$22,350 to $62,750
Welder, automotive service technician, estimator, insurance appraiser, equipment and supplies specialist, service manager, shop owner, paint or parts representative, automobile restoration technician
Average growth; opportunities will be best for formally trained, certified technicians
I need to be able to fix anything that can be damaged in an accident. This includes straightening bent frames, filling in dents, and fixing or replacing damaged parts. I need to know how to weld and work with computerized tools. Usually, the cars I fix also need to be partially repainted. Good people skills are important, too, because I work with customers and insurance company representatives. I often have to look up specifications and warranty information in manuals.
After I graduated from high school, I went to a local trade school, where I learned how to be an automotive body repairer. Job placement services at my school helped me find a job after I finished the program.
If I had taken basic chemistry in high school, I would have a better understanding of the materials I use every day. I should have taken the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examinations as soon as I graduated from trade school so I could have become a certified technician. If I had been certified before applying for jobs, I could have started out making more money.