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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Mechanics in Cheyenne, Wyoming

If you want to be an auto body mechanic, the Cheyenne, Wyoming area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 250 people work as auto body mechanics in Wyoming. This is expected to grow 24% to 320 people 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.

The income of an auto body mechanic is about $18 hourly or $38,360 per year on average in Wyoming. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,040 per year on average. Incomes for auto body mechanics are better than in the overall category of Automotive in Wyoming, and better than the overall Automotive category nationally.

There are four schools of higher education in the Cheyenne area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cheyenne 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 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 Cheyenne 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Mechanic Training

Laramie County Community College - Cheyenne, WY

Laramie County Community College, 1400 E College Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82007-3299. Laramie County Community College is a small college located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,250 students. Laramie County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and zero 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: Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wyoming photo by CommonsHelper2 Bot

Cheyenne is situated in Laramie County, Wyoming. It has a population of over 56,915, which has grown by 7.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cheyenne, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cheyenne are priced at $129,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty new homes were constructed in Cheyenne, down from three hundred eleven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Cheyenne are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 24.5% of Cheyenne residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cheyenne is 6.7%, which is less than Wyoming's average of 6.8%. About 8.8% of Cheyenne's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Cheyenne residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Calvary Church, Morrie Avenue Church and Full Gospel Church are some of the churches located in Cheyenne. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Cheyenne is home to the Wyo Plaza and the Cheyenne Country Club as well as Cahill Park and Pioneer Park. Shopping malls in the area include Indian Hills Shopping Center, Frontier Mall and Frontier Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Cheyenne can choose from Quality Inn Cheyenne, Motel 6 and Cheyenne Super 8 Motel for temporary stays in the area.