How to Become an Auto Body Mechanic

Auto body mechanics are professionals who are trained in repairing damages to vehicles, often caused by collisions. In order to become an automotive body mechanic it is important to have a basic understanding of the auto industry as well an understanding of the technology required in the repair process. Below are a few tips that will be useful to those who plan on entering this career field.

1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED certificate
This is generally the only requirement to enter this field however, job training and additional education is important as well. Additional classes in chemistry, physics, mathematics, English and computers would be excellent choices for those who are interested in this career path.

2. Consider attending your local community college
Most community colleges offer a two year program that will award the student with an associate’s degree. Completing one of these programs will greatly increase your chances of getting hired.

3. Apply and obtain a job
Apply at auto repair shops, dealerships and transport companies. Most auto repair mechanics are employed by repair shops and dealerships however there are other companies that are in need of a repair mechanic.

4. Obtain industry credentials
Although it is not required to enter the field, gaining industry credentials can help advance your career. Obtaining a certificate from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) will help with advancement and promotions in this field. In order to retain the ASE certification, you will need to retake these exams every five years.

5. Expand your career
You will continuously gain opportunities for advancement when you increase your experience and training. Many choose to open their own repair shop while others move in a different direction and work for an insurance company as a damage appraiser. There are plenty of employment possibilities and they are easily attainable with the proper training.

Automotive body mechanics often work in well-ventilated repair shops and may work in cramped areas in awkward positions. This work can be very physically demanding due to these conditions. Most employers prefer to hire prospects who have completed prior training or who have obtained a degree. However, many new repair mechanics have begun their career without formal training. Industry certification is becoming progressively important in this field. Certification is not generally required however; it shows dedication and competency in the field and usually brings the employee a higher pay rate.

This employment field is excellent for those who have a passion for vehicles. Becoming an auto body mechanic is best suited for those who have excellent technical and hands-on skills. This type of work requires a steady hand as well as detailed technical knowledge.

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