Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

What Automotive Body and Glass Repairers Do

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrdVq0hQm2Q

Work Environment

Automotive body repairers work indoors in body shops, which are often noisy. Shops are typically well ventilated, so that dust and paint fumes can be dispersed. Repairers sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions, and their work can be physically demanding.

Automotive glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer’s location to repair damaged windshields and window glass.

How to Become an Automotive Body or Glass Repairer

Most employers prefer to hire automotive body and glass repairers who have completed a training program in automotive body or glass repair. Still, many new automotive body and glass repairers begin work without previous training. Industry certification is becoming increasingly important.

Pay

The median annual wage for automotive body and related repairers was $43,580 in May 2019.

The median annual wage for automotive glass installers and repairers was $35,790 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of automotive body and glass repairers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations. However, many openings will arise from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass.

Duties

Automotive body repairers typically do the following:

  • Review damage reports, prepare cost estimates, and plan work
  • Inspect cars for structural damage
  • Remove damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, grilles, and trim
  • Realign car frames and chassis to repair structural damage
  • Hammer out or patch dents, dimples, and other minor body damage
  • Fit, attach, and weld replacement parts into place
  • Sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
  • Apply new finish to restored body parts

Automotive glass installers and repairers typically do the following:

  • Examine damaged glass or windshields and assess repairability
  • Clean damaged areas and prepare the surfaces for repair
  • Stabilize chips and cracks with clear resin
  • Remove glass that cannot be repaired
  • Check windshield frames for rust
  • Clean windshield frames and prepare them for installation
  • Apply urethane sealant to the windshield frames
  • Install replacement glass
  • Replace any parts removed prior to repairs

Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Repairs may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel. After a major collision, the underlying frame of a car can become weakened or compromised. Body repairers restore the structural integrity of car frames to manufacturer specifications.

Body repairers use pneumatic tools and plasma cutters to remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels. They also often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers for major structural repairs, such as aligning the body. For some work, they use common hand tools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.

In some cases, body repairers complete an entire job by themselves. In other cases, especially in large shops, they use an assembly line approach in which they work as a team with each individual performing a specialized task.

Although body repairers sometimes prime and paint repaired parts, painting and coating workers generally perform these tasks.

Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer’s location and perform their work in the field. They commonly use specialized tools such as vacuum pumps to fill windshield cracks and chips with a stabilizing resin. When windshields are badly damaged, they use knives to remove the damaged windshield, and then they secure the new windshield using a special urethane adhesive.

Automotive body and related repairers held about 155,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of automotive body and related repairers were as follows:

Automotive body, paint, interior, and glass repair 61%
Automobile dealers 17
Self-employed workers 6
Automotive mechanical and electrical repair and maintenance 5

Automotive glass installers and repairers held about 24,300 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of automotive glass installers and repairers were as follows:

Automotive body, paint, interior, and glass repair 73%
Self-employed workers 19
Construction 2

Body repairers typically work indoors in body shops, which are often noisy. Most shops are well ventilated, so that dust and paint fumes can be dispersed. Glass installers and repairers often travel to the customer’s location to repair damaged windshields and window glass.

Automotive body and glass repairers sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions, and their work can be physically demanding.

Injuries and Illnesses

Automotive glass installers and repairers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. These workers may suffer minor injuries, such as cuts, burns, and scrapes. Following safety procedures helps to avoid serious accidents.

Work Schedules

Most automotive body and glass repairers work full time. When shops have to complete a backlog of work, overtime is common. This often includes working evenings and weekends.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of automotive body and glass repairers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft.

See How to Become One $64,310

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Automotive service technicians and mechanics inspect, maintain, and repair cars and light trucks.

Postsecondary nondegree award $42,090

Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners, and Investigators

Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators evaluate insurance claims.

See How to Become One $66,540

Diesel service technicians and mechanics

Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics

Diesel service technicians and mechanics inspect, repair, and overhaul buses, trucks, or any vehicle with a diesel engine.

High school diploma or equivalent $48,500

Glaziers

Glaziers

Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, and other fixtures in buildings.

High school diploma or equivalent $44,630

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, and other industries.

High school diploma or equivalent $51,590

Painting and coating workers

Painting and Coating Workers

Painting and coating workers paint and coat a wide range of products, often with the use of machines.

See How to Become One $37,770

For more information about careers in automotive body and glass repair, visit

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair

National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation

National Glass Association

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

Society of Collision Repair Specialists

CareerOneStop

For a career video on automotive glass installers and repairers, visit 

Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers

O*NET

Automotive Body and Related Repairers

Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Automotive Body and Glass Repairers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-body-and-glass-repairers.htm (visited ).