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How to Become an Auto Body Shop Manager

Feb 11, 2022 ·

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Restoring and reshaping vehicles is the main job of collision repair technicians. Also known as automotive body repair technicians, these professionals provide the crucial service of getting damaged vehicles back up and running.

A collision repair technician with experience in the industry might consider advancing to the role of auto body shop manager, where they can help ensure a dealership or shop is running smoothly.

Body shop managers play an important part in running repair shops and providing support to the collision repair technicians who work there. Keep reading to find out how to build toward a role as a body shop manager.

Auto Body Shop Manager Job Description

There are a lot of variables that come with working in an automotive repair or body shop. This means that the daily job duties of a shop manager can vary as well.

Day-to-day responsibilities might include:

  • Ensuring the department is running as efficiently as possible
  • Implementing marketing strategies to drive business
  • Checking the quality of completed repairs
  • Handling customer complaints or questions
  • Forecasting goals and objectives for the department
  • Handling accounting duties
  • Overseeing shop maintenance
  • Checking equipment for quality
  • Managing and coaching collision repair technicians
  • Documenting work performed in the shop
  • Training new employees
  • Interviewing potential employees

A person in the role of body shop manager must have strong communication skills, as well as the capability of leading a team and managing employees. They also should have attention to detail and a background in collision repair, so they’re able to thoroughly check completed repair jobs.

Auto Body Shop Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Those interested in a role as an auto body shop manager will likely start in an entry-level role as a collision repair technician. This will help them to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be able to effectively manage a shop and other technicians.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a great resource that can help you get an idea of what to expect when it comes to median salary in the field. While there is no specific data for body shop managers, the BLS does have information for automotive body and related repairers.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for automotive body and related repairers in the United States was $47,670 in May 2022.28 This means half of collision repair technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Total collision repair technician employment is expected to be 156,800 by 2031.49 There’s a demand for skilled trade professionals in a range of fields, including automotive body repair. These technicians help ensure vehicles are restored and back on the roads.

How to Become an Auto Body Shop Manager

Before pursuing a managerial role in any industry, it helps to have hands-on experience and an education that can be applied to the position.

After graduating from high school or receiving a GED, those interested in the world of collision repair can consider attending a trade school to get training.

Universal Technical Institute’s Collision Repair & Refinish Technology (CRRT) program teaches students to analyze, repair and refinish collision-damaged vehicles. In the program’s courses, students learn how to repair structural and nonstructural damage and prepare cost estimates, among other important skills.

The program was developed in conjunction with I-CAR, a provider of collision repair training standards defined by the industry. Graduates of UTI’s CRRT program receive I-CAR certificates that include:

  • Non-Structural Technician Level 1
  • Steel Structural Technician Level 1
  • Aluminum Structural Technician Level 1
  • Estimating Level 1
  • Refinish Technician Level 2

These certifications can make a difference when applying for jobs in the industry.1 Eventually, after gaining experience in entry-level positions, those who are interested can continue to work toward becoming an auto body shop manager.

Collision Repair Training at UTI

If a career managing an auto body shop or repair department at a dealership sounds like it would be a good fit, you can take the first step and gain a foundational education in the Collision Repair & Refinish Technology program at UTI.

In just 51 to 54 weeks, students can graduate ready for entry-level careers in the industry.2 Request more information about the program today.

UTI Campuses That Offer Collision Repair Training

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

28) UTI’s Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology (CRRT) Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as collision repair technicians. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Automotive Body and Related Repairers as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a collision repair technician, such as appraiser, estimator and inspector. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Automotive Body and Related Repairers (49-3021) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $30,400 to $34,240 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled collision repair technicians in North Carolina is $22.35 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages, Automotive Body and Related Repairers). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $18.80 and $14.95, respectively.

49) The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Automotive Body and Related Repairers will be 156,800 by 2031. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2021 and projected 2031, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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