dent out and repaint the spot. Part of the job is also completing other maintenance tasks such as replacing damaged head or tail lights, testing the shocks, checking the brakes, and anything else that might affect the safety of the vehicle.
Most people in this trade learn on the job, but some extra training might also be required. In small businesses, knowing about accounting and customer service may be necessary. Most of the work happens during the day, but the hours can be long when a job needs to be finished. Typical workweeks can be either five or six days, depending on the size of the business, the number of other repair shops nearby, and other factors. Sometimes, people in this trade might need to supervise other workers, as well as manage the inventory and similar daily tasks.
Like in many trades, working as an auto body repairer can be physically demanding. People in this trade should be able to lift heavy objects and to handle a variety of tools. Good eyesight with or without glasses is important, and steady hands make the job easier. Although people can stay in this job for many years, they might find it difficult as they age.
Wages for auto body repairers begin at about $16 per hour or $34,000 per year. With experience, wages can rise to $33 per hour or $75,000 per year. Jobs are more likely to be available in large cities than in small towns, but almost any community can have opportunities in this trade. This might be the right job for you.
Centennial College. “Auto Body Repair Technician.” https://www.centennialcollege.ca/programs-courses/full-time/auto-body-repair-technician/.
Job Bank. “Auto Body Repairer in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/occupation/7662/ca.
Payscale Canada. Average Auto Body Repair Technician Hourly Pay in Canada https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Auto_Body_Repair_Technician/Hourly_Rate.
Talent.com. “Auto Body Technician Average Salary in Canada 2022.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=auto+body+technician.