What is a Panel Beater?

Panel beaters are also called smash repairers or Auto Body Technicians. Their job is to beat out the bodywork of motor vehicles and repair vehicle bodies back to their factory state after having been damaged. Their skills include planishing, metalworking techniques, welding, use of putty fillers, and other skills. Panel beaters do accident repairs by repairing or replacing the parts of the vehicle. These parts are made from different metals including steel, alloys, different plastics, fibre glasses, and others.

Mostly, the panel beaters work on an everyday vehicle like car, vans, 4WDs like specialized areas include repairs of motorcycles, trucks, and even aircraft. Some panel beaters also work exclusively on vehicle restorations and do not repair smash work at all.

To become a panel beater one has to complete training by a trade apprenticeship. Mostly these apprenticeships are three years long, but it can be completed earlier. This course usually consists of three years with job training mixed with schooling at a trade school or TAFE. The fourth-year is usually the job training alone. Though one does not need a formal education they should have certain skills like metallurgy, welding, and painting technique’s

The job of a panel beater is to repair, strip, replace, fit and adjust body panels from damage or modification. The job entails beating the hollows or dents of a vehicle, thus this job is named “panel beaters”. Panel beaters usually work at car shops, operate as independent contractors, or manage their own workshops.


It consists of five different parts.

  • Assessment of the vehicle- panel beater will assess the damage and then consult with the vehicle owner to give the summary of the vehicle’s condition and what needs to be done.
  • Regular responsibilities- the regular duties of panel beaters are repairing body panels, testing ignition, welding, filling, even handle spray painter jobs.
  • Intricate restoration- they rebuild the entire car engine and perform complex electrical work.
  • Administrative duties- they record daily tasks and working hours.
  • Specialist duties- they usually handle cars though they also specialize in buses, motorcycles, and aircraft bodywork.

According to the government job outlook website panel beaters is projected to stay the same as the last 5 years. And new job turnover from panel beaters has created approx 16,000 jobs from 2018 to 2023. There are likely to be around 8000-10000 job openings over 5 years or 1500 vacancies per year. Though there has been a shortage of panel beaters for a number of years and recruiters find it tough to recruit panel beaters. A panel bearer handles vehicle restorations, does cosmetic work, performs customization work, specializes in vehicle types, and completes administrative work.  Our panel beaters and service team can assist you with the claims process. We have 26 convenient locations across Melbourne and regional Victoria – we can even come to you to arrange a panel beating quote. Our work also comes guaranteed for life, because nobody should back panel beaters who won’t back themselves.