How to become a Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle body builders manufacture purpose-built bodies to fit chassis produced by other manufacturers. They also modify and repair vehicle bodies. They may work on buses, coaches, caravans, armoured vans, tray and van bodies, mobile workshops, semi-trailers, refrigerated vans, horse floats, fire trucks and special police vehicles.

Personal requirements for a Vehicle Body Builder

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • An eye for detail
  • Aptitude for technical activities
  • Interested in design and fabrication using metals and other products

Education & Training for a Vehicle Body Builder

To become a vehicle body builder you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle body builders:

  • Manufacture framework sections in metal, wood, fibreglass and other materials by working from engineering drawings, and by using shaping machinery and all types of welding and cutting equipment
  • Form complete frameworks by welding or bolting sections to the vehicle's structure
  • Make the panels used to cover the framework by cutting, shaping and attaching panels of sheetmetal, aluminium, stainless steel or reinforced plastic
  • Fit axles, suspensions and brakes
  • Design and fit mechanised equipment, such as winches and hoists, to various types of vehicle chassis
  • Install door handles, locks and hinges
  • Design and carry out chassis alterations in consultation with engineers, or alter assembly line vehicles to special requirements.

Tasks

  • Bolts, screws, rivets and welds sections together to form complete frameworks..
  • Constructs framework sections in metal, wood, fibreglass and other materials using shaping machines and cutting and welding equipment..
  • Cuts and shapes panels of sheet metal, aluminium and reinforced plastic and attaches to frameworks using hand and power tools..
  • Modifies assembly line vehicles to special requirements..

Working conditions for a Vehicle Body Builder

As most vehicle body builders construct frames from metals, workshops can be noisy at times. Protective clothing and equipment must be worn when required.


Employment Opportunities for a Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle body builders are employed primarily in the transport equipment industries, including bus and rail transport. A few are employed by firms that perform repair work. Some are self-employed. Because of the broad range of skills required, vehicle body builders can often transfer to related trade occupations that involve metal fabrication, hydraulics, mechanical fitting, sheet metal work or finishing. In large organisations, vehicle body builders occasionally work as technical officers or technicians, or in sales.


Specializations

Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle body builders manufacture purpose-built bodies to fit chassis produced by other manufacturers. They also modify and repair vehicle bodies. They may work on buses, coaches, caravans, armoured vans, tray and van bodies, mobile workshops, semi-trailers, refrigerated vans, horse floats, fire trucks and special police vehicles.

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    2% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,153
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    92% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    3,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.2%
    NSW: 26.1%
    NT: 0.1%
    QLD: 25.3%
    SA: 4.8%
    TAS: 0.9%
    VIC: 32.2%
    WA: 10.3%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 3.9%
    20-24: 10.4%
    25-34: 22.8%
    35-44: 21.6%
    45-54: 22.8%
    55-59: 9.6%
    60-64: 6.4%
    65 and Over: 2.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3.2%
    Bachelor degree: 1.8%
    Certificate III/IV: 58%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.2%
    Year 10 and below: 19.2%
    Year 11: 5.9%
    Year 12: 11.9%
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