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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in Clarksville, Tennessee

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for auto body mechanics in the Clarksville, Tennessee area. There are currently 5,610 working auto body mechanics in Tennessee; this should grow by 7% to about 5,970 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. Auto body mechanics generally repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

A person working as an auto body mechanic can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $36,160 per year on average in Tennessee and about $17 hourly or $37,040 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Auto body mechanics earn more than people working in the category of Automotive generally in Tennessee and more than people in the Automotive category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Clarksville where you can study to be an auto body mechanic, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Clarksville 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 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 Clarksville 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville - Nashville, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville, 100 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 713 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and seven 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: Clarksville, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee photo by Avala

Clarksville is situated in Montgomery County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 119,735, which has grown by 15.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Clarksville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Clarksville cost $97,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Clarksville, down from 1,038 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Clarksville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 19.8% of Clarksville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Clarksville is 8.8%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Clarksville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Spring Creek Church, South Chapel and Saint John Baptist Church are among the churches located in Clarksville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Clarksville is home to the Industrial Historic District and the Trice Landing as well as Fairgrounds Park and New Providence Recreation Area. Shopping malls in the area include Governors Square Mall Shopping Center, Clarksville Square Shopping Center and Two Rivers Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Clarksville can choose from Comfort Inn North, Hampton Inn Clarksville and Guesthouse Clarksville for temporary stays in the area.