Study Automotive Body Repair Technology

Industry Overview

The Motor Vehicle Engine and Parts Repair and Maintenance industry currently employs over 70,000 people in Australia, and is projected to grow moderately over the next five years. The number of motor vehicles on the road is forecast to continue rising, which is likely to provide stable growth for the industry. (Source: IBIS World)

The top five ranked generic skills for the Vehicle Body Repair sector are:

  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems
  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence
  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Technology use and application
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management.

(Source: Australian Industry & Skills Committee)

Main Task:

  • removing damaged panels and parts, and removing upholstery and accessories to gain access
  • removing dents by hammering panels
  • straightening damaged vehicles and parts using mechanical and hydraulic equipment
  • replacing badly damaged sections with new or second-hand panels
  • filling depressions with plastic filler, and filing, grinding and sanding repaired surfaces
  • cutting and joining replacement sections using welding equipment
  • fitting repaired or replacement panels on vehicles and refitting body hardware such as door locks and trims
  • may assist vehicle body builders in constructing and restoring custom-designed, vintage and other specialty vehicles
  • may spray-paint vehicles

Average weekly earnings:  $1,280 per week

Mode of work: Most work full-time (89%)

Hours per week: full-time workers spend around 43 hours/ week at work.

Age: the average age is 41 years.

Gender: 2% workers are female


Qualification Needed

Workers usually need a certificate III or IV in automotive body repair technology or another relevant panel beating course to work as a Panel beater. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.

Course Overview

Panel beaters repair damage to metal, fibreglass and plastic body work on vehicles and forms replacement vehicle panels. This occupation requires studies in automotive body repair technology, where you will learn how to jump start vehicles, repair vehicle body panels, repair vehicle body misalignment and carry out advanced welding on vehicle body sections.

Course Requirements

Most institutions require completion of Australian Year 11 or 12 (or equivalent), as well as a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 with no band score less than 5.


A 2-year packaged trade course costs between $13,000 and $19,000 per year, depending on the institution.

Career Outcomes and PR Prospects

Panel Beater (or Collision Repairer)

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