What is the Salary Outlook for Auto Body and Collision Repair Mechanics?

What is the Salary Outlook for Auto Body and Collision Repair Mechanics?

The demand for collision repair mechanics continues to rise and professional auto body collision repair specialists can make anywhere from $10 to $25 an hour, depending on their specialty and where they work. One reason the career outlook for collision repair mechanics is expected to grow is because the number of collision repair mechanics that are retiring is on the rise.

There are many ways that auto body and collision repair professionals receive their pay. Some businesses pay their auto body professionals a flat rate per job, and the flat rate will vary from job to job. Some auto body professionals are paid an hourly rate, others may earn a set salary per week, and still others may work on commission. This means they receive a percentage of the labor rate that is charged to each customer for repairing their damaged auto. Some auto body professionals own their own shops and they will determine their own pay. In fact, reports show that roughly 15 percent of collision repair mechanics are self-employed. This is double the number of self-employed individuals who work in other repair and maintenance careers.

Career benefits for collision repair mechanics vary from business to business. However, most reports show that professional collision mechanics generally have access to health insurance, paid leave, and retirement assistance at most major auto body repair shops - regardless of location - and most automotive dealerships offer these types of benefits to their employees. 

Employment for collision repair mechanics is expected to by grow 12 percent through 2016 at least. In addition to positions opening up because of retirees, there is expected to be an increase in the number of autos traveling the roadways. An increase in travelers means the likelihood of auto accidents increases and thus the need for more collision repair mechanics. The need to replace experienced professionals who are retiring will outweigh the increase in active autos regarding the majority of the job openings in this field. Opportunities for collision repair mechanics that have formal training in auto body collision repair and refinishing will be great. These individuals will no doubt be chosen for positions over those without any formal training.

Individuals exploring their career options should know that the automotive repair business isn't greatly affected by sensitive changes in the economy. While auto owners can put off having minor dents repaired in slow economic times, there is generally no slow down for work on autos that have major damage. Major damage to automobiles must be repaired so drivers have street-legal transportation.

The young person who has an interest in auto body collision mechanics is encouraged to lay the foundation for their future beginning in high school. In addition to high school vocational programs such as automotive body repair, high school students are encouraged to take classes in computers, science, and math. All of these can give students seeking admission into mechanic schools an advantage over their peers. Students planning to pursue mechanic school education are also encouraged to work part-time in autobody shops while they pursue formal autobody training after high school.