Motor vehicle body repairer

Garage services
Produce

Career outlook for

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

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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.

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.

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

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Following instructions
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Being physically fit
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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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.