What is a Panel Beater?
A panel beater is a person that repairs car bodies by removing dents and scratches.
Panel beaters remove dents, carry out major and minor panel repairs and replacements, structural repairs/realignments and some mechanical/electrical repairs.
Panel beaters work to restore damaged cars back to their pre-accident condition, following manufacturer repair methods. The damaged exterior panels can be damaged in either a car accident or incidental wear and tear.
What Does a Panel Beater Do?
A panel beater removes dents and scratches in car bodywork by assessing the damaged areas, removing damaged panels where necessary and either replacing the panels or repairing them.
To repair damaged panels, panel beaters use mechanical, hydraulic and metalworking equipment to remove any dents and return the panel to its original shape. If they have been removed for repair, the reshaped panels will then be re-bolted to the car’s frame, or welded into place where required, and any remaining dents will be smoothed over with the appropriate filler where required.
Panel beaters will also be required to carry out major repairs which can include structural repairs, replacements or re-alignments of vehicle underbody such as chassis rails. A high level of skill is required and panel beaters have to be able to use sophisticated specialised measuring and alignment equipment which in most modern workshops will be linked to a computerised system.
Highly experienced and skilled panel beaters may also choose to specialise in doing custom car bodywork or restore classic cars. The majority of panel beaters work repairing damage to cars, but panel beaters can also specialise in other vehicles like motorbikes, trucks and buses.
Why Become a Panel Beater?
Becoming a panel beater will allow you to work with cars every day and follow a clear career path from apprentice to qualified panel beater, supervisor, manager and perhaps even own your own smash repair business.
Once you have your qualification as a panel beater you may choose to specialise in a specific type of vehicle or expand your skills to vehicle painting or welding.
You could even choose to use your skills at assessing car bodywork damage to take up a role in sales or join an insurance company.
How to Become a Panel Beater in Australia
The average course and apprenticeship duration is 3½ years and covers a wide range of technical skills you will need to repair and maintain the bodywork of cars, trucks, motorbikes and other vehicles.
In WA, the state government dedicates funds to reduce or in some cases fully cover the cost of a panel beater apprenticeship. For more information see Jobs & Skills WA.
How to Become a Panel Beater at Gino’s Panel & Paint
Gino’s Panel & Paint is an industry leader that welcomes men and women of all backgrounds to consider a career in the automotive industry. We work with the MTA WA (Motor Trade Association of Western Australia) and Automotive Institute of Technology to promote the ongoing improvements and opportunities available to automotive workers. Over the years, in various capacities and as members of the Car Craft group, Gino’s Directors, Basil & Aaron Scagliotta, have played an active role in encouraging state and federal government training bodies to do more to improve training courses and provide more incentives to give WA panel beaters and spray painters the best opportunity to further their careers.
Gino’s Panel & Paint places an unparalleled emphasis on the quality of training we provide our apprentices, and this is reflected in the staff that choose to continue their career development at Gino’s. We were recently announced as a finalist for the WA Training Awards ‘Employer of the Year’ Award and won the MTA WA’s Employer of the Year.
Gino’s Panel & Paint takes care to get it right with every car we repair because we love what we do. The same goes for our staff support and training; we support our employees in furthering their skills and achieving their professional goals. Gino’s shows a commitment to our staff by providing them with a safe and state-of-the-art facility, constant training in new technology and improved techniques. This is personified in one of our apprentice’s recent win of WA PPG Colour Matching Award.