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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in Fort Worth, Texas

Auto body mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Fort Worth, Texas area. There are currently 12,110 working auto body mechanics in Texas; this should grow by 11% to about 13,420 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.

Auto body mechanics earn about $16 hourly or $33,430 annually on average in Texas and about $17 per hour or $37,040 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Automotive, people working as auto body mechanics in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Automotive nationally.

The Fort Worth area is home to ninety-one schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Fort Worth where you can get a degree as an auto body mechanic. Given that the most common education level 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 Fort Worth 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.
  • Motorcycle Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul motorcycles, scooters, or similar motorized vehicles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Tarrant County College District - Fort Worth, TX

Tarrant County College District, 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6599. Tarrant County College District is a large college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 39,596 students. Tarrant County College District has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated nineteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-eight and seven students respectively in 2008.

Lincoln College of Technology - Grand Prairie, TX

Lincoln College of Technology, 2915 Alouette Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052. Lincoln College of Technology is a small college located in Grand Prairie, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,223 students. Lincoln College of Technology has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated seventy-eight 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: Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas photo by Chin tin tin

Fort Worth is situated in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 703,073, which has grown by 31.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Worth, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Worth are valued at $145,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 3,790 new homes were constructed in Fort Worth, down from 5,669 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Worth are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 22.3% of Fort Worth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Worth is 8.3%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Fort Worth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal Water of Life Church and Petra Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Worth. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Worth is home to the Hurst Sewage Disposal and the Hart Spur as well as Trinity Valley School Softball Field and Circle Park. Shopping malls in the area include Overton Park Plaza Shopping Center, Ridgmar Town Square Shopping Center and Fair Oaks Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Worth can choose from Azalea Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Central Motel and Best Western Fort Worth Inn for temporary stays in the area.