Collision Repair Estimator Baltimore MD
Collision Repair Estimator
From Automotive Retailing Today...
A collision repair estimator appraises vehicle damage to determine the cost of repair for insurance claim settlements. This includes inspecting and testing automobiles by using mechanical testing devices, questioning customers about the vehicle's performance or by visual inspection of the vehicle. Estimators also prepare itemized work orders, listing the cost of parts and labor.
As with all positions within dealerships, body shop estimators are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards.
The duties of a collision repair estimator include:
- Checking affected vehicles to determine the amount of structural, body, mechanical or interior damage.
- Calculating cost of labor and parts to fix or replace each affected item and estimate the salvage value of the total vehicle loss.
- Analyzing repair cost estimates and communicating with the collision repair manager or foreman. Arranging a second appraisal if necessary.
- Reviewing cost effectiveness of repair versus replacement of parts.
- Determining fees associated with repainting, converting to special purposes or customizing undamaged vehicles.
- Filling out insurance claim forms to indicate repair or replacement cost estimates and recommendations.
- Determining feasibility of repair versus pre-accident market value payment.
A career as a collision repair estimator requires experience in body repair. An estimator needs to know how to repair vehicles in order to identify and estimate damage. Technical skills are essential. Some states require auto damage appraisers to be licensed.
Basic computer skills are an important qualification for many auto damage appraiser positions and competency in CCC, Pathways, Mitchell, ADP and Microsoft Office is useful.
An employee working in the collision repair shop must possess the ability to give strong attention to detail, as well as have an interest in automotive repair and technology.
People working within the automotive industry often have to work extended hours, evenings and weekends to achieve their goals.
Bachelor's degree or technical school certification is recommended.
A background in business and automotive classes is useful.
This position can advance to a collision repair manager position.
The average annual earnings of collision repair estimators are approximately $52,000 to $71,000. Earnings vary depending on experience, and the dealer's geographic location and size.
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Benefits vary by employer, but most dealerships offer on site training, health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefit options. Talk with the specific dealer human resource manager about benefit packages.
Working in the automotive industry can be physically demanding. Certain positions require employees to spend most of their workday on their feet and to carry heavy and awkwardly sized items. A reasonable level of physical fitness and flexibility is beneficial.
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