Panelbeaters repair damage to metal, fibreglass and plastic body work on vehicles, and form replacement vehicle panels.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and three quarters of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • removing damaged panels and parts, and removing upholstery and accessories to gain access
  • removing dents by hammering panels
  • straightening damaged vehicles and parts using mechanical and hydraulic equipment
  • replacing badly damaged sections with new or second-hand panels
  • filling depressions with plastic filler, and filing, grinding and sanding repaired surfaces
  • cutting and joining replacement sections using welding equipment
  • fitting repaired or replacement panels on vehicles and refitting body hardware such as door locks and trims
  • may assist vehicle body builders in constructing and restoring custom-designed, vintage and other specialty vehicles
  • may spray-paint vehicles

Job Titles

  • Panelbeater, or Collision Repairer

    Fast Facts

    • $869 Weekly Pay
    • 17,600 workers Employment Size
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 93.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41.5 hours Average full-time
    • 43 years Average age
    • 0.3% female Gender Share

    The number of Panelbeaters grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
    from 17,600 in 2017 to 17,600 by 2022.
    There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
    • Location: Panelbeaters work in most regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Other Services industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $869 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (93.1%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41.5 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 0.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    There have been shortages of Panel Beaters for a number of years. In 2016, employers in nearly all states and territories (except South Australia and regional Western Australia) found it hard to recruit Panel Beaters. To find out more, view the Department of Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200717100
    200813100
    200918500
    201014900
    201116700
    201214200
    201316200
    201416600
    201519100
    201612000
    201717600
    202217600

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPanelbeatersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings8691230

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Other Services95.1
    Transport, Postal and Warehousing2.4
    Manufacturing1.3
    Wholesale Trade0.7
    Other Industries0.5

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePanelbeatersAll Jobs Average
    NSW37.531.6
    VIC23.526.2
    QLD21.619.7
    SA4.86.7
    WA9.510.8
    TAS0.62.0
    NT0.71.1
    ACT1.81.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPanelbeatersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-195.7-5.25.2
    20-2415.6-9.99.9
    25-3416.5-23.623.6
    35-4414.5-21.721.7
    45-5426.0-20.820.8
    55-5915.5-8.88.8
    60-643.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.0-4.04.0

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and three quarters of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Automotive Retail, Service and Repair and Automotive Manufacturing Sector VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Panelbeaters who are reliable, trustworthy and responsible.

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      70% Important

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. English Language

      68% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      65% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Production and Processing

      64% Important

      Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

    5. Public Safety and Security

      60% Important

      Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-3021.00 - Automotive Body and Related Repairers.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    1. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

      73% Important

      Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

    2. Getting Information

      72% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

      71% Important

      Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

    4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      71% Important

      Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

    5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

      70% Important

      Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-3021.00 - Automotive Body and Related Repairers.

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