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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in Nashua, New Hampshire

If you want to be an auto body mechanic, the Nashua, New Hampshire area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 850 working auto body mechanics in New Hampshire; this should grow 7% to about 910 working auto body mechanics in the state 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. In general, auto body mechanics repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

The income of an auto body mechanic is about $17 hourly or $36,170 annually on average in New Hampshire. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,040 per year on average. Earnings for auto body mechanics are better than earnings in the general category of Automotive in New Hampshire and better than general Automotive category earnings nationally.

There are fifty-seven schools of higher education in the Nashua area, including one within twenty-five miles of Nashua where you can get a degree to start your career as an auto body mechanic. 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 Nashua 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.
  • Medical Equipment Repairer. Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Nashua Community College - Nashua, NH

Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026. Nashua Community College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,925 students. Nashua Community College has an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated four 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: Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Nashua is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 86,576. The cost of living index in Nashua, 119, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Nashua are valued at $175,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were constructed in Nashua, down from seventy-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashua are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 31.5% of Nashua residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nashua is 7.5%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Nashua residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and Trinity Baptist Church are among the churches located in Nashua. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Nashua is home to the Hillsborough County Courthouse and the Goodhue Memorial Library as well as Deschenes Oval and Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Amherst Street Mall Shopping Center, Royal Ridge Mall Shopping Center and Nashua Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Nashua can choose from Chalet Susse Motor Lodge, Crowne Plaza Nashua and Speaker's Corner Restaurant for temporary stays in the area.