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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in Olathe, Kansas

Auto body mechanics can find many career and educational opportunities in the Olathe, Kansas area. The national trend for auto body mechanics 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.

Income for auto body mechanics is about $16 hourly or $35,130 yearly on average in Kansas. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,040 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Automotive, people working as auto body mechanics in Kansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Automotive nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Olathe where you can study to be an auto body mechanic, among sixty schools of higher education total in the Olathe area. The most common level of education for auto body mechanics is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Olathe 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.
  • Machine Repairman. Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
  • Mechanical Door Repairer. Install, service, or repair opening and closing mechanisms of automatic doors and hydraulic door closers. Includes garage door mechanics.
  • Medical Equipment Repairer. Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center - Kansas City, KS

Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, 2220 N 59th St, Kansas City, KS 66104-2821. Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center is a small college located in Kansas City, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 598 students. Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated nine students 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: Olathe, Kansas

Olathe, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas photo by Ichabod

Olathe is situated in Johnson County, Kansas. It has a population of over 119,993, which has grown by 29.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Olathe, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Olathe are priced at $315,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred fifty-two new homes were constructed in Olathe, down from five hundred ninety-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Olathe are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.9% of Olathe residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Olathe is 6.7%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Olathe residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Shopping malls in the area include Twin Trail Shopping Center, East Gate Shopping Center and Gibson Shopping Center. Visitors to Olathe can choose from Microtel Inn Olathe, Sleep Inn Olathe and Grid Iron Sports Bar for temporary stays in the area.