Panel Beater
Transport and Travel

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 2

Panel beaters repair damage to metal, plastic and fibreglass bodywork on vehicles. They also make and form vehicle panels using machines or hand tools. Future Growth Static

Panel beaters prepare estimates for the repair of a vehicle. They remove damaged panels from the vehicle which may involve unbolting or cutting. In some cases dents are hammered out, in others the panels need to be replaced. If the vehicle is badly damaged it may need to be pulled back into shape using an auto robot. The panel beater needs to fill any gaps, then file, ground and sand them to a smooth finish. Any other parts that have been removed, such as locks or handles, are replaced

Disassembling a smashed car

ANZSCO description: Repairs damage to metal,
 fibreglass and plastic body work on vehicles and forms replacement vehicle panels. Registration or licensing may be required.

Alternative names: Autobody Repairer,
Automotive Body Repairer, Collision Repairer, Vehicle Refinisher

Specialisations: Loss Assessor, Supervisor (Foreman)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A panel beater needs:

  • to be able to read and understand measurements and specifications

  • have a good understanding of metals, vehicle body parts and mechanics

  • to be enthusiastic about cars

  • to have full use of hands and fingers, good vision and be physically able

  • to be able to work with hand tools and machines

  • to enjoy practical and manual work

  • keep up to date about the latest methods and technology in the industry

Duties and Tasks

Panel beaters may perform the following tasks:

  • remove damaged panels and components by unbolting or cutting them away

  • remove dents by hammering panels with special panel beating tools such as planishing hammers

  • straighten badly damaged vehicles using mechanical and hydraulic equipment to obtain door, boot and bonnet clearances

  • cut and join replacement sections or damaged panels using oxyacetylene and electric welding equipment

  • fill dents with plastic fillers and file, grind and sand repaired surfaces using power and hand tools

  • fit the repaired panel on the framework of the vehicle and refit body hardware such as door locks and door trims

  • replace badly damaged sections with new or second-hand panels

  • realign chassis and body frames, and use chassis alignment machines and measuring systems

  • remove and replace accident-related mechanical items

  • remove and replace auto-electric components

  • help vehicle body builders to build custom-designed, speciality or vintage vehicles

  • assist in spray painting vehicles.


Working conditions

Car repair A panel beater would normally work in a workshop for a crash repairer, service station, or car dealer. The work environment tends to be noisy and dusty. They wear protective clothing.

Panel beaters normally work 38 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Some may work on the week-end.


Tools and technologies

Panel beaters need to be proficient with a wide range of tools. For example, general hand and electric machines and hand tools, oxy-acetylene cutting equipment, planishing hammer (to remove dents) and electric welding equipment.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a panelbeater, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in panel beating. The apprenticeship usually takes 42 months to complete, and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

To work as a panel beater in Australia, you will need to acquire a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate, or work under the supervision of someone who holds a current certificate. A National Police Certificate is required to gain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate.




Did You Know?

Here are some statistics about Smash Repairs in Australia:

Smash Repairs in Australia
(Source: IBIS World)



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