Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

Career, Salary and Education Information

Top 3 Automotive Body Repairer Jobs

  • Auto Body Technician - A&B Garage - Flemington, NJ

    Perform proper tool and equipment usage and maintenance. Qualifications: · Minimum of 2 years experience as an automotive body/collision repair

  • Automotive Glass Technician - ABRA Auto Body & Glass - North Carolina

    Qualifications: • 2+ years experience • Ability to utilize a tablet to complete work • Valid drivers license and clean driving record

  • Glass Technician - ABRA Auto Body & Glass - Wilmington, DE

    Qualifications: • 5+ years experience in automotive glass repair and replacement • Ability to utilize a tablet to complete work • Valid

See all Automotive Body Repairer jobs

What Automotive Body and Glass Repairers Do[About this section] [To Top]

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.

Duties of Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

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 windshields and assess reparability
  • 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 many tools for their work. They 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 customer’s 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.

Work Environment for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Automotive body and glass repairers hold about 169,100 jobs. About 66 percent work in automotive repair and maintenance shops and 17 percent work for automobile dealers. About 1 in 10 automotive body and glass repairers are self-employed.

Body repairers typically work indoors in body shops, which are often noisy. Most shops are well ventilated, so that dust and paint fumes can be dispersed. Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer’s location to repair damaged windshields and window glass.

Automotive body and glass repairers sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions, and their work can be physically demanding.

Injuries and Illnesses

Automotive body repairers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. These workers commonly suffer minor injuries, such as cuts, burns, and scrapes. Following safety procedures helps to avoid serious accidents.

Automotive Body and Glass Repairer Work Schedules

Most automotive body and glass repairers work full time. When shops have to complete a backlog of work, overtime is common. This often includes working evenings and weekends.

How to Become an Automotive Body and Glass Repairer[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers near you!

Most employers prefer to hire automotive body and glass repairers who have completed a formal training program in automotive body or glass repair. Still, many new body and glass repairers begin work without formal training. Industry certification is increasingly important.

Automotive Body and Glass Repairer Education

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. Although not required, postsecondary education often provides the best preparation.

Trade and technical school programs typically award certificates after 6 months to 1 year of study. Some community colleges offer 2-year programs in collision repair. Many of these schools also offer certificates for individual courses, so students can take classes part time or as needed.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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.

Certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a standard credential for body repairers. In addition, many vehicle and paint manufacturers have product certification programs that train body repairers in specific technologies and repair methods.

A few states require a license to perform automotive glass installation and repair. Check with your state for more information.

Automotive Body and Glass Repairer Training

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.

Basic automotive glass installation and repair can be learned in as little as 6 months, but becoming fully independent can take up to a year of training.

Formally educated workers often require significantly less on-the-job training and typically advance to independent work more quickly than those who do not have the same level of education.

Throughout their careers, body repairers need to continue their education and training to keep up with rapidly changing automotive technology. Body repairers are expected to develop their skills by reading technical manuals and by attending classes and seminars. Many employers regularly send workers to advanced training programs, such as those offered by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR).

Advancement for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

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.

Important Qualities for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

Critical-thinking skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must be able to evaluate vehicle damage and determine necessary repair strategies. In some cases, they must decide if a vehicle is “totaled,” or too damaged to justify the cost of repair.

Customer-service skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must discuss auto body and glass problems, along with options to fix them, with customers. Workers must be courteous, good listeners, and ready to answer customers’ questions.

Detail oriented. Automotive body and glass repairers must pay close attention to detail. Restoring a damaged auto body or windshield to its original state requires workers to have a keen eye for even the smallest imperfection.

Dexterity. Many body repairers’ tasks, such as removing door panels, hammering out dents, and using hand tools to install parts, require a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Body repairers must know which diagnostic, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other power equipment and tools are appropriate for certain procedures and repairs. They must know how to apply the correct techniques and methods necessary to repair modern automobiles.

Physical strength. Automotive body and glass repairers must sometimes lift heavy parts, such as door panels and windshields.

Time-management skills. Automotive body and glass repairers must be timely in their repairs. For many people, their automobile is their primary mode of transportation.

Automotive Body and Glass Repairer Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for automotive body and related repairers is $40,970. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,510.

The median annual wage for automotive glass installers and repairers is $33,830. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,080.

The majority of repair shops and auto dealers pay automotive body and glass repairers on an incentive basis. In addition to receiving a guaranteed base salary, employers pay workers a set amount for completing various tasks. Their earnings depend on both the amount of work assigned and how fast they complete it.

Trainees typically earn between 30 percent and 60 percent of experienced workers’ pay. They are paid by the hour until they are competent enough to be paid on an incentive basis.

Most automotive body and glass repairers work full time. When shops have to complete a backlog of work, overtime is common. This often includes working evenings and weekends.

Job Outlook for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of automotive body and glass repairers is projected to grow 9 percent through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

While the frequency of accidents has declined in recent decades, an increase in the number of vehicles on the road should bolster demand for automotive body and glass repair over the next decade. In some cases, demand may fluctuate throughout the year due to the seasonality of inclement weather in some regions. The need for repair may be greater during the winter months in areas with snow and ice, for example, because these conditions increase the chance of accidents.

The adoption of advanced safety features, such as automatic braking for collision avoidance and more durable automotive glass, may reduce future demand for automotive body and glass repair work, but this technology will take time to become commonplace.

Automotive Body and Glass Repairers Job Prospects

Job opportunities are projected to be very good for automotive body and glass repairers. The best opportunities in automotive body repair will be available to those with industry certification and formal training in automotive body repair and refinishing, and in collision repair. Those without any training or experience will face strong competition for jobs.

The need to replace experienced automotive body and glass repairers who retire, change occupations, or stop working for other reasons will also provide many job opportunities.

Employment projections data for Automotive Body and Glass Repairers, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Automotive body and glass repairers 169,100 184,300 9 15,300
  Automotive body and related repairers 149,700 163,500 9 13,700
  Automotive glass installers and repairers 19,300 20,800 8 1,500


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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