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Thread: Auto Body Apprenticeship

  1. #1
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    Default Auto Body Apprenticeship

    I'm currently looking to do a career change and I'm looking for information on an Auto Body career. I'm sure that there's a few people that work in this field on beyond!

    Biggest question is where do I start? To my understanding you need to first get hired from a shop and enroll in the 4 year apprenticeship program via SAIT. Does anyone have any tips in doing so? I've read virtually everything online so i'm looking for real world experience.

    What sort of wages could you expect as a 1st year vs Journeyman, I understand that some places are based on piece work so the money can be good once you get established.

    Also, where would you recommend working? Preferably something NW/SW as I live in Cochrane but i'm not too concerned about travel, more about working for a good company. I'm planning on building some connections at local shops and walking in for more info.

    Thanks in advance Beyond!

  2. #2
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    Hey,

    I've been in the industry for about 12 years now, I am a Journeyman Red Seal Automotive Refinisher and I LOVE MY JOB!

    As with lots of trades, you will have to start from the bottom. Find a shop that is willing to take on an Apprentice. Make your intentions known from the start as lots of shops say "Ya we will get you doing bodywork or painting down the road" and they end up keeping you detailing for years!

    How old are you? Have you taken any courses or have worked in any related field?

    As for wages, it is all over the place depending on experience and shop. Like you mentioned there are some shops that are "piece work", they call that flat-rate. And depending on your drive and how busy the shop is, you can easily make 100k or more when you have your tickets.

    There are still a few small "mom and pop" shops around. I started there and got lucky and started working as a painter right away. In my opinion, they are the best place to start as they are smaller and you may get the opportunity to do more than you were hired for (ie: body work or paint etc).

    Or if you have time, start doing stuff for yourself at home or U-Wrench. Take pictures and you can show shops you apply at what you have done. Some maybe impressed or just throw you into detailing. Aim high though. Show them you are driven (especially if its a flat-rate shop), they like to see that as you usually work harder which is great for production shops.

    If you are inexperienced, its hard to jump into a busy shop expecting to do body work and paint right away. Production shops like Carstars and Fix Auto crank out jobs and can't afford to slow down for a noob (unless they are slow already).

    If you have more questions, feel free to msg me.

    Cheers.

  3. #3
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    If you are serious about the industry and you are having a hard time getting in anywhere the SAIT Auto Body Preparation Certificate of Achievement might help. It is just a "certificate" but it might separate you from a total noob. Probably more valuable than detailing unless you want to learn that too.
    Double-meat sub dreams.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by topher91 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Hey,

    I've been in the industry for about 12 years now, I am a Journeyman Red Seal Automotive Refinisher and I LOVE MY JOB!

    As with lots of trades, you will have to start from the bottom. Find a shop that is willing to take on an Apprentice. Make your intentions known from the start as lots of shops say "Ya we will get you doing bodywork or painting down the road" and they end up keeping you detailing for years!

    How old are you? Have you taken any courses or have worked in any related field?

    As for wages, it is all over the place depending on experience and shop. Like you mentioned there are some shops that are "piece work", they call that flat-rate. And depending on your drive and how busy the shop is, you can easily make 100k or more when you have your tickets.

    There are still a few small "mom and pop" shops around. I started there and got lucky and started working as a painter right away. In my opinion, they are the best place to start as they are smaller and you may get the opportunity to do more than you were hired for (ie: body work or paint etc).

    Or if you have time, start doing stuff for yourself at home or U-Wrench. Take pictures and you can show shops you apply at what you have done. Some maybe impressed or just throw you into detailing. Aim high though. Show them you are driven (especially if its a flat-rate shop), they like to see that as you usually work harder which is great for production shops.

    If you are inexperienced, its hard to jump into a busy shop expecting to do body work and paint right away. Production shops like Carstars and Fix Auto crank out jobs and can't afford to slow down for a noob (unless they are slow already).

    If you have more questions, feel free to msg me.

    Cheers.
    Wow, thanks so much for all the info!

    PM sent!

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