Vehicle Body Builder

Vehicle body builders design and build the chassis and body of vehicles such as trucks, trailers, coaches, caravans, panel vans, special police vehicles, and buses.

They work from plans, drawings and specifications. Materials are measured, sawn or cut to size, fitted and welded together. The floor of the bodywork is then manufactured and bolted onto the chassis. Metal beams are cut, welded together and reinforced to form a sturdy frame for the body.

The panels of the bodywork are made from various sizes and thicknesses of sheet metal panels which are welded or riveted together onto the framework. Different materials are used for the interior panels to provide insulation or soundproofing where necessary. The vehicle body is then cleaned and painted and windows are installed and fitted. Finally, the electrical fittings and other trimmings are installed.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • certain amount of mechanical ability
  • able to read plans and interpret specifications such as assembling and dismantling engines and other mechanical devices
  • good at handling tools
  • good eye-hand coordination
  • physically strong and healthy with stamina 
  • Enjoy practical and manual activities 
  • An eye for detail
  • Interested in design and fabrication using metals and other products


  • vehicle manufacturers
  • municipalities
  • Transnet
  • private panel-beating concerns
  • government undertakings
  • explosives and allied industries
  • self-employment, with enough experience, initiative and capital, can start own business

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a vehicle building workshop
  • make an appointment to speak to a vehicle body builder about this type of career
  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to and a Student Advisor will call you back.

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