Panel beater, motor vehicle body repairer
Vehicle body repairers mend damaged vehicle parts and bodywork using metalworking and finishing techniques.
Salary range: £15,000 to £30,000
How to become a vehicle body repairer
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can do a Level 2 Certificate in Vehicle Body and Paint Operations. You can also take a broader course in vehicle maintenance and repair.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You can complete an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in vehicle body and paint.
You can also do an accident and repair, vehicle damage panel technician or vehicle damage paint technician advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can apply for jobs in body repair if you’ve got experience and a qualification in motor mechanics or vehicle paint spraying.
You can find more details about working in vehicle accident repair from Autocity.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- persistence and determination
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to repair machines or systems
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- assessing damage and deciding how to repair it
- removing damaged panels or parts for repair
- smoothing out minor dents in panels
- filling small holes or rusted areas with filler
- making body panels and sections, and welding them into place
- refinishing the repair to match surrounding areas
- keeping a record of all work completed to show customers
You could work in a workshop.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a lead fitter or technician, or move into supervisory and body-shop management positions in larger firms. You could also work as a vehicle damage assessor for a repair workshop or an insurance firm.
You could also set up your own business and move into mobile repair.