Automotive body and related repairers
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Overview
Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for automotive body and related repairers are expected to grow by 9%, and should have about 17,400 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Automotive body and related repairers are more likely to be automated than 77% of other careers.
Workforce size
Automotive body and related repairers, with 160,400 workers, form a larger workforce than 76% of careers.
Education
Only 3% of automotive body and related repairers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by automotive body and related repairers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer automotive body and related repairers have bachelor's degrees than 95% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 58% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for automotive body and related repairers. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most automotive body and related repairers.
This job's median $43KAll jobs' median $39K$43K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 2% of automotive body and related repairers -- that's a smaller percentage than 94% of other jobs.
Gender of automotive body and related repairers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For automotive body and related repairers, the median men's salary was 28% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 10% of automotive body and related repairers are minority, and 23% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of automotive body and related repairers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (23%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Automotive Body and Related Repairers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 30% of automotive body and related repairers, and 43% have company-sponsored health insurance (19% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for automotive body and related repairers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of automotive body and related repairers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (100%)
  • Time Pressure (100%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (86%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (62%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (54%)
  • Consequence of Error (53%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (39%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do automotive body and related repairers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for automotive body and related repairers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for automotive body and related repairers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for automotive body and related repairers (BLS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all automotive body and related repairers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for automotive body and related repairers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for automotive body and related repairers (ACS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where automotive body and related repairers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Automotive body and related repairers (ACS)
Private for-profit (82.7%)
Private not-for-profit (0.9%)
Local government (0.5%)
State government (0.2%)
Federal government (0.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (10.7%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of automotive body and related repairers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$40K$41K$29K$63K$42K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of automotive body and related repairers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$43K$65K$57K$43K$44K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for automotive body and related repairers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$45K$42K$42K$43K$41K$41K$45K$34K$24K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Automotive body and related repairers and gender

With 2% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 94% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Automotive body and related repairers
Men (98%)
Women (2%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, and the difference for automotive body and related repairers tops that, with the median salary for men 28% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$32K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Automotive body and related repairers have one of the higher percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job even higher than that for 76% of other jobs.

28%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of automotive body and related repairers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority automotive body and related repairers than for 91% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of automotive body and related repairers
White (82% )
Other (8% )
Black (5% )
Asian (2% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for automotive body and related repairers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$32K$33K$37K$38K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KOtherBlackAsianMultiracialWhite
Distribution: Salaries for automotive body and related repairers by nativity
$36K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by automotive body and related repairers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive body and related repairers typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as automotive body and related repairers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for automotive body and related repairers.

Education attained by automotive body and related repairers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for automotive body and related repairers

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.

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.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for automotive body and related repairers

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 are used to 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.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for automotive body and related repairers? Below we see the distribution of automotive body and related repairers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as automotive body and related repairers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$33K$41K$41K$45K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KNone (22%)High School (48%)Some College (19%)Associate's Degree (9%)Bachelor's Degree (2%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician
5,564
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for automotive body and related repairers

What jobs will most automotive body and related repairers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of automotive body and related repairers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Automotive body and related repairersAutomotive service technicians and mechanicsPainting workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersManagers (specialized areas)Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversRetail salespersons
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for automotive body and related repairers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 4 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as automotive body and related repairers as well as 1% of respondents after working as automotive body and related repairers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for automotive body and related repairers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
78,200
$0$200K$36K
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
39,600
$0$200K$59K
Painting workers
17,800
$0$200K$34K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for automotive body and related repairers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as automotive body and related repairers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of automotive body and related repairers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for automotive body and related repairers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
2.8%
Grounds maintenance workers
191,100
$0$200K$23K
1.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
1.4%
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
78,200
$0$200K$36K
17.3%
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment
58,500
$0$200K$23K
3.1%
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
52,700
$0$200K$39K
1.2%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
39,600
$0$200K$59K
5.1%
Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
28,500
$0$200K$43K
1.1%
Computer occupations (specialized areas)
22,500
$0$200K$68K
1.2%
Painting workers
17,800
$0$200K$34K
4.7%
Automotive body and related repairers
17,400
$0$200K$40K
42.2%
No occupation
5.3%
Read about automotive body and related repairers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

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 glass or windshields and assess repairability
  • 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 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.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of automotive body and related repairers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Critical-thinking skills
Automotive body and glass repairers 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 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 requires workers to have a keen eye for even the smallest imperfection.
Dexterity
Automotive 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
Automotive 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 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.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for automotive body and related repairers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 58% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for automotive body and related repairers. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $43KAll jobs' median $39K$46K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for automotive body and related repairers are anticipated to grow by 9% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 57% of other jobs.

The projected employment for automotive body and related repairers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030050,000100,000150,000200,000250,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most automotive body and related repairers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as automotive body and related repairers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Automotive Body and Related Repairers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where automotive body and related repairers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for automotive body and related repairers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for automotive body and related repairers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Automotive Body and Related Repairers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which automotive body and related repairers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.5
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Automotive body and related repairers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
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