Career information

  • Automotive Technician
  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Automotive Refinisher
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Automotive Technician

What do they do?

Automotive technicians service and repair vehicles and their parts and systems. For many automotive technicians, the work involves checking faults, working on engines, performing warrant of fitness checks, vehicle upgrades and dealing with customers.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required. Each day can be quite different, servicing and repairing light or heavy vehicles and their components.

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Collision Repair Technician

What do they do?

Collision repair technicians (panel beaters) repair and replace damaged body parts of cars and other vehicles. It’s a hands-on job working with welders, 3D measuring equipment, and all makes and models of vehicles to repair or rebuild as needed.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day. Each day can be quite different; talking to customers about vehicle repairs, aligning and reshaping damaged panels and frames and preparing them for spray painting.

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Automotive Refinisher

What do they do?

Automotive refinishers (spray painters) prepare vehicle surfaces, match and mix colours, and apply paint to vehicles.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day. Working in collision repair workshops, an automotive refinisher will discuss vehicle-painting options with customers or managers, sand vehicles to prepare for painting, select, mix and apply paint.

Sound like you?

• Maths or Accounting or Economics

• Sciences or Workshop Technologies

• Computing/ICT/Information Management.

• Good eye for detail

• Good literacy and numeracy

• Good initiative/’can do’ attitude

• Good work habits/time management

• Be able to concentrate for long periods.

• Making or fixing things

• Working with machinery and tools

• Experience with, and passion for, vehicles.

• Inside (workshop or garage)

• One place every day.


Unit standards

Ideally NCEA Level 2 in:

• Maths

• Science (physics)

• Technology (metal work)

• English

Gateway programme available


• Automotive Technician – light vehicles (cars and motorbikes)

• Automotive Technician – heavy vehicles (trucks, tractors and diggers etc.)

• Automotive Collision Repair Technician

• Automotive Refinisher

Higher learning

• Service Manager

Higher learning

• Business Manager

• Business Owner

How much could I earn?

  • 3 – 5 years experience

    $54k- $81k