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Student sprays refinisher on the bumper of a car.

Auto Body Technician Apprentice

Ongoing

Credential: Apprenticeship
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Learn to repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures, body parts, interior and exterior finishes. Specialize as a prepper, repairer, refinisher or technician.

$19-$35

Average hourly wage

4

Required periods of training

Next information session

All information sessions

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $805.94
Year 2: $805.94
Year 3: $919.93
Year 4: $919.93


*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Requirements

The program requirements are set by Apprenticeship and Industry Training.  

When can you apply?

  • Registration for apprenticeship intakes open on May 15, 2019

Program Details

Program description

If you are creative and like being hands on while performing precise work, you will enjoy working in the auto body trade. As an auto body technician, you will repair and replace damaged motor vehicle structures, body parts as well as interior and exterior finishes. In Alberta, auto body journeypersons may specialize as auto body preppers, repairers, refinishers or technicians.

  • Auto body preppers are responsible for the restoration of anti-corrosion treatments, substrate identification, surface preparation, undercoat product mixing and application.
  • Auto body refinishers do damage appraisals, surface preparation, minor damage repairs, masking, accurate colour matching, priming and top coating. Refinishers may also do restoration of anti-corrosion treatments, substrate identification, product mixing and application.
  • Auto body refinishers do damage appraisals, surface preparation, minor damage repairs, masking, accurate colour matching, priming and top coating. Refinishers may also do restoration of anti-corrosion treatments, substrate identification, product mixing and application.
  • Auto body repairers do damage appraisals, frame and unibody structural repairs, body sheet metal work, plastic repairs, component replacement and alignment.
  • Auto body technicians are trained to do all tasks in the auto body trade. They may specialize in damage appraisals, frame straightening, surface preparation, sheet metal work and refinishing.


This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.

Your career

Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or gain experience with our Auto Body Preparation Certificate of Achievement.

In the auto body trade, you will be employed by auto body repair shops, automobile and truck dealerships, custom shops and sometimes companies with vehicle fleets. You will work indoors in a noisy, sometimes dusty, environment with a variety of tools and safety requirements.

As a journeyperson, you will likely make a wage between $19 - $35 and hour depending on your employer.

After becoming a journeyperson, you may advance to supervisory positions, take on new apprentices or become automotive damage appraisers for insurance companies. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.

Student success

Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the auto body trade:

  • Good customer service and communication skills
  • Creativity, patience and an eye for detail
  • The strength and stamina required to handle heavy tools and parts
  • Manual dexterity
  • Good colour vision
  • The willingness to keep learning as manufacturers make changes in plastics, electronics, metals, supplemental restraints and paints
  • A commitment to safe work habits

Credentials

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Auto body technicians and auto body refinishers are Red Seal Endorsed trades –a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

Admission and Completion

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance Requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.


Minimum requirements
Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 10-2
  • Math 10-3
  • Science 10

OR

A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests

OR

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam


Recommended Path
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses

How to register

Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.

After you register

Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Next steps >

Courses

Depending on the specialization, apprentices will spend two to four periods of technical training and work experience before becoming a journeyperson. See below for an outline of each period.

Common to all 

Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice
Apply as an apprentice with AIT and your employer
Sign contract and receive record book
Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts

Auto Body Prepper

Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend first period of technical trainingfor 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete second period of on-the-job training (1800 hours)
Become a Journeyperson 

Auto Body Repairer

Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend first period of technical training for 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete second period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend second period of technical training for 7 weeks at SAIT
Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete third period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend third period of technical training for 7 weeks at SAIT
Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam
Become a Journeyperson 

Auto Body Refinisher

Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend first period pf technical training for 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete second period of on-the-job training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend second period of technical training for 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam 
Become a Journeyperson 
Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam

Autobody Technician 

Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend first period of technical trainingfor 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete second period of on-the-job training (1600 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend second period of technical training for 6 weeks at SAIT
Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete third period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend third period of technical training for 7 weeks at SAIT
Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete fourth period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend fourth period of technical training for 7 weeks at SAIT
Pass fourth period Trade Qualification Exam
Become a Journeyperson 
Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam

Technical Training Performance 

To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures

Costs

Domestic tuition and fees*

Period Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Lab & Material 2020/21 total
1 $630.00 $177.00 $53.94 $72 $805.94
2 $630.00 $177.00 $53.94 $72 $805.94
3 $735.00 $177.00 $62.93 $72 $919.93
4 $735.00 $177.00 $62.93 $72 $919.93

SAIT Fees

Student support fee: $25.00 
Student technology fee: $25.00

Books and supplies*

  • Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
  • It is recommended that you do not purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Wellness centre

Membership to the SAIT Wellness centre - including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetteball courts and eight room is available to apprentices at a discounted rate.

Financial planning tool

Our apprenticeship cost calculator can help you make a financial plan by identifying and adding up your expected expenses while attending SAIT — find out exactly how much money you need to save, seek or borrow to get you through your studies.

Contact

School of Transportation
403.210.4150
transportation.info@sait.ca

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services
1.800.248.4823
tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Suite 200 Willow Park Centre  
10325 Bonaventure DR. SE 
Calgary, AB 

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