Coachbuilders execute work on vehicle bodies and coaches with skills to form body parts from panels, manufacture and assemble the frames and parts for vehicles.
Coachbuilders typically do the following:
- cut, shape, glaze and spray-paint metal parts
- build vehicle frames
- assemble and join parts to the frame, such as floor, roof and side panels
- install electrical wiring
- fit additional parts to vehicle bodies, such as hydraulic lifts and refrigeration equipment
- repair, replace and modify frames and parts
- install or repair upholstery.
The following job titles also refer to coachbuilder:
vehicle panel beater
vintage vehicle coachbuilder
automotive panel beater
commercial vehicle coachbuilder
vintage vehicle-body builder
heavy vehicle coachbuilder
automobile panel beater
No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a coachbuilder.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Coachbuilder is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Coachbuilder career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to coachbuilder.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of coachbuilder. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of coachbuilder with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of coachbuilder.
- Vehicle electrical systems: Know vehicle electrical systems, including components such as the battery, starter, and alternator. The battery provides energy to the starter. The alternator provides the battery the energy it requires to power the vehicle. Understand the interplay of these components to resolve malfunctions.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of coachbuilder.
- Prepare vehicle trim: Prepare vehicle trim work in accordance with technical drawings and preliminary sketches.
- Maintain vehicle records: Maintain vehicle records by accurately recording service operations and repairs.
- Carry out chassis modifications: Perform chassis conversions and fitments on elements of stocks of chassis by modifying its length and weight distribution. Meet specific requirements and quality standards by consulting and communicating with engineers and technical personnel.
- Use welding equipment: Operate welding equipment in a safe manner; use welding techniques such as shielded metal arc welding or flux-cored arc welding.
- Carry out measurements of parts: Operate measurement instruments to measure parts of manufactured objects. Take into consideration specifications of manufacturers to perform the measuring.
- Ensure safety of mobile electrical systems: Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution independently. Measure and power up an installation.
- Fit mechanised equipment: Fit mechanical equipment such as hoists and winches to various types of car chassis.
- Install vehicle accessories: Install vehicle accessories such as door handles, hinges and locks.
- Maintain work area cleanliness: Keep the working area and equipment clean and orderly.
- Purchase car materials: Acquire and order car parts and accessories to rebuild and fabricate vehicle bodies and coaches.
- Assemble final product: Install and mechanically adjust all components and subsystems, according to factory regulations and legal standards.
- Install transport vehicle interior components: Use hand and power tools to install interior components of boats, aircrafts and railway cars such as seats, armrests, floor coverings, lining, storage compartments or lavatories.
- Manufacture framework sections: Technically able to form framework sections out of wood, metal, fibreglass and other materials.
- Install automotive electrical equipment: Place electrical circuits and wiring in vehicles such as lighting and voltage gauges. These distribute and regulate electrical power and supply it to meters and other devices in the car.
- Install car electronics: Place electrically operated accessories in vehicles such as batteries which power heating systems, radios and anti-theft systems.
- Use shaping machinery: Use various types of welding and cutting tools to shape and customize surfaces and materials.
- Design chassis: Devise and manufacture a series of custom chassis using design software. Apply compliance with own plans, creations and blueprints.
- Carry out repairs and maintenance of vehicle bodies: Execute repair and maintenance tasks to damaged vehicle bodies; follow customers’ individual requests and instructions.
- Ensure quality assurance standards for vehicles: Implement and monitor the maintenance, repair and/or recondition of vehicles ensuring all quality assurance standards are met.
- Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
- Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
- Perform metal work: Work with metal and iron materials in order to assemble individual pieces or structures.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of coachbuilder. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Electrical wiring plans: Pictorial representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the components of the circuit as simplified shapes, and the power and signal connections between the devices. It gives information about the relative position and arrangement of devices and terminals on the devices, to help in building or servicing the device. A wiring diagram is often used to troubleshoot problems and to make sure that all the connections have been made and that everything is present.
- Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of coachbuilder. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Carry out parts purchasing: Order specific parts required for maintenance and repair of a wide variety of vehicles.
- Perform multiple tasks at the same time: Execute multiple tasks at the same time, being aware of key priorities.
- Provide customized upholstery: Install custom upholstery, according to the customer’s individual requests and preferences.
- Drive vehicles: Be able to drive vehicles; have the approapriate type of driving license according to the type of motor vehicle used.
- Maintain equipment: Regularly inspect and perform all required activities to maintain the equipment in functional order prior or after its use.
- Perform technical tasks with great care: Avoiding possible risks and unwanted outcomes by watching carefully over all parts of a machine, device or vehicle and executing processes of production, maintenance or repair with great care.
- Sew pieces of fabric: Operate basic or specialised sewing machines whether domestic or industrial ones, sewing pieces of fabric, vinyl or leather in order to manufacture or repair wearing apparels, making sure the threads are selected according to specifications.
- Organise parts storage: Store parts of vehicles and trucks, including parts for large trucks or heavy equipment, in proper conditions.
ISCO group and title
7231 – Motor vehicle mechanics and repairers
- Coachbuilder – ESCO
- Coachbuilder/Trimmer – How to enter the job – careers.gov.nz
- Featured image: By Ifixhybrid – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0