Career Spotlight: Truck Body Specialist
Within the automotive industry there are a variety of areas that auto mechanics can specialize in. One such area is as a Truck Body Specialist. As the name implies, Truck Body Specialists work in a position that is similar in nature to an auto body specialist, except Truck Body Specialists are specialized in maintaining truck bodies and large truck equipment. This particular area is a great way for an individual who is working in the automotive industry to further specialize their skill set to potentially put themselves in greater demand.
While many truck body specialists worked without formal training in the past, with the growing specialization within the trades industry, certification is becoming increasingly important. Many students begin the foundation of their education of the automotive industry in high school or CEGEP and then build on this knowledge with post-secondary education. There are many qualities that make a good automotive specialist, some of which include customer-service skills, technical skills and dexterity. The field also offers the flexibility of either working for another business through working for a repair shop or large dealership or going the entrepreneurial route and going into business for yourself. To use the growth of the automotive industry in the US and auto body technicians as an example, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 61 percent worked in automotive repair shops, 16 percent worked for automobile dealers, and another 16 percent were self-employed. With the growing demand for trades training, this growth has also been reflected in the automotive field.
Work Environment and Responsibilities
The areas of expertise for a Truck Body Specialist can include custom painting, fabrication, fiberglass repair and collision repair. Repairers sometimes work in awkward and cramped positions, and the work can be physically demanding. Most repairers work full time, with overtime and weekend hours being very common. However, given the nature of truck bodies, many service technicians travel to worksites to make repairs and often drive long distances. Typically, more experienced service technicians specialize in field service and drive trucks that are specially equipped with replacement parts and tools. They also spend much of their times outdoors, which is a detail to consider given the climate of whichever province you will work in.
Overall, a career as a Truck Body Specialist is a good opportunity for anyone interested in the trades. With an abundance of employers seeking qualified professionals in this occupation, studying the trades in BC is a great way to learn skills that can only become further specialized in time.