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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Motor Vehicle Body Repairers (Metal and Body Repairer) (7322)

Motor vehicle body repairers (metal and paint) repair and restore damaged motor vehicle bodies, as well as their collision-damaged mechanical and structural parts. Most motor vehicle body repairers work in private enterprises or are self-employed. Journeypersons may be employed by body shops, auto and truck dealerships, custom shops, and trucking and bus companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read instructions on labels and packaging, e.g. read directions to learn how to mix products, such as resins and hardeners. (1)
  • Read brief text entries on forms, e.g. read work orders to learn about damaged and malfunctioning hoods, doors and trunk locks, and details of customers' requests. (1)
  • Read memos, e.g. read memos to learn about changes to work schedules and upcoming training events. (2)
  • Read technical service bulletins, e.g. read automobile manufacturers' bulletins to learn the procedures for removing non-deployed air bags. (2)
  • Read a variety of safety related information, e.g. read Material Safety Data Sheets to learn how to safely work with hazardous products, such as resins. (2)
  • Read trade magazines, e.g. read online articles in trade magazines, such as Bodyshop, to learn about new repair techniques and industry trends. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals, e.g. read vehicle manufacturers' service and repair manuals to learn repair procedures and how to operate equipment, such as frame straighteners. (3)
  • May read web blogs, e.g. read information on web blogs to learn about repair techniques used by other motor vehicle body repairers. (3)
  • Read a variety of Acts, regulations and bylaws, e.g. read sections of provincial highway traffic Acts to learn about regulations for reporting and repairing vehicles deemed to be irreparable. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Observe warning signs and symbols, e.g. identify Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) hazard symbols on product labels. (1)
  • Locate data on labels, e.g. locate product identification numbers, sizes and colours on parts labels. (1)
  • Enter data on forms, e.g. record time spent repairing vehicles on time cards and work orders. (1)
  • Locate data in work orders, estimates and other forms, e.g. locate data on estimate forms, such as identification numbers, contact information, costs and time allocated for repairs. (2)
  • Study technical drawings to locate dimensions and identify shapes, position and orientation of vehicle parts and assemblies, e.g. use assembly diagrams to learn how to assemble and disassemble components for suspension, steering and braking systems. (2)
  • Locate data in complex lists and tables, e.g. locate the dimensions of doors, hatches and trunks and seat belt restraint systems using manufacturers' specification tables. (3)
  • Identify devices and circuits in schematics, e.g. identify connectors, switches, fuses and wire colours on electrical schematics of wiring harnesses. (3)
  • Locate and interpret data in graphs and flowcharts, e.g. interpret data on graphs produced by computerized wheel alignment equipment to complete repairs. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminders and notes for co-workers, e.g. write reminders for tasks that need to be carried out on specific vehicles. (1)
  • Write notes on estimate and inspection forms, e.g. provide explanations about why extra time was needed to complete repairs. (2)
  • May write reports to describe events leading up to workplace accidents, e.g. write about injuries and events when completing reports for workers' compensation boards. (2)
  • May write web blogs, e.g. write comments and suggestions on web blogs to help other motor vehicle body repairers complete unusual or intricate repairs. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • May pay cash-on-delivery for parts, materials and supplies ordered. (1)
  • Take a variety of measurements using instruments, such as tram bars, rulers, tapes, and laser and sonic measuring tools. (1)
  • Compare actual repair times to the repair times specified on work orders and estimates. (1)
  • Analyze measurements and compare them to manufacturers' specifications, e.g. compare before and after measurements when adjusting vehicle frames and door openings. (1)
  • May check quantities, prices and totals on supplier invoices and approve them for payment. (2)
  • Estimate times and materials required for projects by considering the scope of the project and the times and materials needed for similar projects in the past. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Discuss parts and supplies with partspersons and suppliers, e.g. speak with partspersons to request parts and check on the status of a delivery. (1)
  • Participate in meetings, e.g. discuss safety issues and procedures during staff meetings. (2)
  • Discuss scheduling, work co-ordination and shop operations with co-workers and managers, e.g. speak with supervisors about damage to vehicles not identified in estimates and work orders. (2)
  • May discuss repairs with customers, e.g. explain repair processes to customers, show them hidden damage not listed on estimates and respond to their questions and complaints. (2)
  • Exchange technical information with co-workers and helpdesk technicians, e.g. seek advice from helpdesk technicians to carry out tasks, such as troubleshooting equipment malfunctions and installing airbag sensors. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • Encounter products, such as fillers and adhesives, that are not performing as specified. They contact suppliers to determine if particular brands and batches are defective. (1)
  • Are unable to complete repairs because parts are unavailable. They ask partspersons to source the parts and rush their delivery. They inform their supervisors of the delays and complete other tasks until the needed parts arrive. (2)
  • Are unable to complete repairs within specified times due to hidden damage. They itemize all unforeseen repairs, take photographs to illustrate the damage and present revised estimates to their supervisors. (2)
  • Choose repair procedures and tools, e.g. decide whether to approach body panel repairs from the inside or outside by considering location and size of damaged sections. (2)
  • Decide the order and priority of tasks. They consider the availability of equipment, such as frame straighteners, and the priority of unfinished work. (2)
  • Decide to use original equipment manufacturer replacement parts to repair vehicles. They consider the type and cost of the required parts and customer preferences. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of apprentices. They consider apprentices' abilities to complete repairs in a timely and professional manner. (2)
  • May work on several vehicles at different stages in the repair process. This requires them to organize and order their job tasks to ensure efficient use of both time and equipment. They may have to adjust their task priorities if parts are not available. They co-ordinate their work with that of painters and detailers to meet set timelines. (2)
  • Find information necessary to complete repairs by seeking advice on web blogs, speaking with customers, co-workers and colleagues, reading work orders, manufacturers' service and repair manuals and by searching online databases. (2)
  • Locate information about the products they use by reading product information sheets, container labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and by talking with other painters and manufacturer representatives. (2)
  • Decide to repair and replace defective and worn parts. They consider the extent of damage, cost of replacement parts and time required to bring damaged parts up to manufacturers' specifications. (3)
  • Judge the quality of repairs. They consider the shape, length and depth of bodylines, the fit of doors and other adjacent parts and the degree to which repairs match surrounding body components. (3)
  • Judge the severity of damage prior to beginning repairs. They review notes on work estimates, look for hidden damage when dismantling vehicles and use their prior knowledge of secondary damage associated with similar accidents and vehicles. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May use digital inspection (snake) cameras to visually inspect hard-to-access vehicle components for damage. (1)
  • May use specialized autobody service databases to access job assignments, input information on new jobs, retrieve and review past service information and complete work orders. (2)
  • May use databases to retrieve repair information and technical drawings. (2)
  • May exchange email and attachments with manufacturer support specialists. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to access websites operated by equipment suppliers. They navigate web pages to locate information, such as equipment specifications and user guides. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by apprenticeship trainers, suppliers and employers. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access web blogs and forums to provide advice and learn how to complete unusual repairs. (2)
  • Use computerized measuring devices to determine point to point values and the symmetries of vehicle components. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Motor vehicle body repairers work independently when repairing vehicles. They seek the help of co-workers when moving vehicles and lifting large and heavy parts into place. They coordinate job tasks with in-house estimators, painters and detailers to ensure efficiency of work processes when restoring damaged vehicles.

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is integral to the work of motor vehicle body repairers. They learn through their daily work and interactions with co-workers and by reading trade magazines. They use manufacturers' manuals and databases to increase their knowledge of specific vehicle repair procedures. They attend classroom training provided by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair and their industry association. They also participate in on-site training for new equipment and products provided by vendors. Employers provide health and safety training.

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