Career Development

How To Become a Body Shop Manager: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn about the steps important to pursuing a career as a body shop manager, including education, skills, salary and more.

A body shop manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an auto body repair shop. They oversee the work of the technicians, schedule appointments, order parts and handle customer service. If you are interested in a career in the automotive industry and have management experience, becoming a body shop manager may be a good fit for you. In this article, we discuss the job responsibilities of a body shop manager and the steps you need to take to pursue this career.

What Does a Body Shop Manager Do?

A body shop manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an auto body repair shop. They oversee all aspects of the business, from customer service and estimates to repairs and billing. Body shop managers typically work in a fast-paced environment and must be able to multitask and handle multiple projects at once.

The duties of a body shop manager include:

  • Hiring, training and supervising employees
  • Creating work schedules
  • Ordering parts and supplies
  • Maintaining inventory
  • Ensuring that all repairs are completed in a timely and efficient manner
  • Quality control
  • Estimating costs
  • Billing customers
  • Maintaining records

Body Shop Manager Salary and Job Outlook

The average salary for a body shop manager is $74,675. This figure can vary based on the size of the body shop, its location, and the manager’s experience.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for body shop managers to grow at an average rate over the next decade. The growth may be attributed to an increase in the number of vehicles on the road as well as an aging population of vehicle owners who are more likely to need repairs.

How to Become a Body Shop Manager

Here are several steps you should take to become a body shop manager.

1. Complete a high school diploma or equivalent

A body shop manager typically needs a high school diploma or equivalent to enter this field. If you are interested in pursuing an automotive repair degree, consider taking automotive technology classes while you complete your high school education. These courses can help you develop skills and knowledge that are useful for working in the automotive industry.

If you do not have a high school diploma, you may be able to take automotive repair courses at a community college or trade school. These programs usually last one to two years and teach students about topics such as welding, painting, structural repairs and more.

2. Consider completing an automotive body repair program at a trade school

While a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum education requirement for body shop managers, many employers prefer candidates to have an automotive body repair certificate. Automotive body repair programs at vocational schools can help you learn about topics such as welding and painting techniques, structural repairs and estimating damage costs.

You may also consider enrolling in an associate’s degree program in collision repair offered by some colleges and universities. These programs typically take two years to complete and include more advanced training in areas like paint technology and computer-aided design (CAD).

3. Gain experience working in an auto body shop

Gaining experience in an auto body shop is one of the best ways to learn about the industry and decide if a career as a body shop manager is right for you. Entry-level positions such as assistant technicians or customer service representatives are common starting points for aspiring body shop managers.

Working under a body shop manager can help you learn how to manage employees, develop effective leadership skills and improve your knowledge of insurance claims and other business aspects of running an auto body shop.

4. Obtain certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

The ASE is an organization that provides certification to automotive technicians and mechanics. To become a certified body shop manager, you need to complete a course in automotive collision repair at an accredited school or training center. The program typically lasts between six months and two years depending on whether you attend full-time or part-time.

The ASE’s Collision Repair Management Certification Program teaches students how to manage all aspects of running a successful auto body shop. You learn about topics such as estimating, insurance claims, marketing, personnel management, business planning and more.

5. Develop strong management and leadership skills

Body shop managers must be able to manage and lead a team of employees. Employees in body shops often work with dangerous equipment and chemicals, so it’s important that they follow safety protocols. Body shop managers should also be able to handle customer complaints and resolve them quickly and efficiently. They should also have excellent communication skills and know how to effectively communicate with their staff and customers.

6. Stay up to date on changes in technology and new developments in the industry

Technology is constantly changing, and the automotive industry is no exception. New developments in materials and processes can make repairs easier or improve a body shop’s workflow. Keeping up with these changes can help you provide better service to your customers and keep your business competitive.

You may also need to stay updated on new laws and regulations that affect your business. For example, some states require body shops to be certified by an independent agency before they can operate.

7. Join professional organizations such as the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)

The SCRS is a professional organization that provides training and certification for collision repair professionals. It also offers members access to resources such as insurance guides, legal information and marketing materials. The SCRS can help you find employment opportunities and develop your skills through educational programs.

The National Automotive Service Alliance (NASA) is another professional organization that represents automotive service providers in the United States. NASA has more than 1,000 member facilities and provides its members with networking opportunities, legislative updates and continuing education courses.


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