Collision Repair Technician Kaihangarau Tinana Waka

Collision repair technicians repair and replace damaged body parts of cars and other vehicles.

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Collision repair technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • talk to customers about vehicle repairs, and estimate costs
  • remove and replace parts to access repairs, or to allow for painting
  • align and reshape damaged panels and frames
  • carry out structural repairs using a chassis machine and 3D measuring equipment
  • replace sections of vehicles and weld in replacements following manufacturers' instructions
  • repair rust
  • sand and prepare panels and parts for spray painting
  • spray paint panels.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for collision repair technicians includes:

  • experience with, and passion for, vehicles
  • spray painting
  • welding
  • work in an automotive industry trade such as automotive engineering
  • car grooming
  • metal fabrication or car restoration
  • sheet metal work.

Personal Qualities

Collision repair technicians need to be:

  • motivated, responsible and honest
  • careful, patient and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to follow instructions and ask questions
  • able to work independently
  • good at problem solving and basic maths.


Collision repair technicians need to have:

  • knowledge of metals and vehicle parts
  • skills in repairing, fitting and preparing vehicle panels and frames
  • an understanding of mechanics
  • some knowledge of spray-painting techniques.

Collision repair technicians who run their own businesses need small business skills.


Collision repair technicians:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in paint and collision repair workshops
  • work in conditions that may be noisy and fumy, so they need to use protective equipment.

Collision Repair Technicians can earn around $21-$35 per hour.

Chances of getting a job as a Collision Repair Technician are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for collision repair technicians varies depending on qualifications and experience.

  • Apprentices may start out on the training minimum wage, the minimum wage, or a little more.
  • After one to five years they usually earn up to $25 an hour.
  • Collision repair technicians with over five years' experience can earn between $25 and $35 an hour, and may receive other benefits.
  • Very experienced collision repair technicians or those running their own business may earn more than this, but for those who are self-employed, income depends on the success of their business.

Source: Collision Repair Association, 2017.

Collision repair technicians may progress to set up their own business, or become assessors, tutors, or estimators.

Some collision repair technicians specialise in a particular aspect of the job, such as body work or painting.

Years Of Training

3-4 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a collision repair technician. However, a New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair may be useful.

To become a qualified collision repair technician you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain one or both of:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing (Level 3)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair – Non-Structural Repair (Level 4).

MITO oversees collision repair technician apprenticeships.

Collision Repair Technician