Panel beater – a different type of technical career

We live in a world where technology has virtually taken over our lives and everyone everywhere is passionate about or interested in tech industries and areas, but mostly technology that has to do with computers, IT and the Internet. Every kid today wants to be a game developer or a website designer or something to do with the exciting and constantly developing world of IT, but you don’t see many students wanting to become auto technicians or panel beaters. However, even though technical careers have taken the IT or digital road over the last years, there is still a great market for these different types of technical work, there being high demand for panel beater jobs, body shop fitters and other automotive jobs. In fact, while it might not be the dream job of every kid in school, due to the fact that the automotive market is a constantly growing field and there are more and more vehicle on the road each year, auto repair shops are thriving as well, so a panel beater career might not be such a bad idea after all.

 

If you’ve never heard about this job before, you should know that a panel beater is responsible for repairing vehicles involved in accidents or that have suffered from vandalism. There are certain qualifications that are required to become one, but the great thing about panel beater jobs is that they are available at training level as well, which means you can actually work as a trainee panel beater and make money while completing your courses and qualifications as well. Obviously, at this entry level, your salary won’t be that high, but once you’ve gotten your certification, you can expect to earn between £19, 000 and £22, 000 a year, which is not bad for a starting salary. Panel technicians with some years of experience in body repairs make somewhere around £30, 000 and managers can earn up to £40, 000. To that extent, this type of career has quite the avenue for progression and offers plenty of opportunities and incentives, so it is definitely one worth considering.

 

As you can imagine, panel beater jobs come with a range of responsibilities as well, which may vary from one repair shop to another, but generally they involve assessing the extent of damage on a vehicle and deciding whether the bodywork needs repairing or replacement, removing damaged panels and refitting panel interiors, repairing damaged bodywork and small dents, holes or corroded areas and other such tasks. A panel beater should also know how to use specific equipment and tools, such as jig alignment equipment, line pullers or strong pullers and other such apparatus, in order to complete his job properly. Although this might seem like a job that involves only technical work on a car, there is also some administrative tasks required and some customer interaction involved as well, because panel beaters need to liaise with the customer and the insurance company and provide quotations and estimations of the work carried.