Coachbuilder/​Trimmer
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
12d ago

Pay for coachbuilders / trimmers varies depending on experience and employer.

  • They may start on minimum wage or a little more.
  • With 2-3 years experience they can earn between $18 and $22.
  • Very experienced coachbuilders / trimmers, or those running their own business, may earn more than this.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Coachbuilders / trimmers may do some or all of the following :

  • cut, shape, glaze and spray-paint metal parts
  • build vehicle frames
  • assemble and join parts to the frame such as the floor, roof and side panels
  • install electrical wiring
  • fit additional parts, such as hydraulic lifts and refrigeration equipment, to vehicle bodies
  • repair, replace and modify the frame or parts.
  • install or repair upholstery.
  • Coachbuilders / trimmers working on motor homes may also install plumbing, pressure-water systems, waste-water systems and gas in the vehicle.

    Skills and knowledge

    Coachbuilders need to have :

  • knowledge of vehicle building materials and equipment
  • welding and collision repair skills, including the ability to cut and shape metal
  • skill in interpreting plans and sketches
  • knowledge of NZ Transport Agency regulations
  • knowledge of safe working practices.
  • Vehicle trimmers need to have :

  • sewing and pattern making skills
  • knowledge of different fabrics used in upholstery work.
  • Working conditions

    Coachbuilders / trimmers :

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in factories or workshops.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a qualified coachbuilder you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a Level 4 National Certificate in Coachbuilding.

    To become a qualified vehicle trimmer you need to gain a Level 4 National Certificate in Motor Trimming. Both qualifications are available through MITO.

    Entry skills course useful

    Some employers prefer their apprentices to have completed a Level 2 National Certificate in Motor Industry (Entry Skills) prior to starting an apprenticeship.

    Secondary education

    At least three years of secondary education is preferred. Useful subjects include English, maths and workshop technology.

    Personal requirements

    Coachbuilders / trimmers need to be :

  • efficient and practical
  • accurate, with an eye for detail.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for coachbuilders / trimmers includes :

  • fabrication work such as welding and working with sheet metal
  • assembling vehicles
  • work as a panelbeater.
  • Upholstering experience is useful for those wanting to work as a vehicle trimmer.

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