Auto Technician’s Job vs Auto Body Repair Technician’s Job: What’s the Difference?

For many people, there is no difference between an automotive technician and an automotive body technician. Nothing further from the truth. Although both careers share a base set of skills, they have more differences than you may think.

The objective of this article is assisting people undecided about which of these automotive careers would be their best option based on their vocation. To achieve that goal, we will begin by listing the set of skills common to both professions. and then what differentiates one from the other.

Ready to discover how good is your knowledge regarding automotive technician and auto body technician careers?

What Are the Similarities Between Auto Technician’S Job and Automotive Body Technician

Let’s start by reviewing the common ground between both careers:

  • They both belong to the automotive repair industry as a whole
  • Both professionals require adequate hand tools skills
  • Both technicians need to understand how to handle customer service
  • Repairing abilities are a ‘must-have’ for both technicians
  • Ability to work with a variety of tools and equipment is also a must
  • Both professionals need proficiency in reading schematics and circuit diagrams

As you can see both, automotive technicians as well as automotive body technicians, have several skills in common. However, if you analyze it, these skills are needed by almost any profession in the repairing industry.

Differences Between Automotive Technician and Auto Body Repair Technician Jobs

Although both careers are part of the same industry, there are several aspects that distinguish them from each other. 

AutoMOTIVE Technician 

Automotive Body Technician

Only has to deal with the vehicle owner  Aside from dealing with the vehicle owner, usually has to deal with insurance company estimator and even other vehicle owners (in case of collision) 
Their training focuses on diagnosing problems, locating related components and them replace them as necessary  Although auto body repair technicians also replace components, such as bumpers and windshields, they specialize more in “repairing” than “replacing” vehicle parts 
They are trained to understand how vehicle systems work  They are trained to understand the properties of modern body materials such as plastics, aluminum, carbon fiber, and more 
Auto technicians are trained to replace faulty components  Auto body technicians are well versed in different methods to repair dents in the vehicle surface 
They master the skill of detecting faulty components in the vehicle  They master the art of matching the original factory paint color when painting or repainting body panels 
Automotive technicians are trained to check tolerances on brakes rotors, bearings, and other key components but only to ensure they are within specifications  Auto body technicians manage strict tolerances when repairing body frames to meet OEM and safety standards 
They primarily interact with vehicle moving parts and components  They mainly interact with vehicle aesthetics (body and paint) 
The finish (aesthetics) of their work is not as important as the automotive body technicians’  The finish of their job is one of the most important factors, thus they usually require more time to complete tasks to ensure the expected level of quality 
Automotive technicians main areas of specialization are diesel engines, diagnostics, automatic transmissions, electric vehicles, petrol engines, front end and rear end components, electrical systems, and more  Auto body technicians commonly specialize in areas such as conventional body repair techniques, paintless dent removal methods, painting, chassis repair, glass replacement, and car detailing 

Arguably the key differences between both careers could be summarized as follows:

  • Automotive technicians concentrate on diagnosing mechanical, electrical, and electronic issues on the vehicle. Their training is oriented toward replacing faulty components found during the diagnostic process.
  • Automotive body technicians, on the other hand, concentrate on determining how to restore the chassis and body panels to its original (factory) condition using a variety of specialized methods. They can also replace damaged body components beyond repair, but their first option is restoring them whenever possible.

Another common, although less technical distinction, is that automotive technicians focus on moving parts while auto body technicians focus on non-moving vehicle parts (chassis, body panels, glass, etc).

Wrapping Up 

All in all, if your vocation is toward a technical-oriented career then choosing the automotive technician path is probably your best option. However, if you enjoy drawing, sculpting, or any other form of plastic arts, then a more abstract career as an auto body technician would be your best fit.