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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in San Bernardino, California

Auto body mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the San Bernardino, California area. There are currently 15,300 jobs for auto body mechanics in California and this is projected to grow by 7% to about 16,300 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for auto body mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.5% over the next eight years. Auto body mechanics generally repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

The income of an auto body mechanic is about $18 per hour or $39,230 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,040 per year on average. Earnings for auto body mechanics are better than earnings in the general category of Automotive in California and better than general Automotive category earnings nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Bernardino where you can study to be an auto body mechanic, among fifty-one schools of higher education total in the San Bernardino area. Given that the most common education level for auto body mechanics is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be an auto body mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Auto Body Mechanic

Auto Body Mechanic video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, auto body mechanics repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

Auto body mechanics file, grind, sand and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools. They also sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to safeguard them from the paint. Equally important, auto body mechanics have to remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment. They are often called upon to position dolly blocks against surfaces of dented areas and beat opposite surfaces to remove dents, using hammers. They are expected to mix polyester resins and hardeners to be used in restoring damaged areas. Finally, auto body mechanics fit and secure windows, vinyl roofs, and metal trim to vehicle bodies, using caulking guns and mallets.

Every day, auto body mechanics are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. They need to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for auto body mechanics to cut and tape plastic separating film to outside repair areas to avoid damaging surrounding surfaces during repair procedure, and remove tape and wash surfaces after fixes are complete. They are often called upon to fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder. They also remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to get access to vehicle bodies and fenders. They are sometimes expected to fit and weld replacement parts into place, using wrenches and welding equipment, and grind down welds to smooth them, using power grinders and other tools. Somewhat less frequently, auto body mechanics are also expected to inspect damage reports, ready or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.

They also have to be able to remove small pits and dimples in body metal using pick hammers and punches and cut openings in vehicle bodies for the installation of customized windows, using templates and power shears or chisels. And finally, they sometimes have to soak fiberglass matting in resin mixtures, and apply layers of matting over repair areas to specified thicknesses.

Like many other jobs, auto body mechanics must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Bernardino include:

  • Auto Glass Installer. Replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.
  • Auto Mechanic. Repair automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Chaffey College - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey College, 5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002. Chaffey College is a large college located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,486 students. Chaffey College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated four, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Riverside Community College - Riverside, CA

Riverside Community College, 4800 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92506. Riverside Community College is a large college located in Riverside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 34,058 students. Riverside Community College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Bernardino Valley College - San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino Valley College, 701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92410-2798. San Bernardino Valley College is a large college located in San Bernardino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,317 students. San Bernardino Valley College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Master Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician: The ASE Collision Repair Test Series includes one test for paint refinishers and three other tests for repair technicians, covering non-structural damage repair, structural damage repair, and vehicle mechanical and electrical system repair.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Collision Repair and Refinish: Damage Analysis and Estimating : The ASE Damage Analysis and Estimating (B6) Test complements the other tests in the Collision Repair Test series that identify and recognize collision repair technicians and refinishers.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Undercar Specialist: Exhaust Systems: Successfully passing test X1 will certify you as an undercar specialist in exhaust systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Collision Repair and Refinish: Painting and Refinishing Technician: Successfully passing test B2 will certify you in collision repair and refinish: painting and refinishing.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Collision Repair and Refinish: Non-Structural Analysis and Damage Repair: Successfully passing test B3 will certify you in collision repair and refinish: non-structural analysis and damage repair.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

Collision Repair and Refinish: Structural Analysis and Damage Repair: Successfully passing test B4 will certify you in collision repair and refinish: structural analysis and damage repair.

For more information, see the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Bernardino, California

San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California photo by Ie909

San Bernardino is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 198,580, which has grown by 7.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Bernardino, 125, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Bernardino cost $182,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-one new homes were constructed in San Bernardino, down from one hundred fifty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Bernardino are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.6% of San Bernardino residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Bernardino is 18.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Bernardino residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Golden Avenue Church, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are among the churches located in San Bernardino. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

San Bernardino is home to the Warm Creek Golf Course and the San Bernardino Public Golf Course as well as Plaza Park and Palm Field Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wildwood Plaza Shopping Center, Highland Avenue Plaza Shopping Center and Mountain Shadows Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Bernardino can choose from American Inn, Best Western Hospitality Lane and American Tex-Chem Corporation for temporary stays in the area.