What employers are looking for: Automotive Trades


Who doesn’t like cars? After reading Bo’s story on the previous page, we thought there might be a few readers interested in following a similar career path.

So, we looked through some actual advertisements for people in the fields of panel beating, spray painting, vehicle detailing and automotive general hand to see what employers are looking for. This might give you an idea of what to focus on if you are thinking of working in this area.

Panel Beater

A family run business with ‘the most current technology available’ advertised for a panel beater. The advertisement emphasises personal qualities which might provide an opportunity for someone who does not have a lot of experience:

Personal qualities that you might possess already

A. Works well in a team environment

B. Able to work with minimal supervision

C. Reliable and hardworking

D. Focused on the customer

E. A strong work ethic and pride in your work

F. A stable employment history

(Don’t let F put you off! This might not sound like your past, but if you can demonstrate A to E, stability may well be in your future –Ed)

Experience and qualifications you might need to gain for this employer:

G. Heavy vehicle smash experience

H. Car-O-Liner experience an advantage

(We found this site that explains what a Car-O-Liner is and what sort of qualifications you need to use one at: www.car-o-liner-us.com)

Experienced Panel Beater/Spray Painter

In an advertisement for another family owned accident repair business, they put more emphasis on the tasks you will be performing, but they emphasise a high level of autonomy. This suggests they are looking for someone who knows the ropes fairly well:

DUTIES: Removing and repairing damaged panels, cutting and joining structural parts using specialist equipment, grinding and sanding surfaces, realigning damaged frames using a measuring system.

Personal qualities that you might possess already: A, B and E above, plus:

I. Good communication skills

Experience and qualifications you might need to gain for this employer:

J. Qualifications as a panel beater (There are lots of courses and apprenticeships available. Look at this site run by the NSW Business Chamber www.apprenticeshipcareers.com.au or look up TAFE in your state)

Prestige Panel Beater

A prestige auto company advertised for an apprentice to work on posh cars. The advertisement lists the duties similar to the previous job, so they are looking for someone who might already have some grasp of what panel beaters do.

Personal qualities include B, D, E, F, I and…

K. High level of personal commitment and attention to detail

L. Professional presentation (just because you’re a tradie doesn’t mean you can’t be well presented, at least at the beginning of your shift!)

Vehicle Detailer and General Hand

A family owned company (can you see a pattern developing here?) with 30 years of fast, friendly quality service is looking for a detailer and general hand. Duties will include ordering cleaning materials, cleaning the workshop, maintaining and servicing equipment. Personal Qualities include A, C and E above plus…

M. Can-do attitude

N. Work under pressure at times

In another ad for a detailer/general hand (yes, family owned), they include the following tasks which are probably fairly standard in this sort of work: washing cars, applying leather treatment, applying paint protection products, moving the cars around the yard and giving customers lifts.

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