In Summary - Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater
The Work - Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater
Vehicle body repairers repair damage to the bodywork of cars, trucks and coaches, ranging from scratches, dents and rust to major accident damage. This may involve hammering out dents or filling with body solder or plastic fillers. Vehicle body repairers also fit complete new panels supplied by the vehicle manufacturer.
Sometimes they fabricate part panels and shape sheet metal on a workbench themselves before welding it into place.
In workshops where spray painting is not a separate job, they also prepare the new or repaired panels as per manufacturer's instructions. They then apply primers such as etch primer, filler primer and surface primers.
The primers are then flattened using a wet or dry flattening system as per manufactures instructions. Paint is mixed as per vehicle paint code. Base coat and lacquer paint are applied and baked to cure. The paint finish is polished if required as per manufacturer's instructions.
The application of primers, lacquers etc. are carried our in special booths using extractor fans. Personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn during all aspects of the repair.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Follow supervisors' instructions as to which parts to restore or replace and how much time the job should take.
- Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.
- Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.
- Fit and weld replacement parts into place, using wrenches and welding equipment, and grind down welds to smooth them, using power grinders and other tools.
- Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.
- Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.
- Chain or clamp frames and sections to alignment machines that use hydraulic pressure to align damaged components.
- Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.
- File, grind, sand and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.
- Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Interests - Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Vehicle body repairers should be good with their hands. You must be patient and careful to achieve a perfectly smooth finish. You should be physically fit for lifting and bending and have a good eye for detail.
There is also an increasing emphasis on the development of communications and customer relations.
Entry Requirements - Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater
The official entry route for a Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
Pay & Salary - Vehicle Body Repairer / Panel Beater
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 36k
Last Updated: April, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.