As a Vehicle Body Maintenance technician in the Air Force you will work on a variety of vehicle bodies, including light trucks, buses and automobiles. You may occasionally be utilized to assist on assignment with other vehicles such as bodywork on tanks or aircraft, but you mostly will work on wheeled vehicles that are present in the typical Air Force motor pool.
You will work on repair of body panels, windows, radiators, fenders and other vehicle body parts. You will use gas and electric arc welders, as well as a variety of other tools to work on Air Force vehicle bodywork and repair. You will weld, braise and alter body shape to repair vehicle crash and other body physical injuries. You will use various techniques to paint and prime automobiles and other vehicles.
This is an Air Force job that has career apprenticeship opportunities, as well as available college credit through the Air Force Community College. You can get college and apprenticeship credit in this job field while on active duty, and while performing your duty in the Air Force. Training for this job specialty begins with Air Force Basic Training for nine weeks, and then you will advance to technical School.
You will attend technical training at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, in Maryland. While there you will receive training in basic automotive theory, with an emphasis on body vehicle construction, framework, and body panel theory. You will learn about different methods of repair including fiberglass, fabrication, and metalwork construction. You will learn to prime, surface prep, and ready a project for painting, and the different methods to painting and restoration of body items. You will be taught how to arc weld, as well as gas weld and braze. Upon completion of training you will be assigned to a larger initial duty station where you can continue your training and apprenticeship with older and more experienced Air Force professionals in your field.
As you gain experience and rise in rank, you will be responsible to supervise and train other personnel in your rating. You can qualify for a vehicle maintenance 2 year AA degree while serving in this job specialty, and eventually you will be responsible for an entire bodywork shop or facility. After the Air Force you will be qualified for a number of civilian positions in the automotive and specialty car restoration and body shop fields.