Top Gun PDR Training Article - Do you Have What it Takes to Become a Paintless Dent Repair Technician PDF Print E-mail

                    How can I know if I can learn Paintless Dent Repair?

                              by Marty Runik    TOPGUNPDRTRAINING.COM

top gun paintless dent repair trainingIn this article we will discuss what it takes to learn the art of Paintless Dent Repair (PDR). You must do your homework about this point, because most information put out about learning PDR is written by PDR training schools. Most schools will tell you that almost anyone can learn PDR. This is just not true. Almost all training schools are in business to make money only, with no thought given to the student being a good candidate to learn this art. We will discuss what it takes to learn this art well enough to do retail quality PDR as opposed to wholesale quality. Retail quality means being able to take out dents to an undetectable level, while wholesale quality generally means making it acceptable at a car dealer lot to people that didn’t know the dent was there before it was repaired, or aren’t looking very closely. Of course learning this art to retail standards of quality is harder than learning it to wholesale standards, but the rewards are much greater. There are a number of requirements, so lets start with the most important.

DRIVE.  By far the most important requirement is DRIVE. You must be self motivated and goal oriented to learn this art. Learning PDR requires anywhere between 2 and 6 months of consistent practice (depending on where you train and natural ability) to get to the point where you can make money on customer cars.  The time it takes you will depend on a number of things, but the people that learn the quickest are almost always the ones that make learning PDR the most important thing in their life while they are learning. If you’re the type of person that will set a goal and let nothing get in your way, you will have a much easier time learning PDR. Practicing on your own at home after training can get tiresome after a while, and you need to keep the big picture in front of you to so you don’t get discouraged when things may get temporarily tougher.

Good eyesight.  Correctable vision of at least 20/20 with any astigmatism corrected is needed to learn PDR effectively. Glasses or contacts are fine to correct most problems. PDR is a VERY visual art and good eyesight, especially close up is a must. Many people need reading glasses or occupational lenses to learn PDR. If you have any eye damage or moderate to severe eye problems you should get an exam from an ophthalmologist, not just an optometrist. If you have ever had an eye or brain injury you need to get a thorough exam before learning PDR.

One of the many reasons Paintless Dent Removal can take so long to learn is that the technicians eyes may have slight problems that can interfere with the visual cues they need to see. Sometimes, just having vision correctable to 20 / 20 is not good enough. Many people have eye problems such as astigmatism, UV damage, glaucoma (especially closed angle glaucoma) etc, and don't even know it. Some of these problems can be worked around or corrected with glasses, contacts, or medication. Some problems can also be worked with by different reflection sources and training methods. However some problems can not be corrected to an acceptable level to learn PDR.

And by the way, an eye exam from Wal Mart for example is not good enough to spot some problems that could hinder you from learning PDR. People that try and learn PDR with even minor eye problems can be setting themselves up for a LOT of discouragement while learning. Never attempt to learn PDR without a quality eye exam before training with anyone.

PATIENCE.  Patience is a definite plus when learning this art. There will be times during practice when you will feel like throwing your dent tools at any thing that moves! A patient person will ride out these temporary set backs and advance quickly. Paintless Dent Repair requires patience and the ability to focus on small changes seen while working the dent. This skill requires practice of specific exercises, and repairing many types of dents and creases to master. Patience is also needed to help stick to the specific practice exercises and schedule set up by the instructor. 

Adaptability. One of the reasons PDR is hard to learn is because so many of the basic principles are exactly the opposite of anything else you have ever learned. People that are very adaptable and open can usually adjust to this new way of doing things fairly quickly. Those that find it difficult to change will generally have a tougher time while learning.

Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. This means the ability to make very small and accurate movements with your hands and fingers. PDR demands accuracy from those who want to do retail quality work. If you are the kind of person that is good “roughing it out” but can’t get your hands to do detailed work very well, PDR may not be a good career choice for you. If you have ever built models, or do other detailed work, you probably already have the necessary degree of motor skills. And of course if you don’t enjoy working with your hands, PDR is probably not for you.

A perfectionist personality is also very helpful. If you are the type of person who lives by the motto "Close enough is good enough" then you are probably only suited for wholesale PDR at best. Retail PDR is better suited to techs that have a “if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well” attitude.

Detail oriented. A detail oriented person usually does well at PDR. In fact, the more detailed you are, the quicker you will learn PDR. This type of person will pay attention to small details while training such as seeing small changes in a reflection or dent that will accelerate their learning curve.

Physical Limitations. If you have back or joint problems, PDR may not be a good career choice for you. PDR requires a moderate amount of flexibility and joint health. This is because you are frequently bending, stretching, or squatting to repair a dent. Bad back problems can be a real issue when doing PDR. Good upper body strength will also make it easier while learning PDR. You should also be in good overall health to be an effective tech.

Many training schools are advertising they will teach PDR to people that have had a work place or other injury and have money from the state to learn a new skill. This is almost never a good idea, as most injuries that are bad enough to side line you from most jobs will be enough to prevent you from doing PDR in any practical way.

We hope we have given you a good basic understanding of what type of person is best suited to learn PDR. Stay tuned to this site for more free articles about “How to find a good PDR school” and “How to know if you can make money in PDR in your area.” If you have any more questions you may want to go to for honest and straight forward information you probably won’t find on most other web sites. Thanks for you time and good luck with your decision!


Recon Express is an Automotive Reconditioning Directory for the following services: Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) / Mobile Plastic Bumper Repair / Auto Body Repairs / Key Scratches / Wheel & Rim Repair Restoration /  Windshield Repair / Paint Touch Up / Window Tinting /  Clear Bra 3m Paint Protection Film - Alaska, Albany, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Chico, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Dayton, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, Edmonton, El Paso, Fresno, Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jackson,Ms, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Maine, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterey, Montreal, Nashville, New Haven, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oakland / East Bay, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Puerto Rico, Raleigh-Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Richmond, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose / Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe / Taos, Seattle, Spokane, Springfield, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Tucson, Vancouver, Virginia Beach, Washington DC, Wilmington