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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:37 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Originally Posted by tech69 View Post
I got passion for a Prius, if it's a gravy job.

How about one hit in the rear and your changing out the rear panel, floor and the frame rails? I DIG it just the same as any other repair, I love this business!

Brian

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:45 PM
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How about one hit in the rear and your changing out the rear panel, floor and the frame rails? I DIG it just the same as any other repair, I love this business!

Brian
til the estimator tells you you're only getting the rail and rear panel then tries to give you 1.5 to bang out the the floor and mud it. I love the fact that everyday you're doing something different and staying clean and not breathing garbage all day. That is a huge bonus with me. Production shops are not kidding about caring for the health of their workers. You'll get lucky to get a free dust mask in a restoration shop...kidding.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:46 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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By the way to show you the value in the industry a co-worker of mine just left California after being here about 25 years. She has worked around the autobody industry for all that time and did just about everything. She came to work for us as a tow truck driver and did that for about a week when the receptionist quit. She took over that and next thing you know she was writing estimates. She knows her stuff and did a great job. Well her personal life changed in a big way and she wanted to get back to Missouri to help her elderly mom. She decided this early December. In two days over the phone she had a job as an insurance estimator in Missouri. A couple of days later she had another one lined up as side work.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:54 PM
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til the estimator tells you you're only getting the rail and rear panel then tries to give you 1.5 to bang out the the floor and mud it. I love the fact that everyday you're doing something different and staying clean and not breathing garbage all day. That is a huge bonus with me. Production shops are not kidding about caring for the health of their workers. You'll get lucky to get a free dust mask in a restoration shop...kidding.
The shop has to provide you with your protection, it's the law. It doesn't matter what kind of shop it is. But I have to tell you, the people I work for, they are VERY serious about you doing the right thing and there is no problem what so ever in asking for any protection. We have welding respirators, particle masks, eye and ear protection, it is all there any time you want it. And if they aren't giving it to you, it isn't that cheap, buy it for goodness sakes and use it!

Where I work we do things right, we follow guidelines from the manufacturers, I even went to the Toyota training center in SoCa. I should show you some of the times we get on stuff, the guys make good bonuses. One guy in the shop does excellent work and gets a $1000 a month bonus. I couldn't keep up with him I'll tell you that. I use to get about $500 tops, he is an awesome tech.

Protect yourself like a crazy man Henry, don't let those "It's just a little big I don't need my protection" times add up! Protect yourself at all times! Believe me Henry, you WANT to see your grandchildren.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:56 PM
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Been doing this for 35 years. Was never really interested in this trade, to make a long story short this is where I ended up. My spare time is taken up with other hobbies not related to body and painting. Every job can be boring no matter what it is. I have been working where I am now for 15 years, primarily painting, it is an independant production collision shop about 10,000 sq ft, doing approx 3 million plus yearly, 95%insurance work. Small town in the oil patch in Alberta. It can be stressful at times to get stuff done right and on time, insurance companies and customers can be very demanding. I've done restoration, hot rods but prefer collision for the money and the variety of different jobs, it's never boring. I found restoration boring, working on the same car for months, while it was nice to see the finished product and you got a sense of accomplishment when it was done, the whole long and drawn out process bored me to tears. Working collision I work on newer clean rust free vehicles with new parts and get a sense of pride everytime I paint something which could be several times a day.

I work flat rate, get payed by the job not hourly. What I have found over the years is there are many and varied types of shops, some in the dark ages and some state of the art. If you find the right shop, they are few and far between, you can make a good living and work decent hours in a clean, dry and warm environment. Find the prosperous looking shop that has a clean office, nicely presented, tidy building, office management that is professional, modern equipment, etc. Talk to the employees, are they wearing proper safety equipment, are they happy and motivated, do they get along? If so it is possibly a good shop to work. Avoid the shops that are sloppy, cluttered with parts laying all over the place, garbage cans overflowing and trash all over the floor, employees not wearing proper safety gear, radios blaring, dirty paint booths etc, there are some real turds out there.

Your not likely to get rich but you can make as much or more than your average tradesman plumber, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, welder, machinist, etc. If you learn the ropes from someone that is good, if you are conscientious and willing to put the time in it's not a bad trade. I find the biggest enemy of the autobody industry is the autobody shops themselves. A well managed shop with talented employees will be nothing but successful. There is a great demand for good shops and good tradesmen..
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2013, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
By the way to show you the value in the industry a co-worker of mine just left California after being here about 25 years. She has worked around the autobody industry for all that time and did just about everything. She came to work for us as a tow truck driver and did that for about a week when the receptionist quit. She took over that and next thing you know she was writing estimates. She knows her stuff and did a great job. Well her personal life changed in a big way and she wanted to get back to Missouri to help her elderly mom. She decided this early December. In two days over the phone she had a job as an insurance estimator in Missouri. A couple of days later she had another one lined up as side work.

Brian
of course, the insurance companies run the industry now. No surprise a lot of the hard working blue collar techs are in the back inhaling toxins with no health insurance while the insurance agent who doesn't even work for the shop has his own office in the shop and has his whole family insured.

That said, it's another opportunity for bodytechs who can't physically handle the demands of the work anymore. So in that aspect, it keeps old body techs working and finds another use for those years of knowledge.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2013, 11:06 PM
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BI've done restoration, hot rods but prefer collision for the money and the variety of different jobs, it's never boring. I found restoration boring, working on the same car for months, while it was nice to see the finished product and you got a sense of accomplishment when it was done, the whole long and drawn out process bored me to tears.
I can understand that. I remember one time finishing up a car I had been working on for many months and I came up with what I think is a pretty profound thought on the subject. When someone asked me what I was making on the car I told him "I would like to get a million dollars because that is what it is worth, but on the other hand if it left and I got nothing I would be happy just seeing it leave my life would be enough pay for me".

But now after being in the business for so long and learning so much about production and about the business side of it, it would be a lot different for me. Things would get done so much faster. I believed in the myth that every restoration job was so different, and really they aren't. You can do it more efficiently that I use to and make money still putting out a nice product. I use to "store" more than "restore".

Brian
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:07 PM
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of course, the insurance companies run the industry now. No surprise a lot of the hard working blue collar techs are in the back inhaling toxins with no health insurance while the insurance agent who doesn't even work for the shop has his own office in the shop and has his whole family insured.

That said, it's another opportunity for bodytechs who can't physically handle the demands of the work anymore. So in that aspect, it keeps old body techs working and finds another use for those years of knowledge.
Henry, me and my family are fully insured, dental and all.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:56 PM
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Cobra? lol j/k
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:03 AM
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Kaiser, it's worked well for me for years.

Brian
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:15 AM
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Kaiser, it's worked well for me for years.

Brian
Anthem for our family and also vision and dental. Never even used the vision but I need to go get some $60 sun glasses and have it reimbursed...I say that every year! Saddens me there's babies out there uncovered and people in need of doctors who can't afford it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:38 AM
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I love the trade and think the future for good tech's is bright. Over the last two decades fewer people have entered the trade, vocational schools are graduating smaller classes, supply and demand for good tech's will make the wages go up.

There are many things to decide, do you want to be a painter, a body man, or a combination paint and body. Also there are different shops, from small to very large production shops, the atmosphere is quite different and is something too consider. Its the craftsmanship part of auto body repair that keeps me interested, to me its an art.

Good luck
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2013, 01:04 AM
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I have enjoyed every minute of working on all the cars... so I supose I stayed longer than most do.
I probably would work in the industry for a few years then get out after about 10 years . Isn't hindsight a wonderfull thing.
I have semi retired now(I only work when I want to)

Can anyone tell me how much $$ per week the average bodytechs / Spraypainter makes each week on wages.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2013, 04:50 AM
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How about one hit in the rear and your changing out the rear panel, floor and the frame rails? I DIG it just the same as any other repair, I love this business!

Brian

how about repairing it not replacing it..

to the o/p
my dad was a body guy for YEARS..
he got out because ,you have a outside source forcing your hand, it's called the insurance company..
they only pay for "x" amount of work. and if you're ok with doing a half @_$ed job.. you'll do fine..
if you like doing things correctly ..you'll be in hell..
he now does club members cars and finally is getting to his own junk.. like others have said.. when you pound metal all day for a paycheck, you don't find it as fun on your own junk..
insurance companies, and flat rate time books.. will tell you how your repair the vehicle.. and correctly most times will not happen.. shortcuts will be taken.. and you will put out work you're not happy with...
it goes with the job...
very few body shops will take a hit(profit) to make the job correct..
my dad was lucky that he found one that he worked in the last 15 years of it..
think of your health.. the paints today are made to be safer for the earth , NOT YOU.. your not being a ***** require'n the use of the correct equipment.. fresh air/gloves/body suit/etc...
the tough guys are cough'n up blood from being "cool"
your health safety is job one... REMEMBER THAT
good luck...

Last edited by gearheadslife; 01-10-2013 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:59 AM
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"my final question is ultimately if you were 23 years old would you pursue this career again or would you choose a different career?"

HELL NO, not even maybe. Straight up, don't do it, you'd make more money at Denny's or McDonald's, literally.

Autobody is a sunset industry on the back end of the 'bell curve', it is nearly as obsolete as buggy whips. It will take 5 years hands-on and $50,000 minimun in tools before anyone treats you as anything besides the shop mule or a trainee. That's after-taxes take home pay, (add sales tax - you're the end user). That's everything YOU don't ever get to do, Disney World, Vegas, ski trip to Aspen, ect.

5 years AND $50,000 is a colledge degree, it's also buying a few fixer-upper homes to turn-and-burn, rent them back to section 8 housing for guaranteed money and rate increases, or any other thing you want to do for a paycheck.

As a hobby it's fun, as a job it is actually the bottom of the barrel, don't do it.
As depressing as it is...
I gotta agree with the Old man I love doing this crap but if I did it for the money I'd starve theres much better ways to make money...Unfortunately You have to learn at a shop (many shops) if you want to get good enough to do satifactory work and make it a great hobby....
once you learn you can flip cars to make money and work up to flipping houses.
I love this work ,I've done it since I was 14yr old and all these years later I cant wait to get to the shop and get started....But I'm one of the lucky ones ,I work for myself and dont do it for the money .If your the type that has to work for someone ,dont even think of it...but if your the independant type working at a few shops is a great idea as a means to an end....and if its not for you you'll still learn something and learning is a good thing...
So theres my advice ...Go for it young blood it'll be a good experiance for ya but dont stay long learn what you can as fast as you can and get out....

Last edited by deadbodyman; 01-10-2013 at 06:07 AM.
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