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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in High Point, North Carolina

Auto body mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the High Point, North Carolina area. There are currently 4,720 jobs for auto body mechanics in North Carolina and this is projected to grow 13% to about 5,350 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for auto body mechanics are expected to grow by about 0.5%. In general, auto body mechanics repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

Income for auto body mechanics is about $18 hourly or $38,640 yearly on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,040 per year. Earnings for auto body mechanics are better than earnings in the general category of Automotive in North Carolina and better than general Automotive category earnings nationally.

There are twenty-nine schools of higher education in the High Point area, including two within twenty-five miles of High Point where you can get a degree to start your career as an auto body mechanic. Auto body mechanics usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 High Point 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.
  • Farm Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems.
  • Machine Repairman. Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
  • Motorcycle Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul motorcycles, scooters, or similar motorized vehicles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Forsyth Technical Community College - Winston Salem, NC

Forsyth Technical Community College, 2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, NC 27103-5197. Forsyth Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,748 students. Forsyth Technical Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-seven and four students respectively in 2008.

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated zero and twenty-four 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: High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina photo by Yassie

High Point is located in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 101,835, which has grown by 18.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in High Point, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in High Point cost $189,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety new homes were constructed in High Point, down from four hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in High Point are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is furniture and related product manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 25.5% of High Point residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in High Point is 11.0%, which is greater than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of High Point residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Hickory Chapel, Mount Carmel Church and Conrad Memorial Church are among the churches located in High Point. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

High Point is home to the Emerywood Country Club and the Uwharrie Council Camp as well as Washington Terrace Park and Armstrong Park. Visitors to High Point can choose from Brookline Furniture CO, Hampton Inn High Point and Fairfield Inn and Stes High Point/Archdl for temporary stays in the area.