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Old 09-17-2008, 11:03 PM
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Wages for skilled, experienced auto paint/body tech?

Not sure if this is in the correct forum, but...

What is a reasonable hourly wage for a full-time experienced body and paint guy/gal?

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:31 PM
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Man, it really depends where you are. The hourly wage around here is 27-35 dollars and hour plus benifits. That is as much as some SHOPS charge per hour in some parts of the country. So it really depends on where you are.

Brian
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:55 AM
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wages

The U.S. Dept of labor publishes wage info......I'm not sure if they break it down far enough for what you want.
Your State Dept of labor may also have stats.
Salaries are very location oriented.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:52 PM
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You can use the flat rate hourly rate a shop charges and figure their top guys get 40-45% of that amount no matter how long it takes them to do the job.

I know one metal man that can take an estimate from any company and because of his skill and tooling he can do the job in much less time and thus he actually gets paid more than the flat rate hourly rate the shop charges.

Example: job calls for 40 hours flat rate labor to repair X he does it in 2 days..... He gets 45% of 40 hours labor that he completed in 10.... This partcular guy employes a car mover parts catcher helper and trim out guy out of his pocket. All he does is the metal magic.....

It is a rare week when he does not turn 150 hrs flat rate labor, most closer to 200.

HE LOVES the big hits and has cars inspected by the respective factories and experts when he is done....some even certify the car was never in a collision, he is so good and complete.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Man, it really depends where you are. The hourly wage around here is 27-35 dollars and hour plus benifits. That is as much as some SHOPS charge per hour in some parts of the country. So it really depends on where you are.

Brian
Here, a Journeyman is lucky to make 25...lucky. And Im in the second highest cost of living area in Canada.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:20 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHD
It is a rare week when he does not turn 150 hrs flat rate labor, most closer to 200.
I have to say, I hear numbers like that but have never seen anything even close.

The average autobody tech efficency across America is about 150%. To do 200 hours in a week, even working six (Monday thru Saturday) 10 hour days is something like 350% efficency! I have to tell you, I have a guy I work with who is one of the best, he kicks *** and hovers round 200%.

I wonder if something isn't lost in the translation of these numbers. Maybe your buddy is doing 150-200% and not hours?

Brian
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:10 PM
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around $7.85 per hour here in Florida. Jobs pay nothing here
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:31 PM
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When I was turning wrenches for a living at the local Ford dealership there were two front end guys who were ticked if they didn't turn 150-175 hours a week. They were flat rate bandits plain and simple. They charged every job as if they were removing and replacing only one part. Example. If they had a complete front end rebuild they would charge for R&R shocks, R&R springs, R&R strut rod bushing and on and on. When I progressed to writing service tickets I had to deal with irate customers who would bring their trucks in for front end work and would have 15 hours labor charged against it when the truck had only been in the shop one day.

Leroy and Clarence where are you guys today?

Vince
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
When I was turning wrenches for a living at the local Ford dealership there were two front end guys who were ticked if they didn't turn 150-175 hours a week. They were flat rate bandits plain and simple. They charged every job as if they were removing and replacing only one part. Example. If they had a complete front end rebuild they would charge for R&R shocks, R&R springs, R&R strut rod bushing and on and on. When I progressed to writing service tickets I had to deal with irate customers who would bring their trucks in for front end work and would have 15 hours labor charged against it when the truck had only been in the shop one day.

Leroy and Clarence where are you guys today?

Vince
Vince, those days are for the most part gone from what I see and since then the hourly rate has gone up appropriately. Now the mechanic techs I see working flat rate struggle to make the time. Unfortunately the wages haven't gone up at the same rate as the shop hourly rate. Dealerships in this area are charging between $75-$95 an hour now.

Making a living doing collision repair is a long road, plan on spending at least 4-6 years getting to a level where proficiency starts paying off and mistakes are less frequent. Myself and most of the younger guys I worked with took this long to get there and sometimes longer if they were a combination tech- doing all the frame, sheetmetal, and paint work. There's really lots to learn and know if you do it all.
Eventually age will catch up with you and production will drop along with your earnings. Health hazards are high. Tool costs add up. I do not know of any techs that I would consider well off financially. There's really a lot to think about when you look at the whole picture, and you should genuinely enjoy the work if you plan on it for a career.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
When I was turning wrenches for a living at the local Ford dealership there were two front end guys who were ticked if they didn't turn 150-175 hours a week. They were flat rate bandits plain and simple. They charged every job as if they were removing and replacing only one part. Example. If they had a complete front end rebuild they would charge for R&R shocks, R&R springs, R&R strut rod bushing and on and on. When I progressed to writing service tickets I had to deal with irate customers who would bring their trucks in for front end work and would have 15 hours labor charged against it when the truck had only been in the shop one day.

Leroy and Clarence where are you guys today?

Vince
That is it, the only way you can do it is be a thief. If the guy is charging to R&I fenders while doing a rad support but doesn't R&I them, only loosening them up and pulling them out of the way at the front is commiting fraud and is a thief. If they are not doing exactly as is it is writen on the repair order they are commiting fraud. If they are writing it in a way where they are getting paid do remove every single item that is included in an "overhaul", they are commiting fraud.

Honestly, I don't see doing the kind of hours that some people claim if you are going by every line on the RO, I just don't see it.

Brian
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:07 PM
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Brian... I think you may have missed the point in OHD's post that the guy he speaks of has helpers to allow him to turn those hours.

I have known many guys that claim to turn 120+ hours a week. None of those guys would ever be allowed to work on one of my vehicles. The estimates were either overwritten or the work was way under par. I have had to go back and repair some of their work after they left the shops. The results of their work was really scary.

Most body shop estimates are computer generated now days. For something to be paid for separately that is supposed to be an "included operation" would take "manually entering" that operation, and would be known to be fraudulent. Repair times on panels are subject to the "judgement" of the estimator. Often the times are exagerated by the shop estimator, when they feel they can get away with it, without being caught.

In this area the body shop labor rates are in the area of $40/flat rate hr or less. Obviously a tech isn't going to get $25/flat rate hr.

Aaron
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adtkart
Brian... I think you may have missed the point in OHD's post that the guy he speaks of has helpers to allow him to turn those hours.
Aaron
Ahhhhh, yes that would make a difference.

The techs at the shop where I work get paid hourly, plus a bonus for beating time. It is amazing what these guys will do with that hanging over them, boy talk about kicking morals to the curb! We have to stay on them like stink on poop to ensure stuff is done properly. I have only worked at one full commision shop, and don't remember much about it. I can only imagine what they will do with that kind of money available to them!

Brian
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:39 PM
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in wisconsin i get paid 8 and a coworker makes 7
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:01 PM
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Yep they are cheap here in wisconsin. I make a little better then that, but not a ton, and I've been doing this type of work for 17 years. You would almost think this was an easy and healthy profession, but its not.
Last few weeks you can hear crickets in our shop, 2 guys were laid off last week. With people driving less and the economy likely have some people choosing to take the money and drive around with damage if its still driveable and have bigger prioritys for there money then a pretty looking car. I work on mainly big trucks, and one of the trucking companys said they are not fixing anything unless its a roll and is not at all driveable. I'd hate to be working flat rate right now. Insurance companys cutting hours and steering work to shops that will bow down to them and cut hours, low wages in comparison to other skilled trades, buying and abusing your own tools. More and more regulations and paint and equiptment costs will likely continue to rise in the future, meaning more shops will likely struggle to stay in business. Hey if its what you want to do, go for it and follow your dreams, but there has to be better healthier professions to be in that will set you up with a better future.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:55 PM
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The responses here show the state of the body repair business. The shops are fighting for work from the insurance companies. They pay their workers as little as they can get away with. The customers are the ones that are loosing in the deal. They expect their vehicles to be repaired by skilled craftsmen, but are lucky to get people with minimal experience and training, as it is hardly worth it for anyone that really knows what they are doing to work in that industry anymore. Any manager, while interviewing a prospective employee, will stress how important QUALITY WORK is, but that usually proves less important in the long run.

In this area I know of people that make as little as $25,000 and ones that claim to make as much as $75,000+/yr.

Aaron
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