Schools Training

What Is an Auto Body Collision Estimator Career?

5 JAN 2012
Career Path : Automotive

As long as there are cars on the road, there are going to be auto body collisions. Even in a recession, our roads and highways are jammed. And that means there will always be demand for well trained Car Estimators. Moreover, there are almost always immediate openings for professionally trained auto body estimators.

Auto Body Collision Estimator programs teach students the fundamentals of collision damage repair and damage estimating. Using interactive media and industry standard software, students will develop the skills needed to properly complete a hand written or computerized damage report for auto body repair shops, insurance companies, and fleet and rental outlets.

Following is a review of the entry-level collision estimating positions you can expect to hold after graduation and where your career could lead in just a few years.

Collision Estimating Employment opportunities include positions at:

  •     New Car Dealers
  •     Pre-owned car dealerships
  •     Retail automotive repair facilities
  •     Automotive collision repair facilities
  •     Insurance companies
  •     Contract your services and enjoy the freedom of working for yourself

Entry-level collision estimating jobs include:

  •     Collision Estimator
  •     Insurance Company Estimator
  •     Independent Estimator
  •     Heavy Duty Estimator
  •     Possible occupational advancements
  •     Insurance Adjustor
  •     Fleet Rental Specialist
  •     Assistant Manager
  •     Body Shop Manager or Owner
  •     Fixed Operations Manager

The day to day work of a Collision Estimator can be quite varied, depending on where you are working and what your position entails.

The following is a typical job description for a Collision Estimator:

  •     Inspects vehicles to determine the amount of structural, body, mechanical or interior damage using mechanical testing devices, questioning customers about the vehicle or by visual inspection
  •     Calculates cost of labor and parts to fix or replace each affected item and estimate the salvage value of the total vehicle loss
  •     Analyzes repair cost estimates
  •     Consults with the collision repair manager or foreman
  •     Reviews cost effectiveness of repair versus replacement of parts
  •     Determines fees associated with repainting
  •     Fills out insurance claim forms to indicate repair or replacement cost estimates and recommendations
  •     Determines feasibility of repair versus pre-accident market value
  •     Prepares work orders

The industry standard for a job in auto estimating is $40,000, plus benefits, but the pay scale can increase, depending on the skills and experience of the car estimator. You should also know that any occupation in the service sector is a good bet because government statistics show that a lot of retirements (about 45%) are expected in “Sales & Service and Business”, “Finance and Administration” over the next five years. That means almost one out of every two jobs in those sectors will need to be filled by new employees. Better still, Canada is expected to generate one million new jobs over the next five years – and 75% of those jobs will be in the service sector.

In short, if you want to increase your chances of getting employed – and staying employed – a career in a service job like Auto Estimating makes good sense.

Contact The Automotive Training Centre today for more information on auto body collision estimator training programs.