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Motor Body Staff

Panel Beaters and Automotive Refinishers
Includes Intermediate Supervisors and Site Management. 

Wage and Salary rates updated May 1, 2019

Please note: as Automotive Employment NZ Ltd has attempted to be as accurate as possible and to provide guidelines for the most popular sectors of the New Zealand motor industry but take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. Any hiring decision should be based on a range of knowledge from a variety of sources.

For those who will be reading this online at a later date and have not received our newsletter via email, please also check the date the last salary review was completed as salary rates obviously change over a period of time. It is possible our opinion will differ from other independent surveys however the information is based on actual hires occurring through Automotive Employment NZ Ltd. All rates assume experience in specific fields of expertise and where applicable the relevant industry qualifications.

Employees should note that while these rates may provide a guide, to gain an accurate indication of rates you may need to consider how your skills and experience compare to others in the workplace. Your work performance, the stability of overall employment, knowledge of the product, development of your skills and or qualifications, personal grooming, communication skills and the length of service you have extended to your current employer may all impact on potential earnings. These aspects of your employment should also be weighed against the economic conditions prevailing in the location you work or intend to move to.

Offshore applicants should note rates are quoted in NZ dollars.


Automotive Refinisher, Car Painter  
Median $31 per hour

Qualified automotive refinishers are currently paid between $25 and $35 per hour with good quality automotive refinishers still hard to locate. The extreme end is $38 per hour but is uncommonly secured.


Panel Beaters 
Median $32 per hour

Qualified Panel Beaters are currently paid between $26 and $38 per hour.

High-end skills are hard to locate as larger shops move towards specialist accreditation or Authorised repairer status. Rates tend to be higher in main centres but we are increasingly finding significant repair operations in smaller cities that are competing with high-end skills. Job applicants should note employers take particular notice of employment tenure and exposure to high-end technology when hiring. The extreme end is $40 per hour but is uncommonly secured.

Paint Preparation

Paint preppers with good skills are currently being paid around $22 to $28 per hour.


Colour Matching

$27 to $33 plus per hour is the norm for skills in this area, we accept there are variances in income for this role which usually reflect either location or the depth of skill held by colour matches.


Paint and Panel Shop Managers

$80,000 to $120,000 dependent on the size of the operation. It is entirely possible larger operations could remunerate in advance of this but such positions are rare to emerge.