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Vehicle body repairer Panel beater, motor vehicle body repairer

Vehicle body repairers mend damaged vehicle parts or bodywork using a range of metalworking and finishing techniques.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 to 45 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship. You'll usually need GSCEs (A* to C) or equivalent in maths, English, a science subject, and design and technology.

Alternatively, you can study for vehicle maintenance and repair qualifications.

You could also get into body repair work after training in vehicle mechanics.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to use a range of tools
  • the ability to work methodically, paying attention to detail
  • the ability to follow written and verbal instructions

3. 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

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some companies operate a shift system, which could include evenings and Saturday mornings.

You'll spend most of your time in a workshop, which might include a paint-spraying booth. You'd wear a protective mask, overalls, goggles and gloves for some tasks.

6. 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 set up your own business and move into mobile repair.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017