Career outlook for motor vehicle body repairer

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£33,800

Currently employed in Scotland

2,100

Average UK salary

£33,800

Currently employed in Scotland

2,100

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would fix and replace broken parts in all type of vehicles so they work and are safe for people to use, potentially including hybrid and electric vehicles.

You would inspect the damage to see how bad it is and decide on the best way to do the repairs.

Depending on the problem, you might:

  • Remove damaged panels or parts to repair at a workbench
  • Smooth out minor dents in panels with a ‘dolly’ hammer and other tools
  • Fill small holes or rusted areas with resin, body solder and other compound fillers
  • Fit new panels where the damage is too bad to be repaired
  • Build body panels from sheet metal before welding them into place

Once you have fixed the damaged parts, you would refinish the surfaces.

You would:

  • Remove old paintwork, sealant and rust using a wire wheel attached to a drill or grinder
  • Clean the repair area and mask off other parts to be left alone
  • Match the colour, and then prime and paint-spray the repair area
  • Seal and wax the area

You would keep a record of the work to give to the customer when they come to collect their vehicle. You’d need to work carefully and follow health and safety regulations.

To work with hybrid and electric vehicles, you may require a wider range of skills and knowledge due to the additional health and safety hazards. 

Working conditions

Hours

Your working hours would usually be between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some companies operate a shift system, which could include evenings and Saturday mornings.

Environment

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

UK employment status

Full-time

60%

Part-time

14%

Self employed

26%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Listening
  • Resourceful
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Implementing ideas

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You must complete a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) to gain a relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Vehicle Body Repair (SVQ level 2) or Vehicle Body Repair and Alignment (SVQ level 3).  

If you choose to study a body repair or maintenance course prior to applying to a Modern Apprenticeship, courses generally require National 4/5 qualifications for entry.

You do not need formal qualifications to enter this job but many employers look for a good general education (SCQF level 4-5) to enter an apprenticeship.

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science subjects
  • Technologies subjects such as practical metalwork

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate physical fitness/strength and practical skills such as Skills for Work Automotive Skills (SCQF level 4).

Once in the job it may be helpful to work towards the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) from the Institute of the Motor Industry.

An IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) award in electric and hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement and routine maintenance to gain the knowledge and skills required to work safely around these vehicles.