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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for auto body painters. There are currently 950 jobs for auto body painters in Alabama and this is projected to grow 28% to 1,220 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for auto body painters are expected to grow by about 0.8%. In general, auto body painters operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

The income of an auto body painter is about $15 per hour or $32,750 yearly on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,150 per year on average. Earnings for auto body painters are better than earnings in the general category of Painting and Coating in Alabama and better than general Painting and Coating category earnings nationally.

The Montgomery area is home to twelve schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Montgomery where you can get a degree as an auto body painter. Auto body painters usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an auto body painter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Auto Body Painter

In general, auto body painters operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

Auto body painters spray prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings. They also decide on the correct spray gun system for the material being applied. Equally important, auto body painters have to pour paint into spray guns, and adjust nozzles and paint mixes so as to get the proper paint flow and coating thickness. They are often called upon to remove grease and rust from vehicle surfaces in preparation for paint application. They are expected to disassemble and reassemble sprayers and power equipment, using solvents and cloths for cleaning duties. Finally, auto body painters paint by hand areas that cannot be reached with a spray gun, or those that need retouching, using brushes.

Every day, auto body painters are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for auto body painters to remove accessories from vehicles, such as chrome or mirrors, and mask other surfaces with tape or paper so as to protect them from paint. They are often called upon to decide on paint in line with company requirements, and match colors of paint following specified color charts. They also fill small dents and scratches with body fillers, and smooth surfaces in order to ready vehicles for painting. They are sometimes expected to mix paints to match color specifications or vehicles' original colors, then stir and thin the paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment. Somewhat less frequently, auto body painters are also expected to decide on the correct spray gun system for the material being applied.

They also have to be able to apply rust-resistant undercoats, and caulk and seal seams and assemble portable equipment such as ventilators and scaffolding. And finally, they sometimes have to adjust controls on infrared ovens and exhaust units so as to speed the drying of vehicles between coats.

Like many other jobs, auto body painters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Montgomery include:

  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Painter Training

H Councill Trenholm State Technical College - Montgomery, AL

H Councill Trenholm State Technical College, 1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36108-3199. H Councill Trenholm State Technical College is a small college located in Montgomery, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,309 students. H Councill Trenholm State Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and nine students respectively in 2008.

J F Ingram State Technical College - Deatsville, AL

J F Ingram State Technical College, 5375 Ingram Rd, Deatsville, AL 36022. J F Ingram State Technical College is a small college located in Deatsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 621 students. J F Ingram State Technical College has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated ten students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama photo by Spyder Monkey

Montgomery is situated in Montgomery County, Alabama. It has a population of over 202,696, which has grown by 0.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Montgomery, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Montgomery are valued at $129,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred seventy-eight new homes were built in Montgomery, down from six hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Montgomery are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 29.4% of Montgomery residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Montgomery is 10.1%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Montgomery residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Big Roxanna Church, William African Methodist Episcopal Zion Chapel and Whitfield Memorial United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Montgomery. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Churches of Christ.

Montgomery is home to the Montgomery Public Library and the Booker T Washington Community Center as well as Old Selma Road Park and Montgomery East Exchange Park. Shopping centers in the area include Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, Montgomery Mall Shopping Center and Norman Bridge South Shopping Center. Visitors to Montgomery can choose from Relax Inn, Islander and Towne Place Suites by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.