Motor vehicle body repairers repair and restore damaged motor vehicle body parts, and interior finishing, repaint automotive body surfaces and repair or replace automotive glass. This occupational group also includes metal repairers, who repair defective automobile body parts and damage to the bodies of newly assembled cars.
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 1,130
Workers in this group perform some or all of the following duties:
Motor vehicle body repairers usually work a regular 35- to 40-hour workweek, with some overtime required on occasion. These employees typically work indoors in automobile body repair shops, which can be noisy, dusty and have unpleasant odours. However, most body shops are equipped with the latest dust removal equipment. In addition, the introduction of water borne paints has greatly reduced the unpleasant odours associated with this environment.
The work can be strenuous and is often done in cramped and awkward spaces. Potential hazards include cuts from sharp metal, burns from torches and heated metal, injuries from power tools and fumes from paint. Safety precautions are taken to limit the risk of injury.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of Grade 10 or the equivalent (including English 10, Mathematics 10 and Science 10) is the minimum education requirement, however, completion of secondary school is preferred for motor vehicle body repairers. While trade certification is not mandatory in B.C., it is required by many employers. Requirements for trade certification include:
Most metal repairers are required to have:
In B.C., the Industry Training Authority offers apprenticeship programs for motor vehicle body repairers, automotive painters and automotive glass technicians. Apprenticeships:
As a result of technological changes to automobiles, technicians working on new vehicles must take regular upgrading so they are able to safely and efficiently work on modern vehicles. Many ICBC accredited shops require technicians to take eight hours of technical upgrading every year to enhance their theoretical knowledge on new methods and approved repair procedures.
Motor vehicle body repairers and automotive painters are eligible for Interprovincial Standard Endorsement (Red Seal) qualification through the Industry Training Authority. This allows holders to work in any province or territory. Once individuals pass the final examination of their accredited training program, they will achieve certification and will automatically receive Red Seal qualification.
Workers with several years of documented, directly related work experience can challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal examination. For more information, please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.
Workers who are certified for an occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority of BC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.
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Due to the size of this occupational group, a number of opportunities will arise from worker turnover and the need to replace retiring workers.
Industry sources report that there are currently not enough new graduates in the occupation to replace the workers who will retire over the next several years, and that there is currently a shortage of qualified technicians in B.C. However, industry sources expect new advances in materials and working conditions to spur interest in the occupation, which should help alleviate the shortage of technicians in the future.
Demand for these workers depends on B.C.'s Automotive industry. The number of cars, buses and trucks in use are increasing due to population expansion and tourism traffic. Greater numbers of motor vehicles typically leads to more accidents and a greater demand for auto body repair work.
However, technological improvements in modern cars, such as anti-lock brakes and dent-resistant body panels, will tend to reduce the numbers of accidents and associated repairs. Newer vehicles involved in accidents are also less likely to undergo repair due to the high cost of fixing and replacing complex body parts and electronic components. These factors may limit opportunities for motor vehicle body repairers.
Workers who have specialized, current knowledge of the technology and construction materials used to build new vehicles will be in greatest demand.
Motor vehicle body repairers often begin their careers as entry-level employees, such as shop hands. Most graduates start apprenticeships once they have completed a collision repair course.
Experienced workers may progress to supervisory positions or start their own businesses.
Metal repairers may move into motor vehicle repairer positions by completing an apprenticeship program, or with experience, they may progress to supervisory positions in motor vehicle manufacturing.