Many of us don’t know how cars work, causing us to rely on experts when we need car repairs. But with thousands of auto repair and maintenance centers across the U.S., which one can you trust?
Figuring out where to go and whom you can rely on to restore your vehicle can be overwhelming. So why not ease your burden by placing your car problems in the hands of certified professionals? Let’s dive in to learn about auto body repair technicians, what they do, and why you should choose a certified technician for your car repair needs.
What Is an Auto Body Repair Technician?
In general, auto body repair technicians restore exterior damage to a vehicle, especially from a collision. These highly trained individuals use several techniques to make your car look and feel brand new. For body repair technicians to be successful at their job, they should have the following skills:
- Strong attention to details
- Time management
- Customer service-oriented
- Physically fit to handle demanding tasks and long hours
- Adept with a wide range of tools, equipment, car parts, paints, and repair procedures
- Agile enough to work with small components and spaces
- Flexible enough to work in cramped, awkward positions
They also should be able to communicate with their customers and work colleagues. And it’s helpful if they have a passion for automobiles and their inner workings.
What Does an Auto Body Repair Technician Do?
Auto body repair technicians could work for a company or as independent contractors. Their main responsibility is to return a car’s body to its original condition or improve it. While tasks may vary from vehicle to vehicle, their general duties include:
Communicating With the Customer
A big part of a body repair technician’s job is dealing with the customer. Before working on the car, auto body repair techs must first consult the customer. They need to communicate what requires repairing and how much it will cost.
They must also ensure customer satisfaction by delivering what their clients request. A technician should use proper communication and customer service to determine a job well done.
Fixing Minor to Major Damage
As auto body repair technicians receive a job, they usually run diagnostic assessments on the car. These tests identify the vehicle’s issues, which are compiled into a damage report.
After the customer approves the estimation of damages and costs, the auto body repair technician can get to work. Resolving car problems generally involves performing the following tasks:
- Grinding, filing, and sanding damaged surfaces
- Removing and replacing damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, windshields, and trims
- Hammering out or patching up minor dents
- Plugging up any depressions with body filler
- Repairing metal frames and body sections
- Attaching and welding parts into place
- Refurbishing any areas with corrosion damages
- Applying fresh paint and finishes
- Fulfilling body customizations based on the customer’s request
Auto body repair technicians must inspect the vehicle once the job is complete. This inspection ensures the car is roadworthy before it is returned to its owner.
Another essential element of an auto body repair technician’s job is safety. Technicians can prevent injuries by following industry safety standards and guidelines. They also use goggles and other protective gear while operating all tools and equipment.
Finally, a technician usually works in a well-ventilated environment. That way, they reduce the amount of dust and toxic paint fumes they inhale while they work.
What Type of Training Does a Technician Need?
According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an organization that tests and certifies automotive professionals, auto body repair technicians have two options to gain certification. They can either complete two years of on-the-job training or one year of training and a two-year degree program in automotive repair.
When auto body repair techs spend one to two years developing hands-on experience, they usually go through a vocational internship program. That’s where they receive comprehensive training on:
- Automotive systems and how they work
- Characteristics of metals, plastics, and compounds that make up a vehicle
- Full range of repair techniques, such as replacing and realigning damaged parts, repairing dents and scratches, and dismantling and reassembling parts
- Tools and equipment (cutting and hand tools, hydraulics, presses, grinder, sanders, etc.
- How to assess the damage and determine the cost-effectiveness of restoring it
After completing their internship, body repair techs can take the ASE certification test. Once they pass, they become certified technicians for up to five years. Retesting is required five years to keep up with industry practices and the ever-changing auto technology.
An auto body repair technician can expand their expertise in car repair by earning more certifications. For one, there are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certifications. With OEM certifications, body repair techs can repair specific makes and models of a variety of globally recognized brands.
There’s also the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repairs (I-CAR) certifications. An I-CAR certified auto body repair tech signifies they have received training and evaluations on different specialties of auto body repair.
Why Should You Choose a Certified Technician?
Cars are complex structures, each made up of about 30,000 parts. And some parts are complicated on their own. If any of these components needed repairs, wouldn’t you prefer to entrust that job to someone with the knowledge, experience, and certifications to prove that expertise? Here are some specific reasons to choose a certified technician for you to consider:
Knowledgeable in Specific Makes and Models
A certified auto body repair technician means they completed comprehensive training and testing on specific makes and models, the parts used, and the different types of repairs to perform. Plus, they are required to stay current with the ever-changing vehicle designs. By going to a certified technician, you can rest assured that they are qualified to execute a wide range of repairs using modern techniques on almost any vehicle.
Knowledgeable of the Latest Technologies
In addition to their vast knowledge of vehicles, parts, and repair techniques, certified technicians are experts in the most up-to-date technologies. And because they know how to use these latest innovations, they can diagnose and repair your car with great speed and accuracy.
Knowledgeable in Industry Best Practices
You can expect outstanding car repair services when choosing an accredited auto body repair technician. That’s because certified technicians are highly equipped to develop and deliver best practices in the industry. And they will always know the most current standards and procedures since they have to retest every five years.
Committed to Producing Quality Work
Remember that certified body repair technicians go through rigorous training and evaluations. So they are unlikely to waste that hard work by providing poor service. Instead, certified technicians continually seek ways to improve a job so they can deliver top-notch service and provide recommendations to help you avoid car problems in the long run.
Where Can You Find an Auto Body Repair Technician?
Auto body repair technicians work in different fast-paced settings. More often, you’ll find them at noisy body shops. They also work at franchised auto dealerships, car manufacturing facilities, or fleet workshops. And for some repairs, they may have to go directly to the customer’s location.
Why Use a Certified Auto Body Shop
Certified auto body shops have the accreditations to work on specific makes and models, and they hire qualified industry professionals to carry out these services. A certified shop also means the people working there have integrity and won’t try to overcharge you or sell you inferior vehicle parts.
Another reason to opt for an accredited auto body shop is they have the latest in equipment and car parts, which means they can handle the complexities of today’s vehicles. Furthermore, any repairs done at certified auto shops are usually held to factory and industry standards. And the establishment is inspected regularly for quality control.
So it may seem cheaper or more convenient to take your car to the nearest auto shop. However, you may gain better savings and peace of mind by heading to a certified shop instead.
How to Find the Right Auto Body Repair Shop
You will want to look for a shop’s certification by checking for logos on their windows or doors. Also, it’s best to choose a shop that performs both collision and dent repairs. And finally, you can use reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right auto body repair shop. Contact us or visit our site for more information.