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4 How To Become A Body Repair Mechanic

(doylc.com) How to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician - Coachbuilders repair or restore damaged vehicles. In an average work day you can align car chassis, remove dents and replace damaged parts. To become a body mechanic, you have to enjoy working on cars and have the right temperament. They also require at least some formal education. After completing your training, you can look for a job in a body shop or car dealership.

How to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

  • How to get an education

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Get your high school diploma or GED. Before receiving formal body repair training and certification, you must earn your high school diploma or GED. This is often the only requirement for entering a trade school program, although some programs may also require your ACT or SAT scores.

If possible, enroll in a technical program at your school to train as an auto technician during high school. If a nearby high school (or even a nearby community college) offers an auto body repair program, talk to your school's principal or counselor about participating in the program there to get school credits.

If you're trying to get your GED, look for free prep classes at your local library or community education center.

If you're studying for a test — GED, SAT, or ACT — read the study guides at your local library. Use them to prepare for your test.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Be certified. Technical training at a vocational school is usually a prerequisite for training as a body repair technician. At the very least, it makes you a preferred candidate for job applications, allows you to improve at your job, and qualifies you for a higher salary.

Trade and technical schools often have programs that offer body repair or collision repair certification. Locate a school near you that offers body repair certification and enroll in the appropriate courses to earn your certification.

Visit http://www.trade-schools.net/trades/auto-body.asp to search a database of trade schools offering body technician certification.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Get on-the-job training. Typically, you will enter the job with some level of familiarity with car maintenance and repairs. You will then be trained in all the skills and abilities needed to become an auto body repair technician including:

- Repair of hybrid vehicles

- Welding damaged vehicles

- Align car chassis

- Estimate of repair costs

- Replacement of components

  • How to grow at work

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Become an apprentice You should apply before or during your apprenticeship as an apprentice. This will give you valuable hands-on experience when supporting the senior body repair technicians in the shop. Your education will look good on your resume when you later apply for jobs.

The exact course of the apprenticeship training depends on your training company. First, contact your local body shops to find out if they hire part-time workers or apprentices. Justify your interest in training as a body mechanic and offer your services as an apprentice.

Perhaps you can have your time as an apprentice credited to you. Contact your training program advisor for more information.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Look for a job. As a body mechanic, you'll likely get employment at a body shop or car dealership. You could also look for work at a custom automotive shop.

In addition, you can work in companies that maintain large fleets of vehicles.

Search for jobs near you online on Indeed and LinkedIn.

Look for advertisements for auto body repair technicians in your local newspaper.

During your vocational school training, let your trainers advise you on starting a career. They often have industry connections they can call to help you.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Choose a specialization. As a coachbuilder you are good at some things, but you should do at least one thing with great precision. Identify your favorite aspect of the job and develop the skills needed to make you the first person for that specialization. For example, specialize in:

- Restoring vintage cars

- Remove dents

- Touch up paint scratches

- Creation of unique surfaces

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Keep learning As new technologies and auto repair techniques become available, the old technologies and parts are no longer used. Keep up to date with the latest advances in auto repair by reading technical manuals, taking continuing education courses at trade schools, and consulting with your peers when you come up against a challenge you need help with.

Parts, materials, electronics and airbags are constantly changing and becoming more complex. Stay updated to ensure you are providing safe, quality body repair jobs.

Ongoing training is also offered through the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). Check their website at https://www.i-car.com/Home/Collision-Repair or more information.

  • How to be certified

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Register with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE is a not-for-profit organization that offers standardized certification programs in a variety of auto repair specialties. While ASE certification may not be required to work at every job center, it gives you a solid body repair background and will look great on your resume.

Create a login at www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Register-Now.aspx. Click "Create myASE account" in the golden box. Enter the required information and activate your account.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Decide which tests you want to take. Think about the areas you want to learn more about or specialize in. There are several tests you can take to improve your body mechanics skills, and you don't have to choose just one. As a Bodywork Technician, the most useful certifications you can earn are Series B2 through B5. Earning these certifications qualifies you as a Master Collision Repair Technician. An additional test, B6, is optional. The individual tests include:

Test B2 (Painting & Varnishing), which consists of 55 graded questions.

Test B3 (Non-Structural Analysis & Damage Repair) also consists of 55 scored questions

Test B4 (Structural Analysis & Damage Repair) which consists of 50 scored questions

Test B5 (Mechanical and Electrical Components) also consists of 50 graded questions

Test B6 (Damage Analysis and Estimation) also consists of 50 scored questions

Each test contains 10 additional research questions that do not count towards your final grade.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Register for the exam. Log in to your myASE account and select the test you want. Choose the date and location where you want to take the test and pay the associated fees.

There is a $36 registration fee and a $37 testing fee. If you want to take multiple exams (e.g. exams B2 to B5), you don't have to pay the registration fee again, but you have to pay the single exam fee again.

If you do not wish to register through the ASE website, you can call Prometric (the company that administers the certification program) directly at 1-877-346-9327.

Visit http://www.ase.com/Tests/ASE-Certification-Tests/Test-Centers/Find-a-Test-Center.aspx to find a testing center near you.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Study for the tests. The ASE makes a large number of materials for study and exam preparation available online. Their self-paced web portal (http://www.ase.com/Test-Prep-Training.aspx) offers practice tests, test-taking tips, and study guides.

The study guide for tests B2 to B5 is available at http://www.ase.com/MediaLibrary/Images/PDF%20folder/collision_guide.pdf.

The Study Guide for Test B6 is available at http://www.ase.com/MediaLibrary/Images/PDF%20folder/collision_guide.pdf.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Keep your certification. Once you earn your certification, you must retake the ASE certification exams every five years. Register for your recertification tests by logging into your ASE account. Select the appropriate test and pay the appropriate fees. Select a test center and location.

The recertification tests are typically half the length of the original tests. For example, the B2 test consists of 55 marked questions, but the B2 recertification test only has 28 marked questions.

  • Make sure the job suits you

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Interest in machines. If you enjoy tinkering with cars and machines, you will enjoy working as a body mechanic. Most of the work is adjusting and fixing things. You should be handy for this job.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Try to repair or rebuild a junk car. Since you'll spend most of your time as a body mechanic fixing cars, it's important to gain hands-on experience before a career. If you have dents or damage to your car, try repairing it using repair manuals and guides. You can also reach out to a family member or friend and explain that you would like to gain auto repair experience to help prepare you for your future career.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Be able to multitask. As a car mechanic, you have diverse and frequently changing tasks. You should be able to work on multiple accident repair jobs at the same time or on the same day. For example, you might start installing a new door on a damaged car, then replace a dented fender on another car, and then sand and polish repaired surfaces.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Enjoy working indoors. Auto repair technicians spend most of their time in a garage or other large indoor area. The workplace will be quite noisy due to the constant hum of the machines. If you prefer to work outdoors or in a contemplative environment, look elsewhere for work.

In addition to the annoying noise, you also have to reckon with dust and fumes that arise when painting or sanding. Be sure to follow all relevant health and safety protocols when painting or sanding as the residue can cause respiratory problems.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Have high physical endurance. Coachbuilders often have to assume uncomfortable positions – bending over cars, slipping under them, or kneeling next to cars. You also have to manipulate heavy car parts and equipment. If you don't want to do strenuous work, then becoming a body mechanic might not be for you.

4 Ways to Become an Auto Body Repair Technician

Possess strong visualization skills. If you can read a two-dimensional diagram or repair manual and can represent the part or section of the car in three dimensions, you will do well as a coachbuilder. For example, in order for a technician to restore a unibody vehicle to its original form, they must be able to follow printed or digital instructions and diagrams, and take precise measurements to ensure accurate placement of the vehicle's body sections relative to one another.

Engineers must be detail-oriented.

Strong knowledge of geometry and art might be helpful.

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